Fears of a negative sales impact mean that it’s likely to be some time before a triple-A game is released featuring an openly gay character.
That’s according to Ubisoft Montreal’s lead writer Lucien Soulban.
“So when are we going to see that gay protagonist in a triple-A game? Not for a while, I suspect, because of fears that it’ll impact sales,” he said on the Ubiblog.
“So either we’ll see a bait-and-switch like the original Metroid with Samus Aran where we’ll find out damn near after the fact (PS: And Dumbledore was gay), or it’ll come out of left field with Rockstar, Valve, Naughty Dog or Telltale, perhaps.
“But when it happens, I hope it’s a serious take on it and not played up for jokes.
“We’ll definitely see more of them, and I think it’s happening quietly. Look at the choices offered in Mass Effect II & III, or Fable III, or Dragon Age II or Skyrim, the gay characters in Borderlands 2 who mention it without much fanfare, etc.
“Videogames have stopped ‘announcing’ gay characters. They’re introducing them without much fanfare in an effort to say, yeah, it’s there and pretty normal.”
Soulban also criticised what he believes is the sometime tokenistic approach to gay characters in general fiction.
“I think the real question is when are going to get a gay/lesbian triple-A hero(ine) who isn’t a one-off joke? “ he added.
“You look at Javier Bardem in Skyfall, his character’s sexuality was total shtick to satisfy one scene. Otherwise, he was a narcissist with mommy issues, and a pedophile to boot. His ‘seduction’ of Bond was nothing more than vanity because Bond was his reflection, the new ‘him’. It bothers me when I hear people using his performance as a benchmark for diversity in entertainment, and I have heard it being bandied about.”