BioWare are hardly strangers to controversy (the Mass Effect 3 ending, anyone?) but rather than staying away from it, like the shy development team in the corner, they are more than happy to embrace it, with open arms and open hearts because often, the BioWare choices that cause the most flack are the ones that matter. This is according to David Gaider, the lead writer of their upcoming title, Dragon Age: Inquisition, discussing in-game romances, and he not so much kicks the hornet’s nest as he does punts it out the stadium. Read what he has to say after the break.
‘Suck It, Haters’ – BioWare, Probably
Fully acknowledging the fact that people have often had an issue with some of the in-game romance choices (both queer and straight) that BioWare are known for, Gaider says that
“[He] can easily imagine a time when the romances in [Dragon Age: Inquisition] are revealed (whether that will be before or after release, [he has] no idea). There will be an inevitable reaction from people who are disappointed they couldn’t romance someone with their character of choice, and some of them will rant at length as to how they were only deprived of said romance because of some agenda.”
Gaider also wrote on his blog that some disgruntled players may even turn round and suggest that
“[BioWare] took away that romance because [they’re] mean, or because [BioWare are] boring and couldn’t [they] see that the romance they wanted would be so much more interesting? And that romance [BioWare] actually put in is not only terrible but is homophobic/biphobic/racist/pedophilia/etc., which [the angry fans’] romance pairing would not be.” without understanding the importance of BioWare’s in-game romances.
Defending the <1%
In my video game diversity report, it was revealed that less than 1% of the playable characters we saw in video games in 2013 identified as queer, with just one character in the 60 game that I surveyed identifying as so. And while I doubt that Gaider has read the report, he too understands why the next set of in-game romances in Dragon Age: Inquisition will be so important.
Gaider writes that
“To [him], the thing that BioWare does best is not story but characters—[He thinks BioWare’s] characters are done to a level that few other games even attempt, with an element of agency that strikes a chord in [their] players…and romances have been a natural outgrowth of that. Sure [BioWare] could stop, but that would be turning [their] backs on something ]they] do which almost no-one else does. The question would be: “why?” And what do [they] replace it with?”
And he is absolutely right. I don’t know for certain as to whether or not Dragon Age: Inquisition will include queer in-game romances (although from Gaider’s words, he certainly suggests that it does) but without them in BioWare’s game, it’s incredibly likely that there would be no other playable queer characters in games this year whatsoever, making Gaider’s defense of them, as well as their inclusion, incredibly important.
We’ll have more on Dragon Age: Inquisition soon. Click here to sign up to the J Station X newsletter and have our posts sent directly to your email inbox.