The Mass Effect: Andromeda E3 2016 trailer featured a first look at combat gameplay, footage of the Mako in motion and it also introduced us to the game’s protagonist Ryder. However, while many were glad to meet the player character, there was also a lot of talk about the fact that BioWare had chosen to show the female character model of Ryder rather than the male version.
Although Mass Effect: Andromeda, like previous games in the series, will allow player characters to be either male or female, the female Ryder reveal was heralded as BioWare promoted the original ME trilogy using the male version of (player character) Commander Shepard. In a new interview, BioWare has now revealed why it decided it was time for a change.
Why the Mass Effect: Andromeda Female Protagonist Was Revealed First
Speaking to Eurogamer, BioWare general manager Aaryn Flynn explained that “when we debuted male Shepard back in 2006, 10 years ago, it was a time when we drew inspiration from traditional entertainment marketing. So: ‘We need a iconic main character. We need an iconic everything else’.”
Though Flynn adds:
“But I think the whole industry, us included, have moved beyond that. Our games let you choose your main character, I think everyone gets that nowadays. You don’t need to see a character to identify with, in the same way you might on a movie poster. People want to create their own characters, customise them, and we’re embracing that.”
Despite the Mass Effect: Andromeda female protagonist being at the forefront of the game’s marketing push so far, fans shouldn’t expect to see her on the box art. When the publication asked if Andromeda, like Dragon Age: Inquisition, would feature an androgynous player character on the cover, Flynn stated “very much so. We’re continuing down that path.”
Mass Effect Andromeda will be released on PC, PS4 and Xbox One in 2017.