When it was revealed that Dishonored 2 features a playable female character, some were unhappy. A small minority said that developer Arkane Studios was ‘pandering,’ and were disappointed that (returning protagonist Corvo) wasn’t the sole focus of the story.
In a new interview, Bethesda’s vice president of marketing Pete Hines reveals why they decided to feature Emily Kaldwin as a playable character in the game, also confirming that it wasn’t done just for the sake of it.
Why Dishonored 2 Has a Playable Female Character
Speaking to GamesIndustry.biz, Hines explains that:
“The [Arkane] team really liked the idea of not just moving the Dishonored storyline forward, but exploring Emily: what happened to her, the effect of growing up under her father, and realising that as a story. Corvo is an established character that people enjoyed, so giving players the option and giving voice to both of them seemed the right way to approach it.”
The Bethesda exec. also adds that “if it was an effort to just have a female character just for the sake of having a female character – I think that kind of thing falls flat,” saying that although Bethesda isn’t “perfect in this way,” the publisher has done “a pretty good job at embracing the idea of having choice.”
Hines goes on to explain that “it’s never been about being male, or having a particular name or race. Be whatever you want, do whatever you want.” This policy is reflected with another Bethesda/Arkane title, Prey, which also lets players choose a female protagonist.
Though, race, name and gender aren’t the only factors that players have been given choice over in Bethesda games as Fallout 4 features same-sex romances, as do The Elder Scrolls games. Choices like these look set to continue then, and we look forward to seeing what Bethesda will publish and develop next.