Recently we were shown a glimpse of what’s to come in BioWare’s upcoming title Mass Effect Andromeda. A trailer at E3 showcased a little bit of gameplay, a lot of in-engine vistas and even some of the developers themselves at work on the game. Interestingly enough, the end of the trailer showed what BioWare confirmed to be the female protagonist for the game, to whom they have given the default name Ryder.
BioWare sat down with Eurogamer at E3 to explain the reasoning behind putting the female protagonist at the center in the trailer rather than the male protagonist. BioWare boss Aaron Flynn explained that while male Shepard was at the forefront of their marketing in the original trilogy, it was because they wanted an “iconic” character for the series. They’ve learned through developing the previous games that players don’t want an iconic hero, they want to create their own.
“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’.
“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, customize them, and we’re embracing that.”
While most assumed the person in N7 armor in previous trailers to be male, Flynn confirmed that BioWare is continuing with the style of marketing used for Dragon Age: Inquisition, in which the protagonist is usually shown as gender-neutral.
Mass Effect Andromeda is currently scheduled for release in the first quarter of 2017.