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'If you respect your public, eventually it pays back'

Dontnod creative director Jean-Maxime Moris comments on gender equality as a theme in the upcoming Capcom-published action-adventure game Remember Me.
"If you respect your public, and you refuse to dumb your work down, eventually it pays back, because what you do is different."
-Dontnod Entertainment's Jean-Maxime Moris, on creating female leads. Speaking with ShackNews, the creative director of the upcoming Remember Me revealed that the team's decision to opt for a female protagonist was more than about 'just feeling right.' It was about echoing one of the game's themes. "We didn't think of gender equality being a major theme in the game, but thinking back on the world we designed, it is true that women have key positions in its governance," said Moris. The game, which is set in 2084 Paris, will feature a setting that is "very different from usual cyberpunk themes," Moris said. Dontnod "recruited a team of experts in their field" including two award-winning science fiction authors, Alain Damasio and Stephane Beauverger, as well as concept artist Aleksi Briclot, to develop a bottom-up futuristic world. "[They] did an amazing amount of research on every single detail of the Neo-Paris landscape, from architecture to what people eat for breakfast." But it's the lead character Nilin who may set Remember Me apart from its contemporaries the most. "You have to avoid the pitfalls of making her just a damsel in distress or a sex bomb, [just] because that's what you think would appeal most to the hordes of men that constitute your fan base," Moris said. "If you respect your public, and you refuse to dumb your work down, eventually it pays back because what you do is different." "I'm not saying we're the only ones," Moris added. "I'm quite happy to see that more and more games feature female protagonists." Still, Remember Me seems poised to make an impact in an industry where marketing is heavily slanted toward men. Dontnod Entertainment previously shared that the game's female protagonist resulted in them being turned away by several publishers. "In 2013, we have a long way to go in terms of gender equality," said Moris. "So take this as a subconscious militant act."

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