It's a sad reality that some gamers are close-minded – after all, we've all seen what's happened to our wonderful hobby over the past year. But while we're not here to preach to any one of you on this site, we will say that we're glad that Sony and Guerrilla Games stuck to its guns with Horizon: Zero Dawn's female protagonist.
To be fair, we are slowly starting to see change; the likes of Life Is Strange, The Last of Us, and The Walking Dead prove that different types of characters and experiences can be both commercially and critically successful – and we hope that Aloy continues that trend. Alas, for the Japanese giant, this week's reveal was nerve-wracking.
"Personally, The Last Guardian was very emotionally important, a great reveal, but for me the announcement of Horizon: Zero Dawn from Guerrilla Games is actually the biggest project for me for this E3 to announce because it's a big project and a new IP," Worldwide Studios president Shuhei Yoshida told Polygon. "I was nervous to see the reaction from people."
Naturally, these nerves extended to more than just the main character – but she did play a part, too. "She's a female lead character," he said. "That has always been the vision by the team, but we had a discussion. Is it risky to do a female character?" Data shows, sadly, that she probably should have been replaced by a gruff guy with a shaven head.
But, after doing a bit of research, Sony and the team decided to stick to their guns. "We worked with our marketing groups to do this focus testing," he continued. "We wanted to see how people would react to some of the things: open world RPG, the set up of machine versus primitive weapons, and the female protagonist. All of those things."
These kinds of tests are usually the death knell in a creative project, but fortunately the feedback was good and Guerrilla Games was allowed to continue with its original vision. Let's all take a moment to stop and say thank bloody heavens for that. We sincerely hope that one day this isn't even a conversation. For now, though, we're just happy that things are slowly starting to change.