Posted in: Op-edGaming News
Published:
January 11, 2020 10:25 AM

Escape From Tarkov Devs Are Pulling a Ubisoft Female Crisis

Escape from Tarkov is an upcoming hardcore PvP FPS title that has come under fire for not including any female character options.
  • Escape from Tarkov is an upcoming FPS game from Russian developer Battlestate Games.
  • The game has come under fire for not including female characters.
  • The worst part about the whole thing isn’t even that the game won’t include women, it’s how the developers have tried to excuse that fact.

Escape From Tarkov is an upcoming hardcore PvP FPS game. It’s been in development for quite some time, since 2012 if you can believe it. It has garnered quite a lot of attention on sites such as Twitch for its highly realistic gameplay. It’s also been courting controversy recently too.

Basically, the game features no female characters. While that may or may not be an earth-shattering problem depending on your perspective, the developer’s response has certainly caused some tension online. It’s seriously starting to look like we’ve got another Ubisoft incident on our hands. Apparently time is cyclical.

This doesn’t make Battestate Games look good at all. | Source: WCCFtech

Escape From Tarkov Will Never Have Playable Female Characters

It was recently clarified on the developers twitter that Escape from Tarkov would never have playable female characters. They basically claimed that they would be too difficult to animate and that they didn’t really fit with the ‘lore’ of the game. Obviously this went down about as well as a cup of cold sick.

It wasn’t these tweets that really annoyed people, however. Instead, it was an interview from 2016 which reemerged along with the controversy itself. Speaking to WCCF Tech back at Gamescom 2016, the question of female characters cropped up. The person being interviewed clearly didn’t handle it very well.

His exact response to the question of “Did you consider having female characters playable?” was to say “Women are not allowed to be in the war”. When the interviewer pointed out that women are in the military these days, he doubled down. He said, “There’s only place for hardened men in this place.”. Wow.

This tweet seems a little muddled with how it tries to explain the situation. | Source: Twitter

The Excuses Don’t Get Any Better

Obviously, even if this is how the company feels it was a blindly bad idea to say it in an interview. Clearly the devs knew this because they backtracked on Twitter. They said that the employee had been misinterpreted and also that he was reprimanded and wasn’t a key employee.

Even if this response didn’t flip-flop like a dying fish, it would still ring hollow as all hell. It’s not even like the lack of women would have been that big of an issue for Escape from Tarkov if it had been approached correctly. Having a game without women in it is fine, just like it’s fine to have a game where the entire cast is female. It’s their game, they can do what they like.

The issue is just how they responded to the questions. Obviously, saying that women don’t belong in war, or can’t handle the stress of it is just ridiculous. It’s an outdated attitude and furthermore doesn’t even make any sense. Clearly women handle the stress of a wartime situation just as well as men do.

Escape From Tarkov Developers Should Have Been Honest

The excuses are ridiculous. Saying it’s difficult to animate women didn’t work for Ubisoft and it won’t work for Escape from Tarkov either. The worse excuse is saying that the lore doesn’t allow for it. I can’t even begin to imagine a scenario where that weaksauce excuse makes any sense.

The truth is that they should have just been clear. If they don’t want to add women to Escape from Tarkov because it doesn’t bring that much to the game and they’d rather spend that time on making the actual gameplay better then they should have just said that. Instead, what they’ve ended up with is a mess of bad press and a bunch of people who are now going to avoid the game like the plague.

This article was edited by Samburaj Das.

Last modified: January 22, 2020 11:39 PM

William Worrall @mizushinzui

William Worrall is a professional writer based out of the UK who has been writing about video and tabletop games for over a decade and has covered industry events such as EGX and UKGE. Contact him at: william.worrall@ccn.com