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‘Dragon Age: Inquisition’ director on keeping the game gender-neutral

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Since players will have to option to play as either gender in Dragon Age: Inquisition, Bioware had a dilemma when it came to creating the box art for the upcoming release so that both gender choice could be represented. Discussing the developer’s desire to keep the cover neutral to what gender was actually depicted; Dragon Age Creative Director Mike Laidlaw revealed on April 21 that the team specifically wanted to design the cover image so that the inquisitor’s gender is purposefully vague so that it could represent the game’s different possibilities for the protagonists’ appearance.

Bioware ran into similar problems with the Mass Effect franchise. Despite the fact that Commander Shepard could be whatever gender players desired, the box art for the series’ first two entries only showed the default male version of Shepard. For Mass Effect 3, the developer finally released an alternate cover for the game which depicted the female version of the main character. However, even then fans were only shown the default looks of the protagonist which went against the fact that players could change Shepard’s appearance in the game.

To avoid these issues for the Dragon Age: Inquisition cover art, which will also give gamers their choice of playable gender, the developer has decided to show the protagonist from a distance and fully clad in armor. According to Laidlaw, this was Bioware’s attempt to make the artwork depict the in-game possibilities of the main character as he revealed in the following statement.

An uncertain gender was absolutely intended. It's whoever you want to roll, essentially.

However, while the cover art might show off a human or elf of unspecified gender, it clearly doesn’t depict either a dwarf or qunari which fans will have the option to play as in Dragon Age: Inquisition. So the vast amounts of customizable options which players are given in the next installment of the popular series still make it hard to represent all choices in one picture.

Launching on Xbox 360, PS4, PC, Xbox 360, and PS3, Dragon Age: Inquisition is currently scheduled to release later this fall. As mentioned earlier, the game will allow player to choose both the gender and race of the game’s main character. Fans will also be able to select the class of the protagonist to provide even more variety.

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