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Why BioWare led with FemRyder in Mass Effect: Andromeda E3 trailer

The Mass Effect: Andromeda teaser that BioWare served up at E3 didn't give us much to go on, but it did provide a first look at the game's hero, Ryder, who as it turns out is a woman. The character will actually be playable as either a male or female, as is the way with BioWare games, but it was the female iteration who got the spotlight in the debut trailer.   

That's an unusual, and even bold, approach to take in the very male-dominated world of videogames, and especially so for a flagship franchise like Mass Effect. But BioWare Edmonton General Manager Aaryn Flynn told Eurogamer that a lot has changed since 2006, “when we drew inspiration from traditional entertainment marketing.” 

“I think the whole industry, us included, has moved beyond that,” Flynn said. “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.” 

Flynn added that the approach is similar to what BioWare did with Dragon Age: Inquisition, which featured a character of indeterminate sex on the cover. “We're continuing down that path,” he said. 

Don't miss our detailed breakdown of the Mass Effect: Andromeda trailer, in which we used the word “Newmandy” (mostly) unironically, right here.

Andy Chalk
Andy covers the day-to-day happenings in the big, wide world of PC gaming—the stuff we call "news." In his off hours, he wishes he had time to play the 80-hour RPGs and immersive sims he used to love so much.