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 has been gaming on PCs from the very beginning, starting as a youngster with text adventures and primitive action games on a cassette-based TRS80. From there he graduated to the glory days of Sierra Online adventures and Microprose sims, ran a local BBS, learned how to build PCs, and developed a longstanding love of RPGs, immersive sims, and shooters. He began writing videogame news in 2007 for The Escapist and somehow managed to avoid getting fired until 2014, when he joined the storied ranks of PC Gamer. He covers all aspects of the industry, from new game announcements and patch notes to legal disputes, Twitch beefs, esports, and Henry Cavill. Lots of Henry Cavill.