Devs Fought Over Making Ratchet PS5 Rivet Look More Feminine

2022-01-15 09:53:01 By : Mr. Gavin Foo

Former Insomniac Games artist Xavier Coelho-Kostolny took to Twitter to reveal that several Ratchet & Clank: Rift Apart developers had a heated argument over making Rivet look more “stereotypically feminine” despite the fact that she’s not a human character and Ratchet isn’t made to look like a stereotypical male.

Coelho-Kostolny penned a lengthy thread in response to recent allegations of sexism and harassment at Activision Blizzard, arguing that even small things like the aforementioned issue build up over time to create toxic, hostile environments towards women. According to him, the argument revolved around adding “visible breasts” and “wider hips” to Rivet, among other things.

Part of the thread reads:

The discussion – or argument, really – was basically about whether we should make Rivet look more stereotypically feminine looking. That is, should she have wider hips, visible breasts (or bumps in her suit), and other physical traits we normally associate with cartoony women. The argument basically broke down like this:

The game director and art director wanted her to have a visibly, fairly stereotypically feminine look.

The lead writer, the lead character TD, and I wanted to keep her as-is.

This is where things get into territory that men like myself in game dev need to pay REALLY FUCKING CLOSE ATTENTION.

Two thirds of the women on the team, as well as one cis white man (me), were telling the art director and game lead that Rivet should not, as an alien space fox, have wide hips and titties. We believed that:

1. It went against the message of the game, which is that anyone can be a hero regardless of how they look
2. You don’t need to be stereotypically feminine to be a woman

The argument had been going on for about half an hour before I finally pulled one of the framed Ratchet and Clank posters down from the wall, put it in front of both leads, and told them to look at the damn thing and tell me how much Ratchet looked like a human man.

Coelho-Kostolny claims that the argument pretty much ended there, but left everyone frustrated. He left Insomniac Games a few weeks later, and noted that some of the other developers involved in the argument no longer work at the studio either.