Battlestate Games, the studio behind the hardcore realistic first-person shooter Escape From Tarkov, has recently come under fire from fans over a controversial issue. For the second time since the game’s release, the developer is being criticized over the topic of playable female characters. Back in 2016, a controversy arose when Battlestate’s Pavel Dyatlov told Wccftech in an interview that “women are not allowed to be in the war”.
Although this comment was a while ago, it has once again entered the public spotlight following Escape From Tarkov’s recent rise to fame on Twitch. In an attempt to put an end to the issue, Battlestate Games took to Twitter, saying that the “answers were done by one, not a key BSG employee which probably were misinterpreted and as a result didn’t reflect the official position of the company, that we always respected women in wars and military women”.
“The employee was reprimanded and properly instructed,” adds Battlestate. “We are sorry for caused confusion.”
Unfortunately, it seems their stance hasn’t changed, as the developer confirmed once and for all that Escape From Tarkov will not add playable female characters “because of game lore”.
But there will be no playable female characters because of game lore and more importantly – the huge amount of work needed with animations, gear fitting etc#EscapefromTarkov
— Battlestate Games (@bstategames) January 6, 2020
As evident from the resulting backlash, the community doesn’t believe that Battlestate Games is providing a good enough reason. As VG247 highlights, Delaney King, a character artist well-versed in the field of game development, debunks the development studio’s excuse.
In an extensive Twitter thread, King states that adding playable female characters does not require a “huge amount of work”. In fact, the biggest cost is “voice acting and dialogue entry”, not “animations and gear fitting” like Battlestate claims.
Considering the sheer popularity of Escape From Tarkov on Twitch, such a controversy could be devastating for the developer. Although the game does have some female characters, refusing to add playable ones and simply chalking it up to “game lore” is not the best course of action.