WarnerMedia who owns Warner Bros. will now be having a company-wide inclusion rider and Kevin Tsujihara the CEO of Warner Bros. said it will include video games along with movies and other media.
I am wondering how will this affect games at Warner Bros. going future and could we see this implemented in other video game companies.
That sounds pretty cool, hopefully, it applies to both the rendering of characters and the voice actors for them.
Wonder if this applies to both games they develop in-house and the ones they publish and if it will include Hitman 2 or if it will just apply to everything signed off on going from today forward. It would be really cool if Hitman 2 got a post release update that added a character creator so you could make your own unique Agent for replaying levels as an example.
Hitman’s not an IP they control as it’s just a publishing deal with IO Interactive. IO interactive added more agents in the Sniper side game that are more diverse but I think it’s the one game. Hitman is probably the weirdest examples where it might not be possible because it hinges on 47 being a completely unremarkable on the outside white man made to be the perfect assassin on the inside by a sinister genetics corporation. That might hurt the core game if you can make an agent who “stands out from the crowd” so I could see them not falling over for Create an Assassin mode.
They could pull off some cool gameplay tweaks if pulled off right using different agents that are deliberately designed to have opportunities not available to 47. That you could have Female agents who could use different disguises to get more opportunities, a non-binary agent who could disguise in male and female clothing. But then that might require huge overhauls on the system for example. But you’d have to roll in drawbacks and new challenges because they are not 47 as well. Could be a Hitman 3 thing but they are planning to keep the games updated as a “Platform” so it could roll back into the old content. Like, maybe not create an agent but different Agency assassins who get different strengths and opportunities but have other drawbacks compared to 47. Not as dumb as those awful nuns in Absolution though. Think more John Wick Chapter 2. Having different abilities to go through those big complex sandboxes with would be really cool.
Though speaking of WB. They have been one of the better publishers for diversity. Mortal Kombat has always leaned into the ethnic cast and the last one was great. Arkham Origins did that really cool twist on a c-lister called Diamondback by making them a generic white dude in an armored snake costume into a non-binary contortionist assassin who does not speak and it’s played really excellent. The inclusion rider is pretty much a cherry on top for them though hopefully it also means we see more diverse voices on the creative end as well as in game as thats where gaming is lacking a bit compared to what the inclusion rider is doing for Hollywood.
You did say “one of the better”, so the bar’s admittedly not especially high, but this is also the same company that published games like Arkham Knight, Mad Max, and Shadow of War. I don’t know that I’d give them too much credit.
I hope this marks a trend away from garbage like that.
With Characters like Black Lightning and Wonder Woman becoming more popular with non-comic fans I think we could see Arkham type games come out of Warner Brothers with heroes of marginalized backgrounds being lead by Artists of color or women more often with the rider. I really hope this standard spreads to other publishers like Ubisoft and Nintendo (the later of which I think needs a more diverse team on their games as most of their games are lead by men and heavily Japanese or white. Sony which is also on nintendo level was able to accomplish this at least to a higher degree then Nintendo.)
“I have two words to leave with you tonight, ladies and gentlemen: inclusion rider.”
I already had an argument with some rando on discord this morning complaining that Ciri might be played by a black actress this morning, so this change should fun for us all. (Also if you’re curious, Warner Bros only published Witcher 3 in North America, they have nothing to do with the Netflix show, so this story has nothing to do with the other one.)
Anyway, I’m sure the worst people in the world will have a lot of awful things to say about this.