"I think having a female hero is more motivating to male gamers, and I think women would like to control a female avatar, too."
- Bloodstained creator Koji "IGA" Igarashi
Koji Igarashi is seeing massive Kickstarter success with Bloodstained: Ritual of the Night, his spiritual successor to 1997 classic Castlevania: Symphony of the Night.
The game's protagonist is a woman called Miriam, and in a new interview, Igarashi discusses what's behind his decision to go with a heroine.
"Americans really love tough female characters. It’s also a country where a lot of questions and problems about gender are currently being advanced, and there’s many people who believe 'there’s been nothing but male heroes in video games; please make games with both genders.'
"I think having a female hero is more motivating to male gamers, and I think women would like to control a female avatar, too. Including both genders as protagonists would have been way too much work for us to handle, so we decided on making the hero a woman."
The Castlevania series contains a number of female characters, and Order of Ecclesia, one of Igarashi's final games in the series, stars a woman.
"The most difficult thing for me was changing the main character to a woman. I had to rethink a lot about the world and setting," Igarashi says. Elsewhere in the interview, he notes (as he has in the past) another way he's made his games open to a wide variety of players -- lowering the game's difficulty, a decision he undertook with Symphony of the Night.
Bloodstained's lead character, Miriam
Igarashi's games have long been bigger successes in Japan than the West, and he's had to keep a careful eye on what Western players want.
There's much more to the interview, of course -- it gets into the nitty gritty of the game's mechanics and Igarashi's ideas. The interesting takeaway here seems to be that careful consideration of his audience, as a broad and varied group, led him to the conclusion that Miriam is the right lead for his new game.
For more from Igarashi, check out Gamasutra's interview, published when Bloodstained was unveiled.