Russian developers Battlestate Games have refused to cave to Twitter outrage mobs which are demanding they alter game lore and divert studio resources to ensure cis and trans women can play a character they identify with in the MMO tactical first-person shooter game “Escape from Tarkov.”
“There are women in EFT already (trader, some future key storyline quests will have women as main characters),” Battlestate Games posted on Twitter Monday.
“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.”
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
Professionally outraged Twitter users were quick to excoriate Battlestate for the studio’s perceived sexism and misogyny in the tweet replies, with some arguing the developer’s decision was unacceptable because the current year is 2020.
These excuses don't work on anyone anymore. It's fuckin 2020.
— Aura❄Is Cold (@MOOMANiBE) January 6, 2020
There will be a lot of players who won’t buy your game because of this decision. Like me. If your lore excludes women from being able to play as a character like them, then your lore _sucks_. It’s bad and you should feel bad.
— 🏳️🌈 Lain Kaplan, Knight of Autumn 💜 (@LainKaplan) January 7, 2020
Considering Escape from Tarkov’s recent rise to prominence on streaming platforms Twitch, Mixer, and Dlive; and subsequent popularization by streamers such as Shroud and Dr. Disrespect, it is questionable whether the game’s boycott by women will have an impact on sales.
In a 2016 interview, Battlestate Games’ Pavel Dyatlov told WCCFTech, “We came to the conclusion that women are not allowed to be in the war.”
When pressed further about this decision, Dyatlov added, “I can agree with you and we discussed it for a very long time, but we came to the conclusion that women can’t handle that amount of stress. There’s only place for hardened men in this place.”