Gender equality relegated to a stretch goal in Wild West Online

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UPDATE: 612 Games has reportedly received extra funding from the original investors, enough to cancel the crowd funding plan altogether. This funding will also cover the cost of adding female playable characters to the game. Original story follows.

Game developers often use crowd-funding platforms like Kickstarter to raise money, with some projects including stretch goals, promising to add features if they hit a funding milestone. Stretch goals often promise new levels or vehicles, but when a developer decides to hide features that are fairly basic behind these stretch goals it can leave a bitter taste in gamers’ mouths.

This is exactly the lesson 612 Games, the developer of Wild West Online is learning just after the announcement of their game last week. The old West player-vs-player-focused game will apparently not include playable female characters unless the developer reaches their first stretch-goal of $400,000, according to PC Gamer.

Although I understand games are much more difficult and expensive to create than developers often get credit for, one wonders how much 612 Games actually thought about this decision before announcing it (a member of 612 Games told PC Gamer they knew it would be a sensitive issue, but that the developer currently doesn’t have the resources to implement female playable characters.)

With not much revealed about the game and more information promised to be unveiled in tomorrow, 612 Games surely has had time to rethink the decision; hopefully they’ll do the right thing, even if that means taking resources from another part of the game, because a good number of gamers are giving them flak for the decision.

One thread on Reddit’s /r/GirlGamers subreddit has garnered hundreds of comments from people with varying opinions. Here are some interesting takes from that thread.















Is this a decision that will stop you from even considering Wild West Online, or do you find it to be no big deal? Let me know your thoughts in the comments below.


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