Titanfall 2’s Campaign Could Have Had A Female Character

Titanfall 2’s Campaign Could Have Had A Female Character
Image: Supplied

If you’ve been following news about Titanfall 2’s singleplayer, you’ll probably know that the protagonist is a bloke called Jack Cooper. And that sounds about right for a game that’s being made by a studio filled with Call of Duty alumni.

But that wasn’t always the case. The campaign would have originally let players choose between a male and a female avatar, but Respawn’s Joel Emslie explained why that wasn’t the case.

In an interview over the phone, Emslie, the art director for the original Titanfall and the sequel, explained that the company had created playable male and female avatars for the campaign from the outset.

“I’ll give you a funny story,” Emslie replied when I asked about the brainstorming process for Jack Cooper, the protagonist. “When we were first starting the game, I really wanted to be able to choose between a male and female avatar in singleplayer. We had two models that were approved for Jack [Cooper] and Jill, so that’s how Jack [came out].”

“And it turned out when we added some really cool stuff to the game where you could talk to BT [BT-7274, the mech that Jack Cooper pilots in the campaign], that closed the window on being able to–we had to pick one or the other and we went with Jack. But it easily meant that the amount of audio work we would have had to have done to record that really cool new game mechanic … we just couldn’t support it. So I was able to get those female characters into multiplayer which we’re really happy about, and that’s how Jack came about.”

I asked later on whether, particularly considering the criticism levelled at the original Titanfall, whether a singleplayer was necessary for major franchises. After all, EA’s chief operating officer Peter Moore — the same EA that’s publishing Titanfall 2 — said in August that the data showed that very few people play single player campaigns in major franchises, even though their absence was always taken by gamers as a major slight.

Respawn’s chief operating officer, Dusty Welch, agreed that it was. I think if you’re going to take people on a journey with your franchise … you’ve got to introduce them to the universe, and the protagonist, and captive characters. And if you do that in a memorable, meaningful way, then people then want to come along for the ride for many, many years.”

Titanfall 2 is due out on PC, PS4 and Xbox One on October 28.


  • I haven’t seen it, but I bet ‘Jack Cooper’ is a white male with short brown slightly spiky hair…and some stubble.

    I wonder how close I got?

  • Now now everybody. It’s the creator’s intent!

    You know, you can always make your own multi-million dollar so-AAA-it-hurts bally-hooed First Person Shooter in the Future with Giant Robots!

    Nothing is stopping you!


    Go right ahead!

    Hah, that’s what I thought!

    What do you mean there’s nothing stopping them from recording wimmin-talk? They just told you there’s a lot of things stopping them!

      • “FIRE……that big hard throbbing… CANNON…” “MAAM! WHAT SHOULD WE DO!” “Ok we’re going to…. give to… them…. HARD. HARDER. HARDER. HARDER. OH GOD GIVE IT HARDER.” “Uh ok…. Mam?” “YES! YES! YES! YES OH GOD YES!” “Mam?” “Oh god YES!”

        Well fuck, Titanfall 2 just got a lot more interesting and a lot more R rated…

        Of course, they could rip the male sounds, but noone pays attention to the males on redtube…

  • Before anyone gets all “my gender is not a feature” about the whole thing, it should be pointed out that breast physics are really complex, particularly if they’re massive cans.

    You can’t reasonably expect Respawn to drop everything and spend a whole month rendering an immaculate rack can you? It makes perfect sense that women wouldn’t be included.

    *Huge rack DLC will be available as a pre-order bonus for those who purchase a Season Pass.

  • Aww man, that really bums me out. I understand why from a marketing standpoint, but I wish they had’ve just went with the lady. Could you imagine how good that would be?!

    • It would’ve instantly separated it from the other 400 million space marine FPSs on the market. It was worth a shot (and it’s not like 99% of the players can ever gonna bother with the SP anyway).

      • I know right. I mean, really – would people not play the game because they aren’t playing as some burly dude? Give me a badass woman any day.

  • Edit: Worth saying first that they’ve clearly gone to the effort of creating and implementing female characters into the game but they literally decided it was too hard/much trouble to give a female character a voice…

    Jacinta, Jackie, or Jacqueline Cooper. Alternatively, Jill Jackson, Jackman, Jacobs, Jacobsen, Jacques, or any two syllable surname where the last syllable is a variation of Jack.

    I find the worst part of this story is that while developing the protagonists someone checked off on naming them Jack and Jill. The best part is that hopefully people now won’t have to sit through a grimdark, future tech retelling of a nursery rhyme while they click on all the robots and little men.

  • On the one hand, I understand why it might be nice to choose the sex of your character and it’s great that they allow it in multiplayer. On the other hand when it comes to a story you want to tell to lend the universe of the game some believability how do you deal with the binary choice of the protagonist’s sex? It’s a little unfair to expect every single story to be told from two or more different perspectives, so how do you make the choice of “Will they be a guy or a girl?” in a way that doesn’t offend people?

    • I dont think its that far a stretch to expect that. Games are interactive, you become the player and control their actions, only natural that you get to choose the one doing those actions. Given its military background, theres no reason they couldn’t refer to the character by their surname as well. Mass Effect did this just fine. Even Black Ops 3 gave you the choice of a female player character.

    • They could go the mass effect route, or the resident evil 2 style route, which is my preferred method in this case. Two characters, same world, overlapping story, and dependant on play order different areas open up. Perfection…

      Or you know, make the brave decision that a space marine shooter with fully up the wazoo graphics could actually be a female, it’s god damn 2016, while I’m sure there are plenty of men out there who would be offended, it would be something different in this never ending cavalcade of shooters.

  • >.> that excuse sounds like exactly that. AN EXCUSE
    then again, given the weak-cop out they gave for the first games massive on-disc size….

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