Escape From Tarkov developer says it has no plans to add female playable characters

(Image credit: Battlestate Games)

The developer of Escape From Tarkov, a hardcore MMO shooter that is currently one of the most watched games on Twitch, has reiterated that it has no intentions to add female playable characters to the game.

Escape From Tarkov has surged up the Twitch rankings recently, and is currently the fifth most watched game on the platform. This sudden increase in popularity for the game has also seen an old wwcftech interview with developer Battlestate Games resurface, where it was claimed there wouldn't be female playable characters in the game because "we came to the conclusion that women can't handle that amount of stress. There's only place for hardened men in this place."

In light of this interview re-emerging, Battlestate Games has responded on Reddit and Twitter. Firstly, Battlestate COO Nik Buyanov wrote in a Reddit post about the interview: "never said that! I do really respect women in wars. I never said that bullshit that "women are not allowed to be in war". "Women can't handle the stress of real combat" ?? WTF? I never gave such answers in any of the interviews."

It should be noted that wwcftech's interview was with Pavel Dyatlov, a Unity developer on the game, and not with Buyanov.

Then Battlestate Games made a statement on Twitter to clarify the comments made in the 2016 interview.

However, it then followed up this tweet by stating that while there are female non-playable characters in the game, with plans to add more, they won't be adding female playable characters for "lore" reasons and the work it would take to animate them.

As you can imagine, this provoked a wide range of responses, from support to exasperation. 

This isn't the first time that animation for female playable characters has been a talking point around a game, with Assassin's Creed Unity also receiving flak back in 2014 for cutting female playable characters from its co-op mode. While there's clearly a huge resource difference between a Ubisoft game and one coming from a small indie team, it's still eye-opening to see this reasoning being revisited in 2020.
2020 promises to be a huge year for gaming, so why not take a look at our upcoming games list to prepare?

Ben Tyrer

Hello, I'm GamesRadar's News Editor. I've been working in the games industry since 2013, after graduating from Bournemouth University with a degree in multimedia journalism. Since then I've worked for Official PlayStation Magazine as a staff writer and games editor, as well as writing for Official Xbox Magazine, Edge, PC Gamer, GamesMaster, PC Games N, and more. When I'm not moaning about being beaten on FIFA and Warzone, I'm writing news, features, and reviews for this wonderful site.