Life is Strange studio's next game is Tell Me Why and it stars a transgender protagonist

(Image credit: Dontnod)

A new game from the developers behind Life is Strange has been announced at X019. Xbox Game Studios unveiled Tell Me Why, an episodic "gripping true-to-life narrative adventure" coming to Xbox One, PC, Xbox Game Pass and Steam in Summer 2020. 

Tell Me Why takes place in a small town in Alaska and follows the story of of identical Tyler and Alyson Ronan who use their extraordinary bond to unravel memories of a loving but troubled childhood. 

"The core mechanic of the game is the special bond Tyler and Alyson share and is also a theme strongly anchored in Dontnod's storytelling approach," Tell Me Why's game director Florent Guillaume explains, " Over the course of the story, players will explore the identical twins' different memories of key events and choose which memory to believe. Ultimately, the choices players make determine the strength of the twins' bond - and the future of their lives." 

Both Tyler and Alyson are playable characters and are described as "equal heroes" in the story. Tyler is also the first playable video game hero from a major publisher and studio who is also transgender. Dontnod worked closely alongside Microsoft and LGBTQ meida advocacy organisation GLAAD in shaping Tyler as an authentic representation of the trans experience, as well as a genuine multidimensional character. 

Nick Adams, director of transgender representation at GLAAD said, "Tyler is a fully-realised, endearing character whose story is not reduced to simplistic trans tropes. Creating a playable lead trans character - and taking such care to get it right - raises the bar for future LGBTQ inclusion in games." 

While the game will be episodic in format, Dontnod said it listened to community feedback and revealed that "the entire Tell Me Why story will release in Summer 2020." 

Heather Wald
Senior staff writer

I started out writing for the games section of a student-run website as an undergrad, and continued to write about games in my free time during retail and temp jobs for a number of years. Eventually, I earned an MA in magazine journalism at Cardiff University, and soon after got my first official role in the industry as a content editor for Stuff magazine. After writing about all things tech and games-related, I then did a brief stint as a freelancer before I landed my role as a staff writer here at GamesRadar+. Now I get to write features, previews, and reviews, and when I'm not doing that, you can usually find me lost in any one of the Dragon Age or Mass Effect games, tucking into another delightful indie, or drinking far too much tea for my own good.