A former Insomniac Games employee, who was part of the development team behind Ratchet & Clank: Rift Apart, reported a fight that allegedly broke out inside the studio over Rivet’s appearance. According to Xavier Coelho-Kostolny, some game directors wanted her to look more “stereotypically feminine”, which resulted in a discussion with other devs.
Coelho-Kolstony made her report on Twitter, where she claims that the game director and art director wanted her to have characteristics more commonly associated with women, which translates to wider hips and breasts – a bulk under the armor, in this case.
Meanwhile, the script leader, the technical character director and Coelho-Kolstony struggled not to mess with the character’s appearance because it wouldn’t make sense. After all, she is a space fox, not a woman.
But the main point the ex-dev and his colleagues made in the discussion is that this change would go against the game’s message. The idea is that anyone can be a hero, no matter what they look like. Also, you don’t have to sound like a stereotype to be a woman.
Coelho-Kolstony says the discussion lasted nearly half an hour and ended when he took a poster of the game from the wall and placed it in front of the directors, asking how much Ratchet looked like a human man.
After the fight, everyone got a little frustrated and Coelho-Kolstony left the company a few weeks later, as well as other participants in the discussion, but he doesn’t go into details about the others involved.
The former Insomniac did not make his report “out of the blue”. He wanted to tell about the situation because of the lawsuit that Activision Blizzard is facing because of harassment practiced within the company. Coelho-Kolstony says problems sometimes start at much smaller and not too serious levels, but that not showing support at these times already discourages potential victims from seeking help with more serious problems in other situations.