Life Is Strange studio Dontnod has announced its next game as part of Xbox’s X019 event. Tell Me Why is another narrative-focused title from the French studio that claims to be the first-ever video game from a major studio featuring a playable character who is transgender.
Tell Me Why takes place in small-town Alaska and follows the “true-to-life” story of twins Tyler and Alyson Ronan as they learn more about their difficult childhood.
“Over the course of the story, players will explore the identical twins’ different memories of key events and choose which memory to believe,” game director Florent Guillaume said. “Ultimately, the choices players make determine the strength of the twins’ bond–and the future course of their lives.”
Tell Me Why – Announce Trailer | X019
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Tyler and Alyson are both playable and are “equal heroes” in the campaign.
“We are especially grateful to Microsoft for its full support, openness, and help regarding Tyler’s identity and character, as a transgender man,” Guillaume said.
Dontnod said it worked alongside LGBTQ advocacy group GLAAD to make Tyler an “authentic representation of the trans experience.” Microsoft says Tyler is the “first playable videogame hero from a major studio and publisher who is also transgender.”
GLAAD’s Nick Adams said in a statement that Microsoft and Dontnod worked hard to construct Tyler as a character “with a real commitment to authenticity.”
“Tyler is a fully-realized, endearing character, whose story is not reduced to simplistic trans tropes,” Adams said. “Creating a playable lead trans character–and taking such care to get it right–raises the bar for future LGBTQ inclusion in gaming.”
Tell Me Why’s story unfolds across three chapters that will be released on a “clear and predictable schedule,” according to Microsoft. What this means in practice is that all three chapters will be released in one period of time–Summer 2020.
The game will be on Xbox Game Pass, while people can also purchase it outright on Xbox One and PC (including Steam). There is no word on if the game is also coming to PlayStation.
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