Deadly Premonition Was Originally Going To Have A Female Lead

By Ishaan . January 16, 2013 . 12:35pm

Harvest Moon creator, Yasuhiro Wada, has his own company now, called Toybox Inc. Prior to establishing it, Wada worked at Marvelous, where he oversaw a number of the company’s projects, including Deadly Premonition, developed by Access Games, of which he was the executive producer.


In a recently-published talk with Deadly Premonition director, Hidetaka “SWERY” Suehiro, Wada discusses the origins of the game, as well as a few of the changes that were made to it, due to feedback from “overseas”. One of these involved changing the protagonist from a female lead to the final male lead, York.


“At first we were considering a female FBI agent as the main role, but after receiving some input from overseas we changed it to the male character that’s in the game now,” Suehiro reveals. “We listened to a lot of advice from overseas and since I play a lot of non-Japanese games I wasn’t so opposed to much of the comments.”


Suehiro continues: “However, what I am picky about is the story and the gameplay so when we heard that we should add some gun shooting aspects to the game (probably marketing advice), I wasn’t so sure. With hindsight, I guess the game was seen as a kind of twist on the survival horror theme so perhaps they weren’t completely wrong to suggest it.”


Wada and Suehiro also tease that they have two more unannounced game concepts lying around. One of these is a “new concept for a mystery horror game” by Tomio Kanazawa, one of the Toybox staff. Neither one is confirmed to be in development yet, but Wada and Suehiro hope to work on them together. Perhaps one of these is the “surprising and amazing” news that Suehiro recently teased?


Prior to that, however, Wada and Suehiro are working on Deadly Premonition: The Director’s Cut, which is slated for release in March 2013.


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  • Boba Bob

    Male or Female, what matters is the story and gameplay.

    • Chiupon

      Ultimately, it was an aesthetic change that didn’t really benefit nor harm them. Although, female protagonists are striking out a bit these days, merely due to rarity and aesthetic quality. Make a cute enough one, and you’ve got an iconic figure for propaganda. FF13 is rather underwhelming, but nearly everyone knows who Lightning is.

  • amagidyne

    Huh. I love the agent we got, but a female version would have been really interesting. We don’t get nearly enough eccentric female characters in games, or at least not as protagonists.

  • Alex Sargeant

    I’d love to see the concept for female York. Kind of hard to picture a female character that looks as weird as male York does.

  • A female FBI agent talking about a previous case of a murderer peeing inside a human skull would have been awesome!

  • Ty Arnold

    On one hand, there should probably be more female protagonists in games.

    On the other hand, I’m not sure Francine York Morgan would’ve been nearly as charming as the character that we got.

  • YamiWhoo

    I’m interested to know what this “input from overseas” was that made them change their minds about it. There’s not enough female protagonists in video games, so it would have been nice :/ I guess there’s always next time!

  • Göran Isacson

    What I’d be interested in, is if there were any differences between “Francine” and Francis. Was the lady uncomfortable fanservice-clad and far less intriguing personality-wise? Or was she pretty much exactly like Francis and the changes were all about latent sexism? The questions we’ll never have answers to…

  • Yuriofwind explains in some detail about the beta of the game here.

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