Speaking to GamesIndustry.biz, Sledgehammer co-founder Michael Condrey has said the inclusion of Ilona, a tier one operator in Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare, was not a one-off.
“We’ve tried to do a lot at the studio to present strong women in our games,” he told the site. “You’ve seen it today, that the role of women in the military is important so we tried to represent that in Advanced Warfare as a way to show that we believe there are women gamers who want to play, there are women gamers who want to develop games, there are women gamers in the military who are part of real combat around the globe, keeping us safe.”
“So at Sledgehammer we want to do our part to honor and respect and show that [side of the military]; it’s something we’ve tried to do and continue to do in Call of Duty,” Condrey continued.
The full interview is worth reading and offers some interesting insights into the state of the industry today and issues with diversity.
2013’s Call of Duty: Ghosts was the first game to give players the option to play as a woman but only in multiplayer. Last year, Call of Duty: Black Ops 3 became the first game to give players that choice during the campaign. Black Ops 3 developer Treyarch said they were inspired by BioWare’s Mass Effect protagonist Shepard, who can be a man or a woman.
The next Call of Duty game will be developed by Infinity Ward, publisher Activision announced earlier this month. Described as “innovative,” no other information is currently available.