Torn Banner Studios' Chivalry: Medieval Warfare does not contain any playable female characters because such an inclusion would "make [the game] appeal less to females," according to a forum post written by one of the game's developers, Steve "Tibberius" Piggott.
The post was in response to a forum user named "Livipedia," who had asked why there aren't any playable female characters in the game.
Now, I know what some of you might be thinking. Female knights? But isn't this medieval? Aren't women forbidden from entering combat? Well, maybe, but it's also fictional. The Agatha Knights and the Mason Order may be based on some historical entities, but, bottom line is, it's still fiction. That leaves room for a ton of options.
My question is, what would the developers have to lose if they added a female option for each class? Right now, as far as I can tell, you don't even have female NPCs (even the peasants standing in the crowd and running around in the villages are all male, from what I can see.) And, yes, I am okay with seeing women as well as men get their heads chopped off, this is a mature game.
In response to Livipedia's question, Piggott wrote:
This is a tough one, I actually think that adding female characters to a game like this would make it appeal less to females. Which at first sounds strange, but from my experience of the general maturity level of the internet and the unfortunately male dominated FPS market... I don't think that it would add to the experience for women or men given the actions that would likely occur.
Hopefully that helps you understand why we decided not to go that route... I am totally fine with women fighting, but its the fact that it would probably overall harm the way the community would play the game that has me concerned.
The discussion then turned sour after various members of the community argued with Livipedia, prompting Piggott to rejoin the conversation with the following post:
I want to start by saying I think I was widely misunderstood, and that I apologize to anyone who was offended by that interpretation of what I said, but I did not mean it in the way that it has been presented.
There is such a catch 22 around this subject that its is [sic] very difficult to discuss. I hope you can see that my belief behind that was to prevent the game from being something which degraded women. Again we might disagree, that is fine, disagreement is a natural and good thing, but it certainly was never in my intention to offend you or anyone else with the subject.
To further clarify, its not about protecting the female gamers, and I never intended to imply that.
The complete thread can be viewed here.
Chivalry: Medieval Warfare is a game that was successfully funded on Kickstarter this September, raising $85,934 in funds. It launched in Oct. for PC.