Black Friday Is Almost Here!
The Inventory team is rounding up deals you don’t want to miss, now through Cyber Monday. Click here to browse!

Prototype 2's Protagonist Started Life as a White Dude

Illustration for article titled emPrototype 2/ems Protagonist Started Life as a White Dude

Sgt. James Heller from Prototype 2 is not a white guy. He's a black guy. But he didn't begin his life that way.


"We started off with an amalgamation of Hugh Jackman and Clint Eastwood, and the resulting render looked remarkably similar to James Marsden—so we were like 'Okay, scratch that one out,'" Ken Rosman, head of the studio that developed Prototype, told the Oficial PlayStation Magazine.

"As we were going, there was something about a concept sketch of some ethnicity or other that wasn't just the the generic Caucasian guy and we were all drawn to it," he continued. "We started riffing on that character and ended up with Heller."


According to Rosman, it had nothing to do with race. What's more telling, however, is how the default for this character (and so many video game characters) was a white dude.

Check out Kotaku's previous Prototype 2 coverage.

Prototype 2 hero's race tricky to talk about, "nobody wants to touch it" [OPM]

Share This Story

Get our newsletter


ThatTravisGuy never got a star :(

To play devil's advocate...

"What's more telling, is how the default for this character (and so many video game characters) was a white dude."

Can you really blame a company for choosing a main character that sells or that makes box art that they are told will sell? I'm not saying that a black character cannot sell by any means, however these are businesses; they want to make the largest profit margin they can and that means making as many sales as they can. They assuredly have a marketing department that is much more involved than they should be breathing down their publisher's necks about what sells and what doesn't sell and then the publisher gives direction to the developer.

The developer, if they are simply doing their job, is just trying to make the character compelling and a character that is identifiable with a large portion of the player base and identifies with the developer.

I do not think by any means the developer is trying to be racist, cater to a racist crowd, or offend any other races/nationalities. I also think it would be a tragedy to take this a step too far by asking this be balanced so we have some sort of main character affirmative action as I believe that would lead to characters crafted for reasons other than their role in the game they are in rather crafting the character that fits into the world / story best.

TL;DR: Make a good game, leave race as a secondary issue. If anything blame marketers/publishers for giving direction based on statistics that don't matter nearly as much as they would have you believe.