The Coalition studio head Rod Fergusson reveals that Dominic Santiago in Gears of War could have been a female character named Dominique, but the idea was rejected.
It may be hard to imagine for fans of the franchise, but there was once a time when the character Dominic Santiago, the resident "player 2" in the Gears of War games, could have been female. According to Gears of War 4 director Rod Fergusson, he originally pitched the idea of a female Dom to series creator Cliff Bleszinski (Cliffy B) during the development of the first game, but it was shot down.
Fergusson's idea was that the second player in Gears of War would choose between a male or female Dom. The female version of Dom would have been named Dominique, and though she would have sported a much different appearance, it seems as though her character arc would have been virtually identical to that of her male counterpart.
Even so, the change in gender would have doubled the amount of dialogue that needed to be recorded for the game, and so the idea was scrapped. However, a female playable character would be introduced to the franchise five years later, when COG officer Anya Stroud finally joined the fray in the battle against the Locust hordes.
Since Rod Fergusson is the head of The Coalition and is the director of Gears of War 4, he has decided to bring back his idea of the second player choosing between a male or female character. With Gears of War 4, Fergusson has tweaked his original idea a bit, as players won't be choosing between a male or female version of the same person. On the contrary, those playing the co-op campaign in Gears of War 4 as the second player can choose to play as either Kait Diaz or Delmont "Del" Walker.
By giving players the choice between two different characters to join protagonist JD Fenix on his journey, it means extra work for The Coalition. Fergusson has estimated that the script for Gears of War 4 is now 30% longer than it would be had he stuck with only two playable characters instead of three.
It will be interesting to see if Fergusson's idea of having a choice between a male or female playable character in Gears of War 4 pays off, or if it was added work for little reward. So far, fans seem to be responding well to the new characters that are being introduced in Gears of War 4, so one has to imagine that Fergusson's plan to give them the choice between Kait or Del will be a positive thing for the upcoming shooter.
The next game in the series, Gears of War 4, will be available on October 11th for PC and Xbox One.