These characters are the result of the hard work of dedicated teams. We want to take this opportunity to thank them for everything they do.
By giving more visibility to diversity in video games, we help gamers from different communities identify with inspiring characters on exciting adventures. And by making a difference in players’ lives, this representation contributes to making our society more inclusive.
“Playing a powerful character that’s emblematic of your culture or identity is having an armor to protect yourself from a hateful world and a beacon to walk towards when fighting to make our world a better place,” says Trick Dempsey, Director of Inclusive Games and Content. Along with their colleagues, they work with our game development teams to ensure that representation of those who are marginalized is respectful and contributes to their acceptance.
This Pride Week, we’re featuring some of our LGBTQ+ characters from Rainbow Six Siege and Far Cry 6 with the help of the passionate writers who created them.
Elite talents in the Rainbow Six team
In the Rainbow Six Siege universe, representation is assured by some outstanding characters.
Anja Katarina Janković aka Osa
The best ideas come to me when I exclude rules and guidelines from the equation.” – Osa
Coming from a family of toymakers, Anja quickly exercised her creativity by learning the same art, and her interests led her to pursue electromechanics and then military engineering, with a focus on robotics. Her hard work, creativity, and unique perspective ultimately led to her joining the Nighthaven team.
Osa is the first trans character in the franchise. She credits her success in equal parts to her natural talent and the affection of her loved ones. In both her career and her transition, she could always count on the support of her older brother, her aunt, and Kali, her team leader.
Santiago Miguel Lucero aka Flores
In life, you have to commit to the things that make you happy. For me, that’s robbing the rich and corrupt.” – Flores
Nicknamed “the Man from Flores” thanks to his reputation as a burglar in the Buenos Aires neighborhood of the same name, Flores made powerful enemies that forced him to flee from Argentina to the United States. His military training and ability to infiltrate even the most heavily guarded places made him a unique asset to the Rainbow team.
This new life also gave him a stable future to build a family. Flores was happy to marry a man who accepted him regardless of his criminal activities.
Neon Ngoma Mutombo aka Sens
Brute force only gets you so far. Victory is determined in the mind of a strategist.” – Sens
From a young age, Neon learned everything they could about physics, psychology, and mechanics. Their vivid imagination, tactical training, and unique strategies allow them to minimizing casualties on all sides without compromising objectives.
Sens is the first non-binary character in Rainbow Six Siege. They had the support of their father when they came out, who kept reminding them that the only thing that really mattered to him was honesty.
The person behind the writing of these three characters is Simon Ducharme, writer at Ubisoft Montréal and member of the LGBTQ+ community. For Simon, these characters fulfill an essential role:
They represent the simple reality that queer characters have a place in all stories, that it’s just a matter of wanting to and taking the appropriate steps. That having a marginalized character in the lead is absolutely reasonable, even desirable, regardless of whether it’s for a competitive game with a number of playable characters, or an RPG with a single playable character.”
According to Simon, seeing different characters also provides an avenue for learning. “Compassion begins with understanding,” they add. At the same time, it’s also an opportunity for some people to learn more about their own identity.
I myself have learned about my identity by working on these characters. All of this has given me the tools to think about my identity and move towards the happiness of knowing that I’ve stopped hiding.”
Representation in our games also provides us – as a studio and developer – with important lessons.
“I think we’ve learned that despite some things to avoid, there’s a lot of freedom in creating queer characters as long as the team approaches it with respect. The LGBTQ+ community contains immeasurable multitudes, which not only means that we can create many different characters, but that we also have a responsibility to do so.”
And Simon is proud to have been able to bring these characters to life, and even more so when the community responds positively.
I’m happy with the end result of all the characters I’ve worked on. Being a Rainbow Six Siege player myself, and connected to our community, I could see that the people we were trying to reach appreciated what was done.”
Far Cry 6’s libertad in all its facets
To fight the dictatorship of President Castillo, the island of Yara can count on the courage of its inhabitants and the passion of its rebels, many of whom are members of the LGBTQ+ community. Below, the writers from Ubisoft Toronto that worked on these characters share with us their philosophy in creating them.
Paolo de la Vega
It’s easy to talk of ‘family’, ‘equality’ when you’re not running a country. But when your revolution is over – mine won’t have even started yet.” – Paolo
Paolo de la Vega, a trans man and leader of a rebellious faction, is fighting for the freedom of the people of his country. He and his partner, Talia created scathing rap songs that attack the injustices of the world. But when government forces converged on the duo, Paolo was forced to take up arms. And when the fight came to him, he fought back by leading a faction of rebels to create a better future for the people of Yara.
Writing Paolo, we wanted him to be a mirror for Yara’s youth and their reasons for revolution. What did it mean to be part of the revolution as a young person? And what did it mean for Paolo in particular?
When we first meet him, Paolo doesn’t want anything to do with the guerrillas – he wants to leave the country with his partner. For Paolo, it hasn’t been easy living in Yara. He was expelled from the military academy and abandoned by his traditional military family because he is transgender. Eventually, he finds acceptance and his political voice with Máximas Matanzas, who play a critical role in motivating him to become a commander and fight for the outcasts of Yara. In the story, Paolo represents much needed change.” – Heli Kennedy, senior writer
Our philosophy was that every character was the main character in their story. It was important for us to portray Paolo de la Vega as a complex personality, with his own unique experiences and motivations.
He is also, critically, a mosaic of a lot of different lives, voices, and experiences. Like Rosa, there were many, many writers and team members that fed into his character, scripts, and missions. Xavier Lopez, the actor who played Paolo, was also integral. He generously provided feedback based on his experiences as a trans man and added invaluable authenticity to the character.” – Richard Elliot, writer
Gilberto Rosario, alias Rosa Mel Paquete
Mis amores, love yourselves more. We are not the world’s medicine cabinet, we are Yara! And no matter what, always remember, Rosa loves you.” – Rosa Mel
The rebels can also count on the glittering Rosa Mel Paquete, aka Gilberto Rosario, a drag queen who uses their popularity with Castillo’s forces to provide intelligence to the resistance. While the other guerrillas hide in the jungle, Gilberto hides in plain sight. Nicknamed “the chameleon,” he works under the cover of his drag persona alongside the enemy every day while continuing to build an active network of spies who infiltrate all levels of government.
Rosa Mel Paquete aka Gilberto Rosario was brought to life by our incredible writers on the Ubisoft Montreal team, and portrayed by the amazingly talented Selena Vyle.
With Rosa, there was a massive amount of research into drag culture in the Caribbean, which differs from North American drag. The team worked with Selena, Rainbow 6ix, Toronto’s LGBTQ+ ERG, LGTBQ+ members of the Far Cry 6 team, and external consultants for feedback on the character and storylines. It was really a whole team effort to have our LGBTQ+ characters be meaningfully represented in Far Cry 6.
Thematically, it was an opportunity to explore revolution through yet another perspective – that of a spy. Gilberto isn’t a soldier, but still wants to do their part in supporting the revolution. That’s where Rosa Mel’s fame, vibrant personality and network comes in. Rosa’s proximity to the government allows them to gather and provide intel to the revolutionaries, which is critical to taking down Castillo’s regime.” – Navid Khavari, Narrative Director of Far Cry 6
Through all these thoughtfully created and authentic characters, we hope that all our players can find inspiring role models. Happy Pride Week!