Apex Legends devs on the character of Catalyst and trans representation in games

"We wanted to speak to trans people in the audience."

24 June 2023
by quence 0

Last year, Respawn introduced the character of Catalyst into Apex Legends. Catalyst is a Defensive Conjurer from the planet Boreas, but more importantly, she’s a trans character in a time when very few trans characters exist in video games.

In a new interview, GameDeveloper.com spoke with Catalyst’s writer, artist, and voice actor about the inspiration behind the character and what she represents. One of their big focuses was in making Catalyst’s personality and dialogue feel authentic and realistic. To that end, they hired a transgender voice actor and took inspiration from trans members of Respawn’s team. Lead writer Ashely Reed says: “We wanted to include lines where it felt like we weren’t speaking to the audience as if we were educating them on what it means to be trans. We wanted to speak to trans people in the audience.”

Voice actor Meli Grant also stresses the importance of representation not just in games, but in the real world: “As cool as it is to see a character that looks or sounds like you on the page of the fantasy book or in the game—it’s at least as important to see people like you actually thriving out there in the world. That you see that there is actually a place for you in this world and not just on the television screen or on your computer.”

Click here to read the full piece which goes deeper into the creation and execution of Catalyst.

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