Ratchet & Clank Writer Calls Out Insomniac For 'Discriminating' Against Her

Ratchet & Clank Writer Calls Out Insomniac For 'Discriminating' Against Her
Insomniac Games

Written by 

Tom Chapman

Published 

30th Mar 2022 17:24

There's no denying that 2021's Ratchet & Clank: Rift Apart was a triumph. While the loveable Lombax and his clattering bucket of bolts sidekick were once staples of the Sony scene, even the most die-hard fans will admit they'd largely fallen out of love with this dynamic duo over the years. Even though 2016's Ratchet & Clank reboot made some great leaps, it was nothing compared to the runaway success of Rift Apart serving as a sequel to both this and 2013's Into the Nexus

Part of what made Rift Apart so much more than its predecessors wasn't its instantaneous travel or the fact it was one of the few PS5 exclusives. No, it was the brilliant brainwave of putting a woman's perspective on things with the introduction of the multiverse's Rivet - effectively a female Ratchet. However, not everyone was impressed by the finished product.

Who Came Up With Rift Apart's Rivet?

Only recently, those behind Rift Apart have been opening up about the process from page to screen and how Rivet came to be. Speaking (via IGN) at this year's Game Developers Conference (GDC), Insomniac Games Lead Designer Mark Stuart explained how Rivet went through a variety of different names. As well as ideas for Ratchette and even Ratchet because she's simply him from an alternate reality, the team eventually settled on Rivet. Or so the story goes.

As various outlets picked up on the heartwarming story of how Rivet came to become just as important to the franchise's lore as the titular heroes, Lead Writer Sam Maggs took to Twitter and called out Insomniac. Maggs is currently Narrative Lead at Wizards of the Coast, but given her work on Rift Apart, she's seemingly furious about the accusation her contribution has been missed out. Sharing the IGN article, Maggs added, "It's pretty upsetting and frankly offensive that they never once mention me, given I was the lead writer and responsible for a ton of this development."

Maggs maintains that she came up with three core pillars for the female Lombax, stating she "should ideally also be named after a tool or mechanism", "should also be two syllables to evoke the similarity on speaking." and "Ideally should end with a hard sound." She adds that Gadget was an early name for Rivet, while "Socket" and "Hammer" were rejected until Rivet became an "instant win." Maggs concluded: "Narrative on games takes a lot more than 'Somebody said something at a meeting I guess'...Naming is especially challenging! It's actually the hardest thing I do on most games, I hate it haha. So there's a little peek into that." Maggs has since gone on to clarify that Programmer David Kim first suggested Rivet, which she added to her list of potential names. 

 

What Else Happened To Rivet?

In a separate thread, Maggs says she had to fight "tooth and nail" not to give Rivet stereotypical female attributes like breasts and make-up. She writes: "Tiddies and makeup are a visual shorthand so, upon looking at the poster, players will immediately know we have a playable female character in the game. I get it, but we'll never move the needle if we keep pandering." Specifically, Maggs calls out Stuart and co. for simply listing her in the "Special Thanks" section of the game. Meanwhile, Kim is also no longer at Insomniac but is credited as Lead Writer.

Giving a final coup de grâce, Maggs says that Rivet is canonically a lesbian. All of the above paints a grim picture of Maggs' reported struggle behind the scenes at Insomniac. These revelations come after a former Insomniac employee called Xavier Coelho-Kostolny also slammed the developer for an apparent lack of credit. This isn't the first time the acclaimed developer has been publicly called out, with a series of sexual harassment claims going public in 2020. Maggs has now thanked IGN for updating its article, but until Insomniac itself makes an official statement, it remains to be seen whether she'll get the credit she says she deserves for Rivet. 



Tom Chapman
About the author
Tom Chapman
Tom is Trending News Editor at GGRecon, with an NCTJ qualification in Broadcast Journalism and over seven years of experience writing about film, gaming, and television. With bylines at IGN, Digital Spy, Den of Geek, and more, Tom’s love of horror means he's well-versed in all things Resident Evil, with aspirations to be the next Chris Redfield.
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