South Park: The Fractured But Whole will let you play as a girl, said Matt Stone and Trey Parker in an interview with Entertainment Weekly (thanks, Eurogamer). The idea first came up during the development of South Park: The Stick of Truth, but it was then too big of a challenge to make it work narrative-wise. This time, however, the creators were determined to make it happen. Playing as a female character in most games is not so different from playing as a male – let aside some dialogues and romance options. In the case of a South Park story, however, the way other characters treat you when you are a girl must be entirely different from when you play as a boy, since the franchise has always been dealing openly with sexism and racism. Here’s Stone himself commenting on the issue:
In Stick of Truth we got halfway through the game, and we had narratively come up with the big Girls’ Quest halfway through it. [The Girls] were a faction in the fantasy world. And then someone’s like, “What if you want to be a girl?” Narratively, it didn’t work. We’d have to sh– can the whole game. So we just left it the way it was. This time, we obviously wanted to add that.
But the boys are little boys, because it’s really a story about little boys running around. So they don’t care about [your character being a girl]? That seems weird. They always seemed to care about it in the show. Are they dumb about it, and they don’t know? So you’re in hiding? Or do they totally care about that, and totally treat you differently? So we ended up doing those things differently for different characters.
South Park: The Fractured But Whole is slated for release on December 6, 2016 for PC, Xbox One and PlayStation 4.