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Osa, Rainbow Six Siege’s transgender character who breaks a glass ceiling


When we release a new [agent], like Osa this time, it’s big. It is the big headliner of the game for three months. »

A quote from Simon Ducharme, narrative scriptwriter for Ubisoft Montreal and creator of this new character from Rainbow Six Siege

The genesis: Coming from a family that owns an international chain of toy stores, Osa learned how to make toys at a very young age. Her parents being very busy with running the business, she grew up in Croatia with her aunt, who passed on her passion for science fiction films.

Specialized in robotic engineering, the 27-year-old soldier has a highly developed creativity, which she uses in particular to design gadgets.

[Cet aspect de sa personnalité] does not always fit the traditional military profile, hence his choice to work for a private company, which offers him a certain freedom, says the screenwriter.

The fact that Osa is a trans woman is therefore part of her journey, and it explains several stages of her life, including her career. »

A quote from Simon Ducharme

pave the way

It’s been a little over a year since Simon Ducharme, himself a member of the LGBTQ+ community, has been writing characters for Ubisoft Montreal. He made his debut as a tester five years earlier with the company.

His first creation was Flores, an Argentinian who is the first homosexual agent of Rainbow Six Siege, deployed in March 2021.

He therefore signs a double of firsts for the blockbuster, which had some 70 million players in 2021.

This is the first time that a trans character has featured so much in a AAA game. »

A quote from Simon Ducharme

For example, in the recent game far cry 6, from Ubisoft Toronto, a AAA game, the character of Paolo is a trans man, but he is not playable by players.

Transidentity is more easily addressed in games from independent studios, according to Simon Ducharme, who cites as an example Tell Me Why, from Dontnod Entertainment, one of the two main playable characters of which is a trans man.

The screenwriter insists on the fact that video game blockbusters are sometimes the only ones consumed by many players, hence the importance for him of giving this place to diversity.

There will always be players that it will affect. Not to do [de personnages de la diversité], is ignoring part of its player base, he says.

A woman is holding on to two handles glued to a door.

Anya “Osa” Janković arrived in “Rainbow Six Siege” with the third season of Year 6 of the game, named “Crystal Guard”.

Photo: Ubisoft Montreal

Through the creative process of Osa, Simon Ducharme himself came to question his gender identity.

Before creating Osa, I identified myself as a cis person, then by dint of reading on [l’identité de genre], I understood things that I had repressed in my life, and I now consider myself [non-binaire]. »

A quote from Simon Ducharme

His contribution to the LGBTQ+ community with Ubisoft has already caught the attention of The Game Awards in 2021, the Oscars of video games. His name is on the list of the 50 most inspiring personalities for the inclusive future of the video game industry.

Create hand in hand with the community

In Ubisoft studios, the team quickly settled on a trans woman to embody the next operable character of Rainbow Six Siege.

Very early on, we called on transgender consultants, out of respect for trans women, but also for the sake of authenticity. »

A quote from Simon Ducharme

Although I am part of the LGBTQ+ community, I do not live their reality, he adds.

Thus, Emi Donaldson and Trinket, from the United Kingdom, and Frenchwoman Jade Moulin, three trans women with different backgrounds, provided their comments and observations at each stage of the creation of Osa.

red flags to consider”,”text”:”We regularly showed them everything we were doing in relation to the character. They would then come back to me with notes and red flags to take into consideration”}}”>We regularly showed them everything we did in relation to the character. They would then come back to me with notes and red flags to take into consideration, he says.

Illustration of three blonde haired video game fighting characters standing side by side.

“Rainbow Six Siege” game was launched on December 1, 2015 and is a favorite among esports enthusiasts.

Photo: Ubisoft Montreal

For example, for the first name or the haircut, attention to detail was required: You have to find the balance between femininity and masculinity.

We don’t really want it to look like a cis woman, but we still want people to see that she’s trans. Above all, we don’t want to give players the opportunity to make fun of it. »

A quote from Simon Ducharme

In addition, it is actress Nicole Maines, a transgender woman known for her character Dreamer in the series Supergirl, who lends his voice to Osa.

Notice to fans of electronic sport: the character of Osa could be invited to the World Championship of Rainbow Six Siege, the Six Invitational, the next of which is scheduled for Montreal next February.

They should choose her for the competition, because she is really strong in the game, says Simon Ducharme unequivocally.

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