There’s no denying that sex sells. It’s been the corner stone of business for years, but you have to use it properly. One of the most popular genres among female gamers is the role-playing genre. Final Fantasy has almost an equal following of male and female gamers. It only makes sense that you’d want to make RPG titles that cater to females. Despite this, games like Hyperdimension Neptunia are released in the genre that are packed full of nothing but sexualized female characters with large busts. Sure male gamers might find this appealing, but I’d like to think we’re beyond that by now.
Annual studies show that the number of female gamers is increasing every year with the percentage of console gamers who are women being in excess of 33% in many reports. In spite of this, publishers still utilize booth babes to attract gamers and potential distributors at trade shows. Some publishers, like Ubisoft for example, have even tried to evolve the booth babe into “gamer teams” like the Frag Dolls. It’s nice to see the concept of female gamers being put at the forefront of gaming, but it’s pretty clear what the purpose of the Frag Dolls is considering they all wear tight shirts and wear more make-up than your typical twenty-dollar hooker. We’re not sure exactly how the Frag Dolls are supposed to pull in female gamers to our hobby.
Thankfully it seems that females are becoming more predominant in the actual industry itself. Unfortunately some companies even use female producers as sexual objects to move product. We all remember how the producer Assassin’s Creed - Jade Raymond was thrown to the forefront of the game’s marketing. At one point, Ubisoft was showing more of Jade to the press than they were the game. Sales of the game didn’t suffer, but there was a backlash from gamers that portrayed Jade in an “unfavorable” light that even had resulted in a comic that many felt went too far. The question is, why can’t publishers just rely on quality over sex?
What do you think? Would gaming be better off if the industry as a whole embraced the female consumer? Societies and industries that have equal representation of females and males seem to thrive. So why not gaming?