El33t’s Question of the Day: What does the game industry have against female heroes?

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El33tonline Question of the Day

Even five years ago, you might have been able to make a case for how male-oriented the videogame industry was, but now? As we prepare ourselves to shift into 2013, the split between male and female gamers has become much more even (a statement based on real and anecdotal evidence).

Shouldn’t the videogame industry begin trying to appeal to female gamers more than it does at the moment, with strong (and even flawed) iconic female characters for gamers to look up to? This Question of the Day asks:

What does the game industry have against female heroes?

A bit of a kerfuffle arose recently regarding the approval practices of a certain game publisher regarding the main character for an upcoming game. The protagonist was proposed to be a female character, but the decision was changed – she became a he due to marketing and sales concerns.

This event turned out even more evidence and stories of how publishers deem the use of a female lead character to be ‘risky’ as far as sales of the game is concerned.

More recently, it was revealed that Naughty Dog fought with marketers to include Ellie, the main female character in the studio’s ‘The Last of Us,’ on the cover of their upcoming game.

Why is the videogame industry so against lead female characters stealing the limelight? Isn’t the mere existence of Lara Croft and the success of Tomb Raider enough evidence to point to? What about Jade in Beyond Good & Evil, or Nariko in Heavenly Sword? Smart, strong lead female characters, on which the blame for poor sales shouldn’t be rested.

What does the game industry have against female heroes?

(If you have a Question of the Day that you would like to put to the El33tonline community, mail it to oliver[@] and we’ll send it out, with credit of course!)

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