Isn't there room for both men and women in AAA gaming?

Eve Charm

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Aug 10, 2011
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Oh BS on marketing, It could help but you can have all the Marketing in the world but if it doesn't catch on with the actual people early adopters and the like the game is going nowhere. Ya Remember Me didn't get any marketing, it also came out in the Dead zone of summer so if someone was looking for a new game that month it'd be the only thing there. But besides that Mirror's edge had a decent campaign on tv magazines and online. Also rag on David Cage all you want Beyond Two soul starring Ellen Page and William Defoe came out at that big time of the year and had big names to go alone with it's marketing, from the same line of Heavy rain that sold millions and was a greatest hit. Lastly titles that are going after markets that are "Supposedly" starving for games, doesn't need much marketing at all, Word of mouth on demand sells plenty of niche titles to niche markets. How the heck else would something like spec ops the line or junk like lollipop chainsaw along with other suda 51 games if not for word of mouth cause I can bet they were marketed a lot less.

I think people are just over estimating the amount of people that care what gender or anything the main character there playing as as long as it makes sense still in the story or game if it matters.
 

carnex

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Jan 9, 2008
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I will ask you all to do something. But first to present my mindset to see where I'm coming from. Anyway can we agree on these assertions

- On forums in general and especially on gaming forums only geeks and nerds reside
- Out of that community in general females are vastly more likely to be gamers then out of general public
- Out of that subset of females they are vastly more likely to play games that require and benefit from AAA treatment
- Out of all users in this forums females are more likely to participate in threads dealing with sexuality and female representation in games since it's more of an issue to them.

If you can agree to all of that, read posts in this and similar threads. Count the number of female and male posters. Now given the heavily slanted odds this forum has for participation of female gamers that play that certain type of games I would hold that as a overestimate of potential target market for female oriented games of such design. And it doesn't look good even when looked at that way.

Sorry, capitalism doesn't give a damn about me or you, just how much pockets and how deep they dip in.
 

Zontar

Mad Max 2019
Feb 18, 2013
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Sonichu said:
Zachary Amaranth said:
The thing Anita Sarkeesian has done right is shown the hostility this community has for women. Even if nothing she said was at all true, the kneejerkers have made a point about sexism that is powerful and resounding.
The thing Anita Sarkeesian has done right is shown the hostility this community has for Anita Sarkeesian.

And she did it already in 2011:

Look, a kneejerking sexist.
You also forgot the fact that a good 95% of the hate she got was in response to her spamming advertisement for her Kickstarter (which was for a show which was insultingly flawed by its very premise from an argumentative point of view) on /v/, and woe and behold she got the reaction that anyone who knows the first thing about /v/ would expect.

Professional victim 101: provoke them into giving you a reaction, use the reaction to make yourself look like the victim you aren't, then twist it in a way which makes you money. The fact that people can get away with it in this age of instant information speaks volumes about internet culture. And the reaction from games news sites also served to remind us why games journalism is considered on par with TMZ in the journalistic hierarchy (and after all the revelations which have come about since her kickstarter, it just makes her defenders look all the worst now that we know it was in fact a scam to make money).

On the bright side, her arguments (the ONLY thing she even tried to have going for her) have been countered, broken and destroyed so much by so many that now all she has going for her is the "online harassment" she got because of the fact she provoked it in the first place. I give her 2 more years before everyone forgets about her completely and she ends up a footnote in gaming history right next to Jack Thompson.
 

Tono Makt

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Mar 24, 2012
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Andrew Siribohdi said:
I've heard the argument (forgive the straw man), "that women are a niche market" and "that's what social gaming is for". But, wouldn't that detract from sales in mainstream gaming? Also, I've heard that "past market trends say that women don't play games like Battlefield". Does that mean that AAA games are adverse to risk?
YES!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Holy Hell Batman, YES!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Andrew Siribohdi said:
In movies and television, you see a variety of content made for men and made for women and made for both. So, there can be a Michael Bay movie here and playing in another theater, there can be a romantic comedy here (Not to imply that a man cannot enjoy a romantic comedy or a woman cannot enjoy a Michael Bay film. It's just a generalization for the sake of argument and the way films are marketed to demographics). So, why can't there be the same in video games? In other forms of media, there's content for women as well as men. Why can't there be a Hunger Games video game as a traditional AAA game while traditional market continues to have Battlefield on the other end of the spectrum?
AAA Game Cost: 15,000,000 USD as an extreme minimum.
Cost per unit: $30 (used for easy math, but based partially on this blog post: http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/entertainmentnewsbuzz/2010/02/anatomy-of-a-60-dollar-video-game.html)
Number needed to sell in order to break even: 500,000

It's more risk than many investors would be willing to take. And there isn't much of a return on investment - particularly for the first game. For that first game the investor might be asked to take a financial loss in order to pay for marketing. Using Grand Theft Auto as an example:

GTA 1: Sold 100,000 copies.
GTA 2: Sold 200,000 copies.

GTA 3: Sold 14,500,000 copies.
GTA 4: Sold 25,000,000 copies.
GTA 5: Sold 30,000,000 copies.
(http://vgsales.wikia.com/wiki/Grand_Theft_Auto ; I won't argue at the exact numbers, just using them as an example)

GTA is one of the highest selling video game series, but it took two games to find its groove. This is probably a best case scenario for any investor, and given today's standards they may be looking at having to invest $30,000,000 (2 games) before potentially having any return on their investment. And this would be over at least a 5 year time frame.

So $30,000,000 and 5 years, with no guaranteed return. Nor would they be able to sell much to recoup the losses as most of the costs were sunk into things that either you can't get back (salaries, marketing, utilities) or that retain very little of their value over time (computers, software). Compare that with a simple savings account or GIC at 2% over 5 years and there's a guaranteed profit of more than $3,000,000. And a guarantee of $3,000,000 is a better risk than the possibility of a loss of $30,000,000 at worst, or breaking even at best. With no guarantee that it's going to sell 14,500,000 copies in the next game.

There aren't many people out there who are willing to toss that much money down on what is pretty much a throw of the dice.

Why can't there be a Hunger Games video game as a AAA game? There can be - I'm surprised there isn't one. But let's not pretend like that's a game for women. Putting a woman in the role of an arse-kicking survivor doesn't make it a game for women. Unless you translate the internal struggle that Katniss goes through in the books into some sort of video game mechanic you can quite easily make a Hunger Games type game where you can play any of the 24 contestants, male or female, with little to no difference. Heck, it's not exceptionally hard to take the internal struggles of Katniss and turn her male. (I'm not saying it's a GOOD idea, only that it's not a difficult thing to do)

As for games for women in the AAA market, there will be - eventually. Video games are 40 years old (give or take), and are far more limiting than other forms of media (like movies) because of programming and technology. You don't have to create a whole new set of programming rules to make a movie aimed at women, but you might have to do that to make a game aimed at women. Most AAA video games are set up around three actions: Running, Jumping and Hitting With A Weapon. You toss in acting like "Driving", "Persuasion" and "Solve Puzzle" for many of them as well, but in general you can find Running, Jumping and Hitting With A Weapon (fist, melee or projectile) in almost all of them. These are quintessential traits that males are expected to use to solve problems. You have a problem with a bully, how do you solve it? Hit Them With Your Fist or Move Away. Also most of these games have similar outcomes for dealing with enemies - destruction. You kill enemies, you drain them of health, you knock them down to the point they can't get back up. Again very male traits - you hit the bully until he stops bullying you. Most of the games have either War or Standing Up To A Bully as a focus as well, both exceptionally masculine. What are the female equivalents? How do they translate into games? What sorts of problems would make games seem aimed at women? How would those be translated into games?

Or are we to assume that most women would prefer to deal with Khalisah al-Jilani in Mass Effect by punching her in the mouth? Using that situation as an example, how would women prefer to deal with her, if they wanted to be a Renegade? How could that be translated into a video game, if it's not "Punch her in the mouth."

It's going to take video game developers actually asking those questions, then experimenting in individual games, before we get to a point where there's a game that's actually aimed at women. Maybe we'll see something in the next Mass Effect game, where there are options that a Fem(Shep) can take that are more feminine in nature and aren't open to Male(Shep)? That's the sort of little step that's going to need to be taken, over a wide variety of games, before we start to get AAA games aimed directly at women. And the first one that's aimed directly at women is still going to be one heck of a risk.