So that whole "female main characters don't sell" bullshit

B-Cell_v1legacy

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kenu12345 said:
B-Cell said:
BabyfartsMcgeezaks said:
This is the first time I hear about this, I've never seen or heard anyone say that the gender of the main character matters much (except for bcell, but, you know.).
I love portal. other than i dont like those games which feature female main character because even if those games has male characters i would still hate them. i just dont find any good game with female protagonist.

plus it depend on game. for FPS games. Male character is must!!. for action and adventure. it depend and JRPG suit best with female characters.
Have to agree with Hawki, saying a certain gender is a must for certain genre makes no sense to me. Any gender can fit into any genre with nary a difference
Who are target audience of FPS? of course males. it doesnot matter if females play or not. but FPS carter towards males.

similarly Cinderella target audience is female.

It just depend on game itself.
 

bastardofmelbourne

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The argument has always been a bit of a self-fulfilling prophecy. Because publishers don't think female protagonists sell well, they don't invest money marketing the game, then the game doesn't sell very well.

To the extent that I think it was ever really "true," it was a long time ago. Gamers are a more diverse, more mature demographic now. They're capable of appreciating a game where you play as a child or a cavelady or a gynoid supersoldier or an empress who is a part-time assassin.
 

Bedinsis

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MerlinCross said:
I find it funny that no one remembers "Remember Me". Lemme see....

http://www.vgchartz.com/game/57722/remember-me/
If this is right, "Remember Me" is sitting at 0.32 million sells. So 320,000 copies roughly I think. With a female protag.

So what can we draw from this? That female protagonists don't sell? Given the two games brought up here seem to show that yes they do. Or at least with marketing and a good game they sell. Or that just good games sell. It's like with horror and RTS games. "They don't sell"; have you TRIED? Have you honestly tried games industry?

I hate to bring up the quote but it's actually pretty good here. "Let the market decide". These two games seem to have sold pretty well so the market doesn't seem to care about the gender. Other than everyone freaking out about Neir's rears.
I'm no marketer so the conclusions I draw might be far off the charts, but I'd like to bring attention to another game: Dishonored.

It and Remember Me was released the same year. Both were new IPs at the end of a console generation. Both were rated M for Mature. Both were also made in France, for whatever it is worth(there probably are some cultural artifacts that can be found in the titles, but I'm mainly focusing on how easily gaming publications had access to developer interviews and marketing material).

On sold well enough to warrant a sequel, the other sold badly. One had a male protagonist, the other a female. What can we draw from this?

It depends on what you're looking for, but I think looking at what they drew from can be informative.

Dishonored has been said to be a current iteration on the Thief franchise. Thief has in the past sold well enough to have a complete trilogy be produced. Remember Me has been compared to God Hand, a game with a cult following but which has never received any sequel. From this it is not odd that one sold well and the other did not.

Looking over the history of the studios behind the games, another pattern can be seen: Arkane of Dishonored had released titles previously, Dontnod of Remember Me had not. I remember GameTrailers' review of Remember Me mentioning that there were mistakes in the game that a more experienced developer should've seen and corrected right away.

Finally, I'd argue that Remember Me tried to do a few too many things. It had a God Handesque combat system, a memory manipulation mini game and a standard action adventure overworld, and focusing on so many things was to its overall detriment. Given that Life is Strange more or less took the memory manipulation mini game as its central aspect and that was a well received title, I think it's not unwarranted to claim they threw a too wide net in Remember Me. One cannot fault Dontnod for playing it safe, but I believe people are hesitant with parting with 50$ on something they're uncertain if they'll even like. I am less familiar with Dishonored, but I believe it a more conservative title in it gameplay than Remember Me.

There are probably other conclusions one can draw; if there are, I'm curious to hear.
 

Phasmal

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bastardofmelbourne said:
The argument has always been a bit of a self-fulfilling prophecy. Because publishers don't think female protagonists sell well, they don't invest money marketing the game, then the game doesn't sell very well.

To the extent that I think it was ever really "true," it was a long time ago. Gamers are a more diverse, more mature demographic now. They're capable of appreciating a game where you play as a child or a cavelady or a gynoid supersoldier or an empress who is a part-time assassin.
Mmmm, this.

I don't think we're going to see a massive increase in female protagonists, but they're not going anywhere either.
It'd be nice if publishers would invest more in games with female protagonists, as I think the female audience for games is only increasing and that's likely to help it, and dudes are pretty unlikely to stop playing games just because you can play as a dude less. (And even if they did that'd be pretty weak shit considering I've been playing my entire life mostly games where I had to be a dude).

Still, I'd enjoy it if the trend to label anything non-straight non-white and non-dude as capital P Political went away. That's pretty fuckin' dumb, too.
 
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Ezekiel said:
But GoodFellas has likable characters. I also love Tony Soprano, even though he does some pretty despicable things. The GTA games don't have good writers.
Really? I thought they were all total cunts, being charismatic doesn't really sway me. Not going to argue that, I have no idea about what constitutes quality writing.

I suppose my point was, "Unlikable characters? I thought that was the whole idea".
 

Elijin

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B-Cell said:
kenu12345 said:
B-Cell said:
BabyfartsMcgeezaks said:
This is the first time I hear about this, I've never seen or heard anyone say that the gender of the main character matters much (except for bcell, but, you know.).
I love portal. other than i dont like those games which feature female main character because even if those games has male characters i would still hate them. i just dont find any good game with female protagonist.

plus it depend on game. for FPS games. Male character is must!!. for action and adventure. it depend and JRPG suit best with female characters.
Have to agree with Hawki, saying a certain gender is a must for certain genre makes no sense to me. Any gender can fit into any genre with nary a difference
Who are target audience of FPS? of course males. it doesnot matter if females play or not. but FPS carter towards males.

similarly Cinderella target audience is female.

It just depend on game itself.
As a male, one of the best ways to cater to my interests is pretty girls. Hunky men just don't really grab me that same way.

But you be you B-Cell, you be you.
 

MrFalconfly

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erttheking said:
Lufia Erim said:
You're giving them a little too much credit. It was a stupid comment made by stupid people. Gaming executives aren't exactly well known for nuance.
Maybe, however, just because they're stupid doesn't give you carte blanche to be stupid.

Personally I take "Female characters don't sell", as meaning "Main characters whose only special qualifier is their gender doesn't sell", because of cause they don't. If you set out making a character whose only reason for existing is "being a female main character in a shooter" then that isn't really a compelling character.
 

Casual Shinji

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Ezekiel said:
My concern with a female protagonist in a Houser game is that she'd be even more unlikable than the males. Almost every woman in GTA IV and V is abrasive, weak or a burden.
Yeah, I don't really know what shifted in Dan Houser between Red Dead Redemption and GTA5, but it certainly had an impact on the characters. Not that I care much at all for RDR, but the characters (just like in GTA4) showed some empathy and sincirity at least.
 
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Whether a game does well or not with a female protagonist, is ultimately irrelevant. It's a question of sales vs the same/similar games with a male protagonist. Horizon Zero Dawn doesn't prove anything. There are stats that clearly demonstrate that male led games outsell female led games by large margins and that gamers on the whole prefer to play as males. While the choice is certainly welcome and reviews tend to be favourable, they don't reflect in sales. The question is how much Horizon Zero Dawn would've sold given a male protagonist, instead of a female one. While it's moot since it cannot be answered, stats demonstrate sales trends.

Gamers are still predominantly male, and male gamers tend to play male characters, given the choice. Female protagonists appeal to fewer gamers, so making a game with one is to aim at a smaller potential market. Right or wrong, the industry bases these decisions on hard facts. You can be assured if female protagonists outsold males, they would dominate the market as assuredly as male protagonists do now. Capitalism gives no s**ts about gender.
 

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BabyfartsMcgeezaks said:
This is the first time I hear about this, I've never seen or heard anyone say that the gender of the main character matters much (except for bcell, but, you know.).
I cant tell if your being serious or not.

I remember having discussion during the middle of 2014 - you know the one where some people claimed that if there were more female protagonist then there would be less games for male protagonist. All these stats were given about how only male lead games sold. Also, you shouldn't cater to SJWs
 

The Lunatic

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If women don't buy games featuring male leads, and thus we need to add more female leads, would it be all that surprising if men didn't buy games featuring female leads?

I can't say I'm really bothered myself, I played Nier, and enjoyed it, the fact that 2B is (One of) the playable protagonists didn't affect my decision to buy it in any way.

However, if we're going to argue that games need more female representation, as playing male characters isn't something they want to do, we have to accept the inverse is true too.
 

Phasmal

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Fischgopf said:
So, there should be more Female protagonists to support increasing Female Gamers, but if Male Gamers would play less that would be weak?

Do you see how this makes no sense?
I didn't say play less, I said stop playing.
I think more female protagonists would help some women into games and I don't think it would scare dudes off of playing games. I think that makes perfect sense.
Also the joke was that I've played games literally forever and there's never been that many female protagonists so if a few more female protags scared off the gamer dudes, yeah I'd think that was kind of lame.
 

Elijin

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Phasmal said:
Fischgopf said:
So, there should be more Female protagonists to support increasing Female Gamers, but if Male Gamers would play less that would be weak?

Do you see how this makes no sense?
I didn't say play less, I said stop playing.
I think more female protagonists would help some women into games and I don't think it would scare dudes off of playing games. I think that makes perfect sense.
Also the joke was that I've played games literally forever and there's never been that many female protagonists so if a few more female protags scared off the gamer dudes, yeah I'd think that was kind of lame.
I think he's trying to make a point of saying that this implies for females to get into gaming, they need to be represented. But if representation of guys went down, and player numbers dropped respectively, that would be 'weak', is a bit of a double standard.

IE "Why is it okay for girls to be disinterested based on the gender of the lead, but not guys."

Which, oversimplifies the issue significantly, but people like to catch out technicalities on these sorts of issues as if pointing them out negates the topic or something.
 

Phasmal

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Elijin said:
I think he's trying to make a point of saying that this implies for females to get into gaming, they need to be represented. But if representation of guys went down, and player numbers dropped respectively, that would be 'weak', is a bit of a double standard.

IE "Why is it okay for girls to be disinterested based on the gender of the lead, but not guys."

Which, oversimplifies the issue significantly, but people like to catch out technicalities on these sorts of issues as if pointing them out negates the topic or something.
Yeah but I'm not saying dudes can't get disinterested in a game due to the gender of the lead, if you don't wanna play as a girl then that's fine. I'm saying it's less likely to put dudes off entering gaming that a couple games have female protags but women are more likely to be put off because of the massive number of dude protagonists, coupled with the social perception of games as a "guy thing". A relatable female character or two can do a lot to counter that in the eyes of someone who is just getting into games, in my opinion.

Fischgopf said:
My criticism of your post doesn't stem from lack of understanding it. I just think you hold a double-standard and I disagree with you that more female protags will accomplish much of anything. You are a perfect example. Like you said, male protags certainly didn't stop you from playing, so why again is it apparentlly stopping all the other ladies? And why again is it ok for them to have such hang-ups but not male gamers?
See above.
I was never discouraged from gaming and didn't know it was considered a male hobby until I was at least 10, and by then I'd been playing video games for longer than I could remember. I think it would help some women with the initial hurdle of entering gaming and I think that men have a massive backlog of male characters.

If we still disagree, well that's a darn shame but I can live with it. It's all opinions at the end of the day.
 

Elijin

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Phasmal said:
Yeah but I'm not saying dudes can't get disinterested in a game due to the gender of the lead, if you don't wanna play as a girl then that's fine. I'm saying it's less likely to put dudes off entering gaming that a couple games have female protags but women are more likely to be put off because of the massive number of dude protagonists, coupled with the social perception of games as a "guy thing". A relatable female character or two can do a lot to counter that in the eyes of someone who is just getting into games, in my opinion.
I do not disagree with you. Was just clarifying that he was going for the 'well technically ' to undercut the issue. People have a habit of being pedantic about equality when it comes to these sorts of discussions. 'Guys cant stop playing for less of them represented, but girls can?1!'. Its more about girls not starting in the first place because it was traditionally seen as a 'boy activity', and helping to break down barriers. Plus, representation is nice. Being able to look at your media and say 'this character is similar to me!' is neato. There's a difference between girls not playing because the split is 90/10 and guys dropping out as that split takes any movement towards 50/50.

Especially when a lot of those same guys say things like "X don't need representation, they should just play for the story/gameplay". Its not a double standard to call those guys weaksauce when they drop out because the protagonist isn't 'them'. If anything its holding them accountable for their double standard.
 

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trunkage said:
BabyfartsMcgeezaks said:
This is the first time I hear about this, I've never seen or heard anyone say that the gender of the main character matters much (except for bcell, but, you know.).
I cant tell if your being serious or not.

I remember having discussion during the middle of 2014 - you know the one where some people claimed that if there were more female protagonist then there would be less games for male protagonist. All these stats were given about how only male lead games sold. Also, you shouldn't cater to SJWs
???? Not sure what you're tryinng to say here. I'm just expressing my personal experiences and opinions, I have never seen ANYONE (1 exception that I mentioned before) say that a male/female protagonist matters that much that it has an affect on whether they should buy it or not.

I have however seen people complain about the skin-color of protagonist, latest one I can remember is someone complaining about Gears 4 protagonist being a white male. But like I said before, never have I seen someone say ''Oh a male/female protagonist? Pass''.