BioWare Adding Female Shepard to Mass Effect 3 Marketing

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Shepard is canonically a male? I distinctly remember BioWare saying that Shepard's gender is canonically whatever the player wants it to be. Hence them always being so elusive on revealing the gender of Shepard in anything else in the Mass Effect universe.

I'd back Jennifer Hale in any day of the week for any female voice acting, but for when it comes to ME I think Mark Meer just hits the lines with a bit more gusto.

Incidentally, I can't remember, is there a "default" look for FemShep or does it randomise? You have Mark Vanderloo who is default MaleShep and is obviously used in the promo material.

Wait what? 1/5? I feel like a hipster.

And about time too =D Girl Power!

I bite my thumb at these petty crumbs. But femsheps already get a better reward. every scene, every spoken line. I'm typically not the guy who rolls a female, I rolled my femshep on second playthrough of ME1, and I have not looked back.

I do not understand why Bioware is so incredibly bad at public relations for Mass Effect. They make great games that tend to be pretty inclusive, and then make incredibly stupid statements about the canonicity of those same games.

Including the option to play as either gender was a great idea, so why on earth would you say that only one option is "canon"? When will that ever be a useful distinction for them to make? Do they plan on reducing the number of options available in future Mass Effect games and using the fact that some are "canon" to justify the decision?

It's the same situation with the homosexual romances, although the game itself was a little weird with that. First, there's the fact that they did have homosexual relationships (Liara is without any doubt feminine - breasts, female pronouns, female voice), it just didn't have male homosexual romances. So their justification that Shepard was canonically straight is already a little shaky.

Then they added them anyway. So I'm still sort of unsure how to feel about that:
(1) If they were telling the truth that the reason they hadn't included them was that Shepard wasn't supposed to be a blank slate character like in other Bioware RPGs and that Shepard was canonically straight, then they essentially gave into public pressure and sold out.
(2) If they weren't telling the truth about the reason they hadn't included them, then that's just sort of generally fucked up.

Saying that any decision in Mass Effect is canonical just seems weird in general too. The point of establishing a canon is that you can make future games that disregard alternate choices that could have been made in prior games (imagine if ME2 didn't import saves and just started with the assumption that you had made certain choices in ME1). But the whole point of the game is supposed to be that decisions matter and that decisions carry over. If decisions carry forward, why would it matter which one was canonical? Shepard doesn't have a canonical romance and there isn't a canonical ending to the games. Why does Shepard have a canonical gender if none of the other options have canonical alternatives?

One fifth of sales is actually a pretty large number. ME2 sold over 2 million copies. 20% of that is 400,000. Times 60 is $24,000,000. Sure, the other category gave them more money, but what if they could increase their profits by doubling their amount of female buyers?

If only 20% use female Shepards, and we know some of those are male, while ESA statistics give us that 40% of gamers are female, that means that the ME series is NOT attracting as many female gamers as it could/should. It may be that even more female gamers than normal would buy the game simply because, can you think of a more awesome female video game character (in a female gamer's eyes) than Commander Shepard? Hint: characters who imitated Pamela Anderson in some way (bleach, fake tans, implants, hooker-clothes) don't count.

I may be wrong in some regard but I think, in that line, that the FemShep trailer idea is a very good one. They could corner the damned market if more women knew how awesome the game is.

As plenty of people have noted, there isn't a canonical Commander Shepard. There's a default Shepard, but that's not quite the same thing. I've edited the article to reflect that.

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