Sony Wants More Women Interested in PS4

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Requia:

Eclipse Dragon:
<---Female gamer

Purchased a PS1
Purchased a PS2
Purchased a PS3

Sony.... I don't think you have anything to be worried about.
I guess it's nice that they're trying, even if they're going about it all wrong.

On a side note: I wonder how well Nintendo sold the pink GBA, DS and currently selling the pink 3DS, and what percentage of those buyers were female compared to the other colors.

The plural of anecdote is not data.

For actual data, in the Jimquisition thread somebody dug up Nintendo's gender breakdown of console sales, Nintendo claims 80% of female marketshare in the console space. If that's even remotely accurate Sony very much has something to worry about.

Much of the research I've read indicates that women are usually more attracted to "casual" games [ducks to avoid the lamp I expect to be thrown at my head for saying that]
Now, maybe it's short-form gaming that appeals to the female demographic, maybe women don't care as much for Sony's FPS saturated game library, maybe it's just the boom of the mobile gaming market that's lead to an influx of females joining a scene that had/has a stigma about women.

In general, I'm inclined to agree with Eclipse Dragon; just make a good product.
That said, game development, production, & marketing is a serious sausage fest. Developers (who are mostly male by a vast majority, but I don't really hold that against them) are pressured, if not outright ordered to make games as masculine as possible (see: Remember Me), and get a fraction of the marketing budget if they have a protagonist with more than one X chromosome; as such, the game sells poorly, fulfilling the self-fulfilling prophecy

So let's amend my statement: Just make a good game & stop trying to protect my masculinity. My masculinity is fine. I liked Tomb Raider, Portal, Metroid, Beyond Good & Evil, & many others. I can handle playing as a women without my scrotum trying to escape

"We are not going down the route of making the console pink of course"

*facepalm* Was he wearing a bolo tie when he said this?

Put a woman game designer in charge of a team, and let her call the shots. See how many women that game appeals to.

Reminds me of that time when Sony announced they were going to make the console friendlier to black people. I think it was something about black sensibilities, more basketball games and it wasn't all about F1 racing games? How including more black people in the development process will lead to better black characters like Lee Everett and Clementine.

Except oh wait. That never happened.

There's a reason that never happened.

We certainly should appeal to more people by diversifying our games, by all means. But including women in a company's staff is not a magical way to do that. Nor is it going to help if we start saying "this game is targeted at women"; "this game is woman-friendly" or "this game is targeted at black people". If they did, I'd probably feel condescended to, maybe even belittled. And if I wasn't in the target demographic, obviously I'd feel excluded. It's just silly.

Blegh.

...Why do big game companies seem to think that everyone who isn't a teenage American white boy is some mysterious alien being whose needs and conditions need to be carefully observed and attended to before they'll dare to touch their game with a metal pole?
Women want the same things in games that men do.
Making anything else and calling it a 'game for women' will just make people laugh at you.

Well, here's something I watched on Game Grumps the other day and made me think about this a little:

You have games like Bayonetta where the protagonist is a cool female and the game is just badass. But the protagonists are often so sexualized (Like Bayonetta removing her "clothes" when she does an ultimate combo move). Like they said, you don't ever see Kratos go all "JACKING OFF NOW!" when he performs a brutal kill or something. (The sex minigame doesn't count; that's just fan service and still degrades women).

Yes, there are games out there with normal female protagonists but...well, I think we're not quite there yet. But hey, Sony, you can make a difference now, right?

Beautiful End:
You have games like Bayonetta where the protagonist is a cool female and the game is just badass. But the protagonists are often so sexualized (Like Bayonetta removing her "clothes" when she does an ultimate combo move). Like they said, you don't ever see Kratos go all "JACKING OFF NOW!" when he performs a brutal kill or something. (The sex minigame doesn't count; that's just fan service and still degrades women).

So a topless sexually-active man is still LESS sexualised than a character who spends most of the time clothed head-to-foot and isn't sexually-active at all?

Bayonetta is sexualised, for sure. But I'm struggling to think of how we could possibly portray a man to be more sexualised
than Kratos is. Get rid of his skirt so he's left with just his jock strap?

I'm thinking the field is a little unbalanced before we even start to play here: women are considered sexualised in far more situations, poses and states of undress than men are.

Try it: Put a woman in EXACTLY Kratos' position. A topless woman, grunting and flailing some bondage chains around while murdarating and/or screwing half of Greece. You telling me that wouldn't be considered sexualised?

Eclipse Dragon:
On a side note: I wonder how well Nintendo sold the pink GBA, DS and currently selling the pink 3DS, and what percentage of those buyers were female compared to the other colors.

Well, if it's any consolation, I'm a guy and I bought both a DS and 3DS XL in pink versions. Female gamers I've come across said it looks cute and those with kids occasionally replied that their daughters would probably like it, as well.

Although if Japan wasn't such a tightwad about regional things, I would've bought a Charizard 3DS XL. *mumbles angrily under breath*

Put a credit card and some pink bows on it.

"We are not going down the route of making the console pink of course," said House.

image

Cool Story Bro... hasn't stopped ya' before...

DTWolfwood:
Does the controller on the PS4 vibrate? if it does, give it an option to keep it on. might help XD

hahahaha this option alone may account for the literal explosion of mobile devices.... genius! =D

I see horse riding simulators, more Sim's, and a plat-former about a princess running around a palace collecting dresses.

Eclipse Dragon:

On a side note: I wonder how well Nintendo sold the pink GBA, DS and currently selling the pink 3DS, and what percentage of those buyers were female compared to the other colors.

My wife wanted a DS, but only the Pink one (she owned a MegaDrive / PS1 and PS2 before then so quite a gamer). My brothers wife also wanted a Pink DS, she had never gamed before. My mates wife at work also had a pink DS and I would say I have seen more women on public transport with a pink DS than any other colour. Not really a huge cross section of female gamers but still.

I think they would do quite well to sell a pink PS3, I mean, who doesn't want more choice.

I think people are missing something here, yes there are plenty of girls who like the sorts of games currently available but when it comes to the full on, sit down experiences currently available on consoles or pcs they are in the minority. There's a reason for this and you aren't going to entice those who aren't currently playing to buy your games by making more of the same, only better.

There are significant thematic gaps that can be found in AAA gaming that you don't see in other mediums. The easiest indicator of this is the prevalence of violence as a central mechanic in gaming. I'd like to hope that what Sony means by this is that they're going to be looking into ways of bringing the budget and design quality you find in the best of major FPSs to a wider array of genres.

Sony, this really isn't hard; if you want to appeal to women, you just need to appeal to everyone.

If your market research is finding that most women don't enjoy your endless dirge of spunkgargleweewee, then perhaps you can win them over with other types of games! Best of all, if you do start producing epics like Colony Wars again, you'll not only win over all the women out there longing for some epic 3D space shooter action, but all the men looking for it as well!

Or how about the guys and gals who love Survival Horror? Real survival horror, not "lol go shoot zombies and stuff with these infinite ammo miniguns" that passes for survival horror these days. Make real Survival Horror, and they will buy it.

Make platformers. Make puzzle games. Make RPGs, make RTS (maaaybe not a good idea, but no guts no glory!). Make anything but yet more spunkgargle-fucking-weewee games! Real is not brown, and real is not a Gods-damned sausage fest! Believe it or not, even some male gamers appreciate a bit of variation in gender. It doesn't matter if I want to play a woman because I am a woman and I relate to a female lead better, or I feel her gender helps make the emotional subtext of the game more poignant, or I just want to spend twelve hours of staring at a woman's perky ass. If you make it, and make it well, they will come. That applies to both genders.

Adam Jensen:
Well at least the moves Sony is pulling are there to appeal to more people. AAA, casual, indie and girls.
Unlike Microsoft who wants to appeal to masochists only.

Yes, it sounds nice. It would be cool if they had more women leading the actual design and concept portions of development. Portal was conceived by a woman and that's one of the very best games from this gen and perhaps all time. Unfortunately Sony's good intentions usually lead to a lot of facepalming in the end. It will be entertaining to see how they screw it up.
More and more, they're starting to look like political parties: Sony is like the Democrats with a lot of nice ideas that they have no intention of properly following through with and MS is like the GOP who just have screwed up ideas and demean you if you don't agree with them. As for Nintendo, I guess they're kind of like the Green party: entertaining but nobody takes them too seriously.

Sony isn't worried about the women gamers it already attracts, to play the games it's already churning out. What they want is to attract new woman gamers by somehow getting more women involved in the industry.

[troll] I suspect this is actually because a recent study found that 30% of Japanese men under 40 have never dated and of those that have 70% met their partners in school (HS and College) and 20% met them in the workplace. /troll

oreso:

Bayonetta is sexualised, for sure. But I'm struggling to think of how we could possibly portray a man to be more sexualised
than Kratos is. Get rid of his skirt so he's left with just his jock strap?

Bayonetta is designed to look good to straight males.
Kratos is designed to look good to straight males.
Kratos is a power fantasy, NOT a sexual fantasy.

Seriously, what guy looks at Kratos, and goes `Oh yeah that's totally pandering for the ladies`?

OT: I think the industry and the community both have long ways to go before this is a really `woman-friendly` hobby, but it's good to know that people in the industry want to try.

Well, you can;t exactly accuse Sony of not trying... especially when they released Rez, and it's special controller...<.<

image

How are people seeing this as a bad thing? It's no secret that most gamers are male, and most big budget games are marketed towards males, i.e. lack of female protagonists, box art featuring man posing with gun(s) etc.

and to the ladies who are already Playstation owners, surely you must realize that you might be an exception among your sex in terms of your taste in games/media/hobbies or whatever, much like I am as a male who couldn't care less about shooters with silent male protagonists.

So how can it be bad to acknowledge that in some cases, men and women like different things.

Zombie_Moogle:

Much of the research I've read indicates that women are usually more attracted to "casual" games [ducks to avoid the lamp I expect to be thrown at my head for saying that]

There's a reason I didn't say it. :)

Welllp... All the extra focus on hardware, ease of use, and memory certainly got MY attention. :)

Seriously, Sony, I don't think you have anything to worry about. Especially since MS is clearly aiming at the frat-boy crowd...

Make it cheaper and I'll buy it. It's the only system for the last generation I didn't own, so maybe make it affordable. I refused to buy it on the price tag alone. There are probably a dozen games I'd like to lay on the console, but I simply won't pay that much money. It was a choice between that and the 360, and the 360's library won.

Also, Sony? Fuck you. You want to make it more marketable towards women? Stop making it a big deal in media and you know, hire some women and don't even make a fucking joke about 'pink consoles'. That's not okay.

I'm going to ask an honest question here.

Do men and women really like the same things?

Think about books and movies. In my opinion its quite obvious most of the time which gender a movie or a book is targeted towards. If I go see a romantic drama/comedy, how many men do I see in the theater who aren't with their girlfriend? If I go see the new Arnold Schwarzenegger movie, how many women do I see who haven't been dragged in by their boyfriends? Not many at all.

With bookworms/film fanatics/gamers these distinctions matter much less, but it has a huge effect towards the casual audience.

This doesn't mean we should start making rash segregations obviously. It just means that maybe we should try and experiement with new genres, or excisting ones which haven't been explored for their full potential.

mfeff:
"We are not going down the route of making the console pink of course," said House.

image

Cool Story Bro... hasn't stopped ya' before...

DTWolfwood:
Does the controller on the PS4 vibrate? if it does, give it an option to keep it on. might help XD

hahahaha this option alone may account for the literal explosion of mobile devices.... genius! =D

Nobody remembers Rez, and it's Trance Vibrator? There's no way in hell that wasn't specifically designed to be anything but a goddamn sex toy for someones girlfriend to get them "into" gaming.

OT: I'm getting sick of all these companies forcibly trying to draw in women with the rhetoric they keep spewing. The concept is stupendously easy... just make a good product and people (including women who are interested) will buy it.

I can't shake the feeling like they're approaching this as if women are an exotic alien species. Maybe that's unfair to them, I don't know, but that's how I feel. All I know is if you broaden the appeal with different types of game styles and protagonists (please don't take that pink comment and then start offering poorly done dating sims and fruit-scented shovelware as an attempt to lure in the ovaries) you'll broaden the audience interested to begin with. Right?

. . .though I will say that romance options never hurt.

(WHAT, I say that as a lovecraft/mieville/abercrombie fan, too!)

I hope they have a more targeted marketing strategy than "paint it pink", because if they do something stupid I swear I'm taking this money I've already saved for a PS4 and blowing it on a new graphics card. Maybe they could, oh, I don't know, talk to women who don't game and find out why.

do nothing different then what you are already doing. you will not attract anyone if you actually TRY to attract them.

Phasmal:
Bayonetta is designed to look good to straight males.
Kratos is designed to look good to straight males.
Kratos is a power fantasy, NOT a sexual fantasy.

Seriously, what guy looks at Kratos, and goes `Oh yeah that's totally pandering for the ladies`?

Kinda my point. Even naked guys with ideal bodies and bondage chains aren't seen as being attractive. We assume that the male gaze is the only legit one, and then we're disappointed that everything looks like it panders to it. It's a catch 22.

You don't have to assume that though.

It's easy, just reverse your expectations and see if the evidence still fits. So by way of example I'll reverse what you said:
Bayonetta is a female power fantasy, NOT a sexual fantasy. After all, she never actually has sex! She's always in control, she's hyper-capable, always rescuing and dominating men, she rescues a child, etc, etc.

Kratos is designed to look sexy. He has an ideal and scantily-clad body, tied with chains (from a female goddess I believe?) and he spends a lot of time proving himself and being useful to women, whether goddesses or mortals, but at heart he's a bad boy he cannot be contained by any rules. If he was around today he'd be riding a motorcycle. But of course, at heart there's a great tragedy, so his tough guy exterior is only just that, etc, etc.

I'd say BOTH yours and my examples here are correct. You can be a power fantasy AND be a sexy icon, from different points of view. They're not mutually exclusive, right?

oreso:

Phasmal:
Bayonetta is designed to look good to straight males.
Kratos is designed to look good to straight males.
Kratos is a power fantasy, NOT a sexual fantasy.

Seriously, what guy looks at Kratos, and goes `Oh yeah that's totally pandering for the ladies`?

Kinda my point. Even naked guys with ideal bodies and bondage chains aren't seen as being attractive. We assume that the male gaze is the only legit one, and then we're disappointed that everything looks like it panders to it. It's a catch 22.

You don't have to assume that though.

It's easy, just reverse your expectations and see if the evidence still fits. So by way of example I'll reverse what you said:
Bayonetta is a female power fantasy, NOT a sexual fantasy. After all, she never actually has sex! She's always in control, she's hyper-capable, always rescuing and dominating men, she rescues a child, etc, etc.

Kratos is designed to look sexy. He has an ideal and scantily-clad body, tied with chains (from a female goddess I believe?) and he spends a lot of time proving himself and being useful to women, whether goddesses or mortals, but at heart he's a bad boy he cannot be contained by any rules. If he was around today he'd be riding a motorcycle. But of course, at heart there's a great tragedy, so his tough guy exterior is only just that, etc, etc.

I'd say BOTH yours and my examples here are correct. You can be a power fantasy AND be a sexy icon, from different points of view. They're not mutually exclusive, right?

Sorry, but... no.

Kratos is not designed to look sexy. He is designed to look powerful. Some women may find him attractive, but that does not mean he was designed for them (hell if you follow that path of logic the ponies in MLP are sexualised because some people find them attractive). He is designed to look attractive to men in that they want to be him, not to women in that they wanna do him.

You can argue Bayonetta all you like, some people do claim she is an empowered sexual fantasy character, I stay out of that debate because 1) Not played Bayonetta and 2) Don't really mind either way.

But Kratos was never designed to be a sexual character for women.
Yes, he has his shirt off, but that does not automatically make him sexy, neither does him being muscled.
There is more to sexualisation than that. He is a power character through-and-through.

EDIT: There is a great image with examples of power fantasies vs sexual fantasies and I CANT FIND IT. If anyone knows the one I'm on about please post it here.

EDIT2: Also, I'm not entirely sure if you are aware that I am in fact a woman, so even without `male gaze`- Kratos... still not sexy.

My girlfriend recently became interested in gaming, so hmmm...let's see what you can do to keep her interested.

She likes visceral action games, like God of War. Even though she can handle Kratos' eye gouging she can't stand chainsawing locusts or stomping necromorphs

so I guess find some delicate balance in bloodiness.

She likes fast paced action games like FPSs. Probably my fault, I'm a gun-on-rails shooter fan (like time crisis 2) and she enjoys it along with me.

Also she appears to like the fighting genre, since she's looking forward to Injustice and can mop my buttocks in Tekken on console or arcade cabinet (and enjoys doing so).

So, uh, be nice to your customers and keep doing what you're doing, I guess? Oh, although she doesn't have this

she enjoys playing a lady who can kick butt. So get ninja theory to stop antagonizing fans and get them to make Heavenly Sword 2, see if the same can be done for ubisoft with Beyond Good and Evil 2 and you're good to go.

One more thing, she hates pink.

This is a fascinating topic. Women represent nearly half of all gamers but not only has that number risen directly alongside the iOS explosion (not Sony's target market) but that 2008 survey had 80% of them as only playing the Wii where consoles were concerned.

This makes a significant market that is being missed by major game companies that is only being met by casual companies and handheld games. I don't personally think that's because women like those games better, I think it's because the AAA games are geared towards men in a non-trivial number of ways.

Changing this poses a difficult problem though. The current hardcore target market is largely male. Putting out a hardcore game geared towards women could giving up on a significant amount of profit. The best thing that games can do now is simply to stop imposing things that make games geared towards one sex or another. But the question remains whether or not there is a fundamental difference of mentality between men and women that would make some genres more unappealing than others just like women and men have very different taste in other form of media (statistically). So making a female commander shepard would help some female gamers whose taste enjoy this kind of game play, but the nature of the game itself may still not draw the average female over to play.

I look forward to more studies being done in this area.

Oh, you folks at Sony know what will appeal to women? Do tell. I'm a female and I have no idea what's supposed to "appeal" to me other than the stereotypical pink horsies and dresses and...whatever else, which I presume they're ruling out with their pink console remark. All of which can go straight to hell as far as I'm concerned. Just give me more quality exclusives and I'll be happy. As for the gals who aren't into gaming...maybe video games just don't interest them. Practically every household has a console these days or a PC or a smartphone. Anyone can get ahold of games and if they liked them enough, they'd go further with it. Yeah, society is still hindering impressionable girls from getting into "hardcore" games, but I don't think having companies look specifically at appealing to ladies is going to help at all. In a perfect world, companies would be aiming at a large group of people with a certain interest, be that role-playing games, narrative experiences, ect.; not targeting people depending on what set of genitals they possess.

DTWolfwood:
Does the controller on the PS4 vibrate? if it does, give it an option to keep it on. might help XD

Though this...this wouldn't be a bad thing in my book.

Sacman:
Well, you can;t exactly accuse Sony of not trying... especially when they released Rez, and it's special controller...<.<

image

Never heard of Rez, but based off of the 'Trance Vibrator', I choose to assume it's as bad as it sounds.

Phasmal:
Sorry, but... no.

Kratos is not designed to look sexy. He is designed to look powerful. Some women may find him attractive, but that does not mean he was designed for them (hell if you follow that path of logic the ponies in MLP are sexualised because some people find them attractive). He is designed to look attractive to men in that they want to be him, not to women in that they wanna do him.

Ah, okey, yeah. What the designers intended doesn't really matter so much to me, I just care about the product in front of me (as I'm sure lots of designers don't intend to be racist, sexist, etc, but their products are regardless).

So sure, MLP is sexualised by some folk, Kratos is sexualised by some folk, and Bayonetta is sexualised by some folk. Regardless of how they were supposed to be designed.

So what I'm saying is, when you talk about the male gaze, you're kinda excluding those other options as being legit. You're assuming that there's this homogenous thing that everyone tries to pander to. Any sexy male is a power fantasy, any sexy female is a sex object. That idea makes sense internally, but so does the opposite. I can easily look at the product in front of me and see the other way makes just as much sense.

Seeing the edit you've said you're a woman. So if we're being candid then my male gaze happens to include Kratos as more desirable than Bayonetta (I love the character, but she's a big turn-off sexually). And on a personal level I guess I just don't like this idea of the "male gaze" because I don't like folk assuming we all like the same thing. And as soon as we accept that we all like different things, this whole notion of "this is just a power-fantasy for men" dissolves... because it's simply not true for the people who see something different. Does that make sense?

Cheers!

oreso:

Phasmal:
snip

snip

I agree with her.
I have played all GoWs and not even once thought of Kratos as sexy. I always saw him as some barbaric trope model that makes men feel they want to be like him, never that he was done to appeal to me as a girl. As for Bayonetta, its obvios its made to appeal for men, as the promotion ads asked people to "undress her", unless u swing for the other side, i would never see that as a power-fantasy for a woman, more like a boner-fantasy for dudes.

As for good examples of sexy males that appel and are specifically made for women (or at least for most of the female gamers i know), you can find Bioware and square enix normally know it.
For example, i found quite appealing Alistar Theirin, Zevran and Fenris (dragon age) as well as Carth Onasi and in a minor way Atton Rand (kotor). I know many girls that played the first Dragon age that enjoyed quite a lot (myself included) to make Alistar or Zevran run naked in battle, just because we could take the armor off to a very nice point, plus the depth of the character that is what really attracted us makes it worth it and worth of many sexy fanfictions.
The female gamer base tends to have an artistic side, you will find that most of the writers and artists that keep some game alive for years through their works (comic's of side stories, or fanfiction) are women in general. You can go to fanfiction and still find updated stories about DragonAge 1 or to deviant art and the same thing, comic artworks that have being kept updated since the game release till this year.

As for other examples, Sephiroth appeals a lot to women, Kingdomhearts as a whole as well.

Women in general are not attracted instantly to beef-looking men without a shirt and in a bikini. A good way of knowing which characters are done for women, is the personality the male character has (This is why many women are attracted to Garrus, myself included) AND then the option to see what he's got under his cloths, or lil glimpses in some scenes here and there that actually make sense. Not the entire character to be nude all time, no; thats just pointless.

Maybe they should try making the console pi-

StewShearer:

"We are not going down the route of making the console pink of course," said House.

...Touché

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