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

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Do people honestly still think that? Because exhibit A

and exhibit B

Kind of proves that it's a bunch of horse wank.

A lot of arguments that I saw brought up is that often games with female characters that do sell well are part of long established franchises and that acts as a crutch. Well, I give you two games that sold very well, one being part of franchise that was only niche before this entry (and even then the connections to the previous games seem to be pretty thin) and one being an entirely new IP. Neither had any crutches that they could fall back on, they had to make their success on simply being good, and they did.

So do people honestly still buy that horseshit? Are there people still out there saying that there's justification for saying women don't sell well?

Happens when you let executives (that don't know anything about the games they make money of) go just by their "test groups" (which are apparently only pre-teen boys).
You basically get a lot of crap that doesn't make any sense as justification why a game didn't sell well instead of, you know, the game being crap or just not marketed properly.

You are making a mistake here:
http://www.vgchartz.com/game/85674/horizon-zero-dawn/ (2.55m sales)
Nier Automata I found about 1 million.

While Call Of Duty:
http://www.vgchartz.com/game/85359/call-of-duty-black-ops-3/ (14 million)

And as we all know in the AAA industry, only COD amount are considered "sold well" because the industry is borderline insane.

I think this is a case of false equivalence, or whatever its called. I think the protagonist's gender is a low priority for most gamers. I dont doubt some people decide based on it, but I do doubt it was enough to matter.

But then you have Prey where you can choose your character's gender which you wouldn't know if you just watch the trailer

inu-kun:
You are making a mistake here:
http://www.vgchartz.com/game/85674/horizon-zero-dawn/ (2.55m sales)
Nier Automata I found about 1 million.

While Call Of Duty:
http://www.vgchartz.com/game/85359/call-of-duty-black-ops-3/ (14 million)

And as we all know in the AAA industry, only COD amount are considered "sold well" because the industry is borderline insane.

Then every single game made aside from COD doesn't sell well. Seriously, name five series that pull in those kinds of numbers on each installment

If the game is good it'll sell either way, of course. A female char can't doom a great game like Nier.

The issue stems more from people who are not confident in their game, trying to maximize every factor. If you're sure you're making a good game and truly believe in it, even if in theory you might sell more with a male hero, you still are confident that you'll sell enough to make creating the game sustainable.

It's not as though Nier has a heroine lead because of stupid things such as "inclsivity" and whatnot. Taro just likes women so he wanted to make a game with one of them as the main character. This is why it did so well despite it's not that high budget. When you make something you want to make it'll end better than any by the numbers approach.

I wonder if Leslie Benzies, who has produced RDR and every GTA since III, leaving Rockstar means we might expect a female protagonist in the next GTA or RDR. At this point, I'd just appreciate it for variety. I found the three main characters of V unappealing.

Tomb Raider has always done pretty well, and that's been for decades.

I'm probably going to regret this buuuuuut....

I don't think I've ever heard anyone in real life make that argument. It always seems like it's your "Racist Uncle" argument (you know, the "Black people have smaller brains than white people! It's not racist, it's science!!!!") that no one actually says as a real argument.

At best, it feels like a self-fulfilling prophecy by game makers (like how horror games were a dead genre) that they just kind of decided on at some point.

I'm on team "if the game is good, I will buy it" myself. I never had any problems playing a black man in Telltale's Walking Dead, a woman in Tomb Raider, or a badass space marine in Doom, even though I am none of those things in real life...

hanselthecaretaker:
Tomb Raider has always done pretty well, and that's been for decades.

If it's always done pretty well, they wouldn't have had to reboot it twice and turn it into a bloodthirsty shooter.

erttheking:

inu-kun:
You are making a mistake here:
http://www.vgchartz.com/game/85674/horizon-zero-dawn/ (2.55m sales)
Nier Automata I found about 1 million.

While Call Of Duty:
http://www.vgchartz.com/game/85359/call-of-duty-black-ops-3/ (14 million)

And as we all know in the AAA industry, only COD amount are considered "sold well" because the industry is borderline insane.

Then every single game made aside from COD doesn't sell well. Seriously, name five series that pull in those kinds of numbers on each installment

And that's the problem, hyper budget games that try to sell like the most popular franchise rather than their respective audience size. I recall Jim said that Dead Space is not a dead franchise because of it.

The problem is, and Jim Sterling made this mistake to, those games didn't sell well. He compared Zero Dawn to Bioshock infinite, which outsold it nearly 3-1.

Statistically speaking those games did not outsell male-lead games. Now that's a shame, because both those games are fun, but facts is facts.
I mean hell RE6 outsold RE7 nearly 6-1! That's how it goes!

Ezekiel:
I wonder if Leslie Benzies, who has produced RDR and every GTA since III, leaving Rockstar means we might expect a female protagonist in the next GTA or RDR. At this point, I'd just appreciate it for variety. I found the three main characters of V unappealing.

Likewise.

Though I found Trevor Phillips entertaining, just not...you know...likeable.

tippy2k2:

At best, it feels like a self-fulfilling prophecy by game makers (like how horror games were a dead genre) that they just kind of decided on at some point.

Jim Sterling said the exact same thing. What is with these execs or producers in the industry bending over backwards to make all of these false statements true by their own hand. And stop trying to cater to pre-teen boys, who most would not bother the games that "don't sell" to begin with. It's focus testing that is hurting the games and the industry.

tippy2k2:

I'm on team "if the game is good, I will buy it" myself. I never had any problems playing a black man in Telltale's Walking Dead, a woman in Tomb Raider, or a badass space marine in Doom, even though I am none of those things in real life...

I am black and usually don't mind what race/gender the characters is just as long as the game is good. But even if the game is good, a character can be written horribly. That is why I do not like CJ from San Andreas or Nilin from Remember Me. Though San Andreas I did not like gameplay wise in general. I do appreciate if the character is the same race as me and well written. The same applies if the character is a different gender or race from me.

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.).

Next time bring some non-PS4 options. No wait... Ok I get it, PC doesn't do retail game sales anymore and thus no charts. Anyway, Horizon has apparently sold pretty well. Not that I care, I'm never going to play it. Also it's still trailing the PS4 Killzone game - consistent on the dev's part.

I don't think that people claim females don't sell in a "this game didn't sell well solely because wimins way" but rather that they are still less popular. If you look at numbers even something like Mass effect only 18% of players used femshep. So maybe HZD hits 2.7 or 3 million with a male lead, maybe not.

Personally I've never believed that line of thought--when given the choice, I always choose to play as a girl--but I know there are tons of executives out there that totally believe it. And you can throw all the evidence in the world at them that says otherwise, and they still won't do it.

Ezekiel:
I wonder if Leslie Benzies, who has produced RDR and every GTA since III, leaving Rockstar means we might expect a female protagonist in the next GTA or RDR. At this point, I'd just appreciate it for variety. I found the three main characters of V unappealing.

I said it once before, but I wouldn't mind a Bully sequel where we get to play as a scorned cheerleader who has to re-climb the social ladder.

Though to be honest I found everyone in GTA5 unappealing, male or female. I don't know if changing gender is going to improve Dan Houser's shitty writing.

Silentpony:
The problem is, and Jim Sterling made this mistake to, those games didn't sell well. He compared Zero Dawn to Bioshock infinite, which outsold it nearly 3-1.

That's not the most fair comparison, seeing as a) Bioshock: Infinite isn't an exclussive, and b) is the third entry in a popular franchise. I don't think the fact that it was male-lead added that much to those sales.

BabyfartsMcgeezaks:
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.

Ezekiel:
I found the three main characters of V unappealing.

As an aside, wasn't that the point? These are horrible people doing horrible things. It's like watching Goodfellas or somesuch, it might have a decent enough story and compelling narrative, but ultimately it's about a bunch of murderous career criminals. That's kind of why I liked it, first GTA I've given more than a couple of hours since being a stoned teenager trying to mow down a line of Hare-Krishna.

OT: Eh. I rarely go for anything that doesn't have character creation (GTAV was mainly bought for online). I don't care if they are male or female, if it's not my character it can generally fuck off.

B-Cell:

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.

Ah yes, because only men can use firearms. And only males can embark on action and adventure...

Also, most JRPG protagonists are male as well.

tippy2k2:
I'm probably going to regret this buuuuuut....

I don't think I've ever heard anyone in real life make that argument. It always seems like it's your "Racist Uncle" argument (you know, the "Black people have smaller brains than white people! It's not racist, it's science!!!!") that no one actually says as a real argument.

At best, it feels like a self-fulfilling prophecy by game makers (like how horror games were a dead genre) that they just kind of decided on at some point.

I'm on team "if the game is good, I will buy it" myself. I never had any problems playing a black man in Telltale's Walking Dead, a woman in Tomb Raider, or a badass space marine in Doom, even though I am none of those things in real life...

The problem is that the guy's ignoring what comes after as a qualifier of "they don't sell well IF their sole reason for existing is because they're female". Sorta how it always goes with these threads.

Hawki:

B-Cell:

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.

Ah yes, because only men can use firearms. And only males can embark on action and adventure...

Also, most JRPG protagonists are male as well.

we are not talking about real life only men use fireamrs (even if most of men use). apart from NOLF (which is comic spy game and flop in sales) theres hardly any successful FPS featuring female protagonist.

B-Cell:

we are not talking about real life only men use fireamrs (even if most of men use). apart from NOLF (which is comic spy game and flop in sales) theres hardly any successful FPS featuring female protagonist.

I'm aware of the lack of FPS games with a female protagonist, that wasn't your original point. Which, I quote, was:

B-Cell:
for FPS games. Male character is must!!. for action and adventure.

Stating that female protagonists are rare in FPS games is a statement of fact. Stating that male characters are required for FPS (or any other genre) is a statement of opinion. One that I disagree with.

B-Cell:

Hawki:

B-Cell:

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.

Ah yes, because only men can use firearms. And only males can embark on action and adventure...

Also, most JRPG protagonists are male as well.

we are not talking about real life only men use fireamrs (even if most of men use). apart from NOLF (which is comic spy game and flop in sales) theres hardly any successful FPS featuring female protagonist.

But is that because FPS's automatically become less good if it has a female protagonist, or is it because few FPS's with female protagonists have been attempted by AAA studios?

B-Cell:

BabyfartsMcgeezaks:
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

You're confusing rational level headed people of individual opinion with 'Marketing departments'.

...One is the one 'claiming' that statement.

It's bollocks. Always has been bollocks, always will be bollocks, and anyone who says it can try saying it again with a copy of the original Tomb Raider shoved deep inside their rectal cavity.

The best selling male led games usually outsell their female led counterparts by a pretty wide margin, unfortunately.

These are companies chasing after the highest possible profit margin and the big dogs...well, they're, effectively, at the mercy of their shareholders. So, maximizing the aforementioned profit takes precedence.

Which sucks.

But there are always exceptions.

Which is awesome.

DrownedAmmet:
But then you have Prey where you can choose your character's gender which you wouldn't know if you just watch the trailer

Wait, really?

I had no idea...may have to give it a look.

tippy2k2:
I'm probably going to regret this buuuuuut....

I don't think I've ever heard anyone in real life make that argument. It always seems like it's your "Racist Uncle" argument (you know, the "Black people have smaller brains than white people! It's not racist, it's science!!!!") that no one actually says as a real argument.

At best, it feels like a self-fulfilling prophecy by game makers (like how horror games were a dead genre) that they just kind of decided on at some point.

I'm on team "if the game is good, I will buy it" myself. I never had any problems playing a black man in Telltale's Walking Dead, a woman in Tomb Raider, or a badass space marine in Doom, even though I am none of those things in real life...

Ya pretty much encapsulated my thoughts on the matter, but I will say that I've seen people (on Steam's comments, weirdly, and other places) stating that having a certain gender, male or female, makes the game less appealing to them.

Personally, I like femprotags and usually play female characters, if given the opportunity to do so. Always have.

And I was one of those awful, soggyknee'd gators. Go figure.

Point being, there are people like that who exist, but they're either a minority or a really, really silent majority.

Thats confirmation bias. You set out to prove that have female protagonist don't cause games to fail then post two games with female protagonists that sold well.

What you should do is chronicle a list of all ( or most) games that have female only protagonists, then chronicle games made in the same year, and same genre with male protagonists, then compare the sales of the two. Both day one ( or month) sales and all time sales.

Even then, that doesn't take into consideration other variables such as marketing, game quality, other high profile games that came out at the same time , etc...

But nobody got time for real research, just blanket statements am i right?

Silentpony:
The problem is, and Jim Sterling made this mistake to, those games didn't sell well. He compared Zero Dawn to Bioshock infinite, which outsold it nearly 3-1.

Statistically speaking those games did not outsell male-lead games. Now that's a shame, because both those games are fun, but facts is facts.
I mean hell RE6 outsold RE7 nearly 6-1! That's how it goes!

The new PS4 exclusive IP sold less than the third, multi platform entry in a beloved franchise that's been out much longer and has had time to let steam sales pad its numbers? Well of course, but that doesn't really mean much. Because the game did sell well. No seriously, it did. It's a brand new IP, a new IP starting off with sales in the millions is great. Jim also did a video on how Dark Souls sold a million copies less than Tomb Raider, but Dark Souls was considered a success while Tomb Raider was considered a disappointment because expectations weren't realistic. Also that's something to take into account. Zero Dawn is selling more early copies than Dark Souls. And Breath of the Wild if we're contuing to ignore context on the limited availability of the hardware you can play it on. Also Jim was just saying the idea a cover would turn people off if it had a lady on it was BS. And he was right. No one said anything about outselling, just selling well.

Lufia Erim:
Thats confirmation bias. You set out to prove that have female protagonist don't cause games to fail then post two games with female protagonists that sold well.

What you should do is chronicle a list of all ( or most) games that have female only protagonists, then chronicle games made in the same year, and same genre with male protagonists, then compare the sales of the two. Both day one ( or month) sales and all time sales.

Even then, that doesn't take into consideration other variables such as marketing, game quality, other high profile games that came out at the same time , etc...

But nobody got time for real research, just blanket statements am i right?

No, the idea that a woman causes a game to do poorly is pretty much just 110% bullshit. Any game with a female lead doing well, even one, disproves it. Metroid Tomb Raider, every last game where you pick your gender, Bayonetta, Life is Strange, the Borderlands games, Final Fantasy 13, all sold well.

You'd be better off offering counter evidence if you have a problem with my claim.

erttheking:
Any game with a female lead doing well, even one, disproves it.

Not really. A game can do well despite it's flaws, but that doesn't mean the flaws didn't have an effect on the sales.

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