BioWare's David Gaider: more inclusive games make sense from a "business perspective" | PCGamesN

The best PC gaming Black Friday sales

Grand Ages: Medieval features more volcanoes than is reasonable for a game set in this period in history

Prison Architect Update 27 fixes the problems caused by teleporting food

Dragon Age 3: Inquisition

BioWare's David Gaider: more inclusive games make sense from a "business perspective"

Longtime Dragon Age sidekick and morally-iffy mage, Morrigan.

“Why are so many people demanding AAA titles to be all feminist and stuff when women don't even buy those games?”

That’s the question one anonymous user took to the Ask A Game Dev Blog - and which prompted a lengthy response from Dragon Age: Inquisition writer David Gaider. Gaider pointed out that with AAA costs rising every year, the question should be why fewer women buy those games.

“Hint: the answer may require more self-examination than you are, strictly speaking, comfortable with,” Gaider told the anonymous asker.

Gaider was following up an eloquent riposte to the original question which cited a 2013 Entertainment Software Association survey. The survey found that game players are 52% male, 48% female - and that frequent game buyers are split evenly by gender.

“The argument I most often hear regarding those CSA figures is that they’re for the entire audience and not for a specific game or type of game,” began Gaider. “It’s true. The percentage may be less for some types of games and more for others. 

“That does, however, still mean half the entire current gaming audience consists of women who are playing a game of some kind.”

Gaider argued that it’s far easier to make a BioWare devotee of somebody who’s already playing games than somebody who isn’t.

“So the question, if one looks at it from a purely business perspective, and particularly for an industry where costs are rising dramatically and the number of units of a AAA game required to ship just to stay afloat increases every year, shouldn’t be ‘how do we better fight for a larger share of our traditional audience?’ but rather ‘how do we better entice a larger portion of the entire gamer audience to play our game?’,” he wrote.

Gaider said the whole games industry is struggling with that question - “and, yes, that includes us at BioWare”. Making a good game is not enough, he added - developers also need to ask themselves why women don’t currently buy their games, if that’s the case.

BioWare are off to a good start - every one of their RPGs to date has allowed for a female protagonist. How can they do better?

Login or Register
2
+2
-0
avatar
2

How can they do better?

By making the female chars look like real people wearing real clothes/armour, leave out the child faces, perfect bodies and 'boob' armour.

By giving female chars equal abilities, voice, storylines.

1
+1
-0
Shriven's picture
1774

I seem to remember Morrigan having the boobiest of boob armor in DA:O

1
+1
-0
Satyromaniac's picture
11

Aye, it's not rocket science. Stop treating females as accessories.

2
+2
-0
Exmortis's picture
4

Nothing wrong with trying to attract more female gamers...but careful you don't alienate your existing customers (mostly male) by doing so. Men and women are different and often enjoy different things. For example you likely aren't going to get a lot of female gamers attracted to violent and gory games (some like them, not many). Take the guy stuff out to appeal to more women and you'll likely have neither guys nor girls buying.

1
+2
-1
Shriven's picture
1774

How to make Ubisoft look like dicks, eh?

0
+1
-1
NihlusGreen's picture
114

We definitely need to be more female gamer friendly....I want a gamer GF dammit

0
+1
-1
subedii's picture
361

Very apt comment. If games are going to expand (and they need to if budgets are going to keep ballooning), then those kinds of questions really do need to be looked at.

Also relevant:

https://twitter.com/GameAnim/status/476638349097058304

I think his estimate is on the conservative side, but I'd certainly place his perspective way above most. For those that don't know:

"Animator @Naughty_Dog. Animation Director on Assassin's Creed III, Lead on Mass Effect 1, 2 & more."

0
+1
-1
Ocid's picture
198

I think a day or two is seriously underestimating the time that goes into this sort of thing. I get his credentials but he seems to be missing out on a huge amount of other stuff.

Read Aisha Tylers facebook status or twitter feed about it. She brings up much better points.

Alienware - Game VictoriousTurtle Beach
Sera is the only companion you need in Dragon Age: Inquisition

Dragon Age 3: Inquisition

Sera is the only companion you need in Dragon Age: Inquisition

A weird Dragon Age: Inquisition bug is making party members shy

A weird Dragon Age: Inquisition bug is making party members shy

Dragon Age: Inquisition preorders cancelled in India because of local obscenity laws

Dragon Age: Inquisition preorders cancelled in India because of local obscenity laws

Dragon Age: Inquisition trailer makes the case for BioWare's Orlesian opus one last time

Dragon Age: Inquisition trailer makes the case for BioWare's Orlesian opus one last time

Dragon Age Inquisition trailer reveal Vivienne’s parlour tricks are pretty impressive

Dragon Age Inquisition trailer reveal Vivienne’s parlour tricks are pretty impressive

Watch this Dragon Age: Inquisition choice and consequence trailer, or go and eat some ice cream; it's your call

Watch this Dragon Age: Inquisition choice and consequence trailer, or go and eat some ice cream; it's your call

Port Review - Dragon Age: Inquisition

Dragon Age 3: Inquisition

Port Review - Dragon Age: Inquisition

Failbetter Games bridges the timeline to Dragon Age: Inquisition with The Last Court

Failbetter Games bridges the timeline to Dragon Age: Inquisition with The Last Court

Expect the Inquisition: Dragon Age Keep open beta begins

Expect the Inquisition: Dragon Age Keep open beta begins

Get better acquainted with Dragon Age: Inquisition's Iron Bull, Sera and Dorian

Get better acquainted with Dragon Age: Inquisition's Iron Bull, Sera and Dorian

Dragon Age: Inquisition - Catching up with Cassandra

Dragon Age: Inquisition - Catching up with Cassandra

Dragon Age: Inquisition trailer piles on the pressure

Dragon Age: Inquisition trailer piles on the pressure

Dragon Age: Inquisition: Everything We Know

Dragon Age 3: Inquisition

Dragon Age: Inquisition: Everything We Know

Dragon Age: Inquisition's PC streams shows off an hour of mouse clicking and keyboard tapping

Dragon Age: Inquisition's PC streams shows off an hour of mouse clicking and keyboard tapping

Bioware address concerns over the absence of healers in Dragon Age: Inquisition

Bioware address concerns over the absence of healers in Dragon Age: Inquisition

Devour Dragon Age: Inquisition PC screenshots and system requirements

Devour Dragon Age: Inquisition PC screenshots and system requirements

Watch 50 minutes of Dragon Age: Inquisition and marvel at ugly elves

Watch 50 minutes of Dragon Age: Inquisition and marvel at ugly elves

Dragon Age: Inquisition character creation has outer and inner iris colour covered

Dragon Age: Inquisition character creation has outer and inner iris colour covered

Dragon Age: Inquisition at E3 2014: stunning

Dragon Age 3: Inquisition

Dragon Age: Inquisition at E3 2014: stunning

BioWare will support Dragon Age: Inquisition multiplayer

BioWare will support Dragon Age: Inquisition multiplayer "far beyond Mass Effect 3"

Dragon Age: Inquisition has a four-player co-op dungeon-crawling mode

Dragon Age: Inquisition has a four-player co-op dungeon-crawling mode

Dragon Age: Inquisition is 150 hours wide, a million words of dialogue deep

Dragon Age: Inquisition is 150 hours wide, a million words of dialogue deep

Prepare for Dragon Age: Inquisition with this combat primer

Prepare for Dragon Age: Inquisition with this combat primer

Dragon Age 3: Inquisition delayed into November

Dragon Age 3: Inquisition delayed into November