Games Industry Failing Wimin

DS lessons overlooked by EA's David Gardner

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Games Industry Failing Wimin
EA’s chief operating officer for EA's worldwide studios, David Gardner, claimed that the videogame industry is continuing to fail women, at a speech given in Edinburgh yesterday.

Gardner told the assembled audience up in Scotland: "We have all been talking about this for a long, long time… We are only reaching a small proportion - not only geographically but also genetically.”

He stressed that the industry needs to "create some mega hits in the girl space."

Interestingly enough, what with yesterday's news that Sony is soon to be introducing a new pink PS2 and PSP, Gardner claimed that women don’t just want ‘pink’ games, noting that: "They are not trying to play girly games where Paris Hilton and Britney Spears go shopping and put make-up on. Those kind of things have not been that successful."

Instead, as an example of the type of game that women do want he held up the example of EA’s 40 million selling mega-buster The Sims, with over 70% of Sims players being women under 25.

"The Sims is really a game about relationships - and that's what girls want - they want relationships, they want to be able to chat." Gardner went on to outline his vision for developing these “mega hits in the girl space” he has in mind, which is simply for more companies to invest in better creative teams run by women.

“Four of our 11 studios around the world are run by women. That's an important start,” he declared.

So what’s driving Gardner’s concern with making better games to appeal to women? A feminist concern for equality? Not likely. No, it’s purely that old bottom-line. He claims that if EA were to solve this problem then they could add a billion dollars to sales.

Of course, Gardner isn't the first human to realise selling games to people with ovaries is a good idea, and there was a certain amount of awkward muttering of Nintendo's recent triumphs in the oestrogen arena, a factor the EA exec seemingly overlooked.

Indeed, Nintendo's recent financial positionings, aimed squarely at spiking investor confidence following a lengthy R&D phase and preceding a costly production and marketing drive, have been thickly applying the assertion that Nintendo has already cracked selling videogames to women.

Although most analysts find Nintendo's claims sit somewhere in between the over-egged and the slightly disingenuous, the fact stands that Nintendogs, Brain Training, Animal Crossing and Tetris have all found a welcome home in the handbags of women, especially in Japan.

In SPOnG's opinion, a good marketing push in women's consumer/lifesytle magazines from Just 17 through to Vogue in the US and Europe in the coming months could well successfully position a DS Lite equipped with Opera browsing software as the must have handbag gizmo this winter season, transcending most traditional age and income-bracket barriers.


dr_faulk 22 Aug 2006 08:33
Here's a good idea for a game for girls - take something like Beyond Good & Evil, but the heroine (like Jade) is a co-op NPC, like Alyx from Half Life 2. Having a female counterpart that communicates regularly with the player is something like a relationship that Mr. Gardner is suggesting. Maybe also have a bit of a love interest between Jade-type character and some dude, 'cause girls like that.

I mean, aside from the button-bashing combat bits, I felt BGE was an amazing adventure title that could have been picked up by a lot of people. Add my above suggestions and a few more simplistic (but not boring) gameplay mechanics and you'd have a game that girls could enjoy.

Or maybe I'm not thinking outside of the box enough?
RiseFromYourGrave 22 Aug 2006 09:25
dr_faulk wrote:

Or maybe I'm not thinking outside of the box enough?

nah, thatd do nicely.

I love how EA seem to like acting like and theyre the shizzle as far as the future of female gaming is concerned because they care, without mentioning Nintendo or others.

EA are thinking about it, others are doing it
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hollywooda 22 Aug 2006 10:19
come on guys is it soo bad that girls aren't really into games?... come on think about it, i fight hard enough now to get control of the telly because my girlfriend watches about a million different soaps (& dont get me started on big f**king brother!!) so imagine, u've just sat down in front of ur console all ready to play a new game you've been waiting months for!, cold beers & plenty of savory nibbles to munch on, now your ready for one of those all night session!.. BUT! NO!!, because now your missus is no longer interested in watching soaps or BB, she wants to play her copy of Sims or chat to her mates on Animal crossing or some s**t,....
then it dawns.... it's all over.. you can no longer find sanctuary in that spare room, the fantasy & illusion of the gaming world has been shattered...

haha, so i got a bit deep there, but any man who lives with his girlfriend/wife will understand this....
RiseFromYourGrave 22 Aug 2006 12:54
but it would probably open up more possiblity for joint participation between boys and girls in games, which is a good thing.

if girls get into games, suddenly i have a million chat up lines

'is that a nomad in your pocket or are you a well-hung shemale?'
Joji 22 Aug 2006 13:04
Nintendo are on the right track with their DS campaign and games.

With regard to others though, I think that sometimes the games for girls thing is like trying to sell fake gold to a bank. Many won't buy if they see what they don't want or need.

I do agree that the games would have to be created by women, in similar way games and manga are created by women for women in japan. Once the target audience is tuned in they will find it hard to tune out.

How EA are gonna do this is another thing, while I hear what they are saying are they gonna put their money where their mouth is? Should be interesting to see their result, because though they own The Sims license now, that was Will Wright's idea, not theirs.

Are they just gonna do more The Sims or something else?

Half Life 2 does a good job with Alyx helping you out and stuff, but FPS games are exactly the kind of game females will avoid, because when you look on the case the screenshots give the impression of the game.

I can understand what it might be like if girls got too into games though. There'd be a fight over the tv all the time and gaming sessions will become very short. Kiss goodbye to 24hr rpg marathons.
hollywooda 22 Aug 2006 14:11
And imagine if they got good!.... & i mean really good!, do you want you missus telling all your mates down the pub/bar that she totally destroyed you on Halo!, or beat u 5-0 on Pro Evo!.... no, we have to put a stop to this right now! haha, Im only jokin by the way before a girl gamer reads this & tears me a new arsehole. But the main reason (most) girls dont play games i beileve boils down to one thing.....
the world as a whole still views gaming & gamers as something people with no friends do, unless your 8!.
I think if it wasn't for that stigmar more women would give it a go.
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