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Bioware let loose some numbers and percentages for their super-popular, galactic sci-fi space-adventure, Mass Effect. Apparently only 13 percent of gamers play as the default Shepard and only 18 percent of gamers play as female Shepard. Majority of gamers (87 percent to be exact) would rather take a customized flesh-monstrosity out into space to save the universe rather than default dude…or dudette.
VG24/7 has up a detailed look at the gender roles in the Mass Effect series, and according to BioWare’s top-end marketing manager, David Silverman…
“Overall, 18 percent of everyone who plays Mass Effect plays it with a female character,”… “There aren’t enough female heroes in games in general, so it’s something that people can rally around and celebrate.I don’t know if 18 percent is really something to brag about, though. VG24/7 posed an interesting question to Silverman about why BioWare (for the third Mass Effect) is starting to include the female Shepard into the marketing campaign and why they didn’t do it before. Silverman simply stated that…
“When creating a rich sci-fi epic like Mass Effect, you need to keep a certain level of consistency so people unfamiliar with the property can clearly identify who the hero is that they get to become,” … “Had we released images showcasing both a male and female Shepard, people wouldn’t be able to identify who the hero was or what was going on.”To be honest, I’m going to answer Silverman’s question for him and state that majority of hardcore gamers who will go and throwaway $60 on a game day-one will be young males and it’s easy to market a heroic male to other males than it is a fully-clothed heroic female to young males. Just saying.
Anyway, gamers who feel like female Shepard has been getting the cold shoulder lately will be able to embrace her a bit more in Mass Effect 3 as BioWare will be putting a stronger marketing focus on female Shepard for the third and possibly final game when it launches next March. Not only will female Shepard get to grace the cover of the Collector's Edition but she'll also be featured in a few upcoming trailers, too.
You can check out the entire interview regarding the gender roles in Mass Effect over at VG24/7.