Microsoft Studios Narrative Writer: “Women Are The New Core”
More diversity in games just means good business overall, according to Tom Abernathy.
In the midst of controversies in the gaming industry (Dontnod Entertainment’s ordeals, for example) and several outspoken developers and writers talking about the importance of female protagonists, with non-typical characteristics, in video games Microsoft Studios narrative writer Tom Abernathy spoke out at GDC 2013 about how women are no longer on the fringe of the gaming population. In fact, they make up a healthy portion of it.
As GIBiz reported, “Our audience is leaving us behind. The world is changing, it has already changed, and we have not been doing a very good job of keeping up with it.”
He cited various studies showing the amount of diversity in today’s gaming audience including research from PopCap and the EA. “Women are not a small special market on the fringe of the core. Women are the new core.”
And while more diverse game are good for business, he states that as far as the industry is concerned, “you need to persuade people that it’s OK, and won’t hurt sales but might help them.
“Nobody in the room admits to being against making characters female or nonwhite. But they’re scared because they don’t know how to defend that choice to their bosses.”
“Our industry, our art, and our business stand to gain in every sense simply by holding a mirror up to our audience and reflecting their diversity in what we produce.”