Gears of War is a hit with females due to lack of “stereotypical, sexy” women

Wednesday, 13th February 2013 16:46 GMT By Stephany Nunneley

The Gears of War series is not only a hit with males, but females as well, which is something Epic’s art director Chris Perna feels is due to the lack of “attractive, stereotypical, sexy” females in the game.

Speaking with OXM, Perna said the female fan reaction to the Gears series, supports a feeling of empowerment according to a lot of the feedback received.

“In Gears you kind of need dirt,” he said. “If you want to create this attractive, stereotypical, sexy female – a lot of games do that and it’s kind of cliché at this point. You see the implants and the blonde hair and pants and you roll your eyes – it’s almost like the game geek’s idealization of what a woman should be. I think because we didn’t go that route we have more believability.

“They’re still feminine. Anya in Gears 3 comes across as being very feminine, and I think it works.From what we’ve heard, when they play the game they feel empowered and they feel good.”

That being said, Perna doesn’t think we’ll see a female lead in the series any time soon, even if the idea is “certainly interesting.”

“If you look at what sells, it’s tough to justify something like that,” he said.

Gears of War: Judgment, a prequel co-developed by Epic Games and People Can Fly, is out next month exclusively for Xbox 360.



  1. The Dude

    Hmmm… from this on female characters: “…it’s almost like the game geek’s idealization of what a woman should be. I think because we didn’t go that route we have more believability”.

    To this, on a female lead: “If you look at what sells, it’s tough to justify something like that”

    Just go the whole way and make a female lead!! Gears is established enough, surely? Don’t pat yourselves on the back just because your female characters, who you won’t make leads because it’s “too risky”, basically don’t have large breasts.

    #1 2 years ago
  2. Anders

    And here I was thinking that female gamers like Gears of War for the same reason most gamers do: because they’re good games.

    #2 2 years ago
  3. ArcticMonkey

    I believe sadly, they’re right, some men will look at box art see a female lead and pass the game over. Gamer enthusiasts are better about it but we aren’t the whole market… There are exceptions of course. Maybe Tomb Raider & Remember Me will sell well and start to change the perception within the industry a little

    @2 lol exactly

    #3 2 years ago
  4. Gnosis

    @3: And you were right. But since some developers know absolutely nothing about a not so small part of their audience, we have pink DS’ / PSPs / you name it and statements like this one. This is just depressing.

    #4 2 years ago
  5. DSB

    It seems to me like those guys suffer from pretty linear thinking. Having a sexy female means X decrease in female gamers and Y increase in male gamers.

    I really doubt it’s that simple for any kind of entertainment.

    Between story, gameplay and design, I don’t think tits are that much of a factor. You don’t exactly need a videogame to look at those.

    #5 2 years ago
  6. FeaturePreacher

    Well that’s an interesting yet specious argument. Let me make another. I guess women like being portrayed as whores, which explains why GTA IV and most likely GTA V sell more copies than Gears on the 360 and PC. So there’s the other side of this argument. If only Gears had more ladies as whores, they would sell more copies.

    #6 2 years ago
  7. m2stech

    Tera’s developers should read this article !

    #7 2 years ago
  8. Beta

    I honestly read that as God of War for a split second and thought “What? Have they not seen Aphrodite and the mini games?”…

    That’ll teach me not to scan read.

    #8 2 years ago
  9. Joe_Gamer

    In all honesty I do tend to pass on games with a female protagonist, it’s just harder to become engaged in the story, role playing etc. Never played tomb raider, mirror’s edge, or Beyond good & evil, even though I own all three games, two of which are exceptional. In any single player game where you create your own avatar(skyrim, DA, ME,) I’ve never bothered to play through with a female character, femsheps voice acting is wasted on me I guess.

    I have made female toons in MMO’s(I’ve made so many characters it became a necessity to add some variety) but everyone knows that’s just an avatar for a guy in real life so no one ever references your gender and it just fades into the background.


    I guess I’m just lucky to be part of the target demographic, for a little while longer at least.

    I also rarely choose books where the main protagonist is female or perhaps it’s just that my favorite novels have always had male protagonists, and movies with female protagonists? Uh, I don’t think they exist…

    #9 2 years ago
  10. LuLshuck


    seriously after playing gears of war 3 for about year and a half and still playing ive rarely encountered any females that be multiplayer and coop campaign and about 99% of the people who use female characters is because there hitbox is smaller then everyone elses

    #10 2 years ago
  11. salarta

    While I don’t think I can legitimately say in any way that that’s the reason Gears of War is appreciated, since I never played the series nor do I have ladyparts, I completely agree with him about how female characters need to be treated like they’re part of some inferior caste of video game hierarchy. Most games lately, ESPECIALLY 3rd Birthday and Tomb Raider, try to treat female characters like they’re weaker, overly emotional, absolutely terrified by the possibility of conflict by default, and often known first and foremost for sexual attractiveness.

    When people say they “can’t connect to a female protagonist,” it’s because of how these companies treat them so much WORSE than male protagonists. Seriously, with video games, how likely are you to want to identify with a character that acts like a complete wuss, makes stupid decisions, and repeatedly needs to be rescued by male NPCs?

    This generation has resulted in the concept of female protagonists in video games taking a nosedive into the worst it’s ever been. Every single one of them has been redefined either as a scared womanchild trained by men to stop being such a “woman,” a pathetic damsel that needs to be saved by big strong men, or actually close to tough but known far more for sexual suggestiveness than for personality.

    Two generations ago, Aya Brea, Jill Valentine, Claire Redfield and Samus Aran were shining examples of great female protagonists, treated just as capable and respectable as men. This generation, the top examples of strong female protagonists are Bayonetta and Juliet Sterling. You have to stop and wonder just how bad things have gotten when a couple characters that constantly make sex-based jokes, show tons of skin and wear all kinds of fetish outfits – characters that would have been viewed as selling a game purely on sex appeal in past generations – are now the best examples this industry has of what makes for a tough, respectable female protagonist.

    #11 2 years ago
  12. Vice

    Yeah, because neither Anya nor Sam are glamorous looking and sexy as fuck. Right.
    Don’t get me wrong, I’m all up for super sexed up fems in leading roles (and just everywhere), I don’t complain at all. In fact, I kind of dislike first 2 games because they didn’t have any boobs. I just want to say that this article is a bullshit. Bitches probably just like to stare at big bulky guys like we like to look at female characters’ asses when controlling them.

    #11 But dude, what you wrote in first paragpaph is EXACTLY what women are in real life! They ARE weaker, overly emotional and rely on their sex appeal all the time and it’s their only way to lead more or less normal life! I know for myself, when it’s not my dick that does the talking, aka when I’m not in front of some attractive chick in real life, I fucking hate them. In internet or online games you can see real THEM without being distracted by their boobs. And the sight is horrible. They’re stupid, weak and petty. I’m afraid they really ARE that way in real life and making them “respectable strong independent” heroines of games is about same level of fantasy as elves and orcs.
    But hey, I don’t mind fantasy, I want to believe that somewhere out there that may be a woman beautiful, smart and strong. We all like to dream, right.

    P.S. Aya Brea was shown naked in a shower scene in PE-2, while Jill’s outfit in Resident Evil 3 and Remake (secret third outfit) were quite revealing.
    They toned down Jill’s sex appeal in 5th game and what, she’s just another boring blonde, just ugly now. I don’t want this kind of character in my games.
    Tomb Raider? I’ve no idea wtf you on about. She’s new to this shit, she only becomes Lara we know and love. She’s a weak frightened girl by default, like they, as I already said, truly all are in real life. She gets stronger over time. How the fuck else would they show her?
    Both Bayonetta and Juliett shouldn’t be taken too serious. They’re in an over the top games and they act accordingly. Lighten up, dude.

    #12 2 years ago
  13. Joe_Gamer

    “EXACTLY what women are in real life! They ARE weaker, overly emotional and rely on their sex appeal all the time”

    I’m not sure if you’re just trying to be inflammatory, and I can’t say there isn’t a part of me that doesn’t agree, but I would point out that MOST men are not the 6’5″ super ripped, athletic, problem solving, world saving, hero’s so why should women be reduced to their worst attributes while men are given an empowering characterization? Rare as they may seem THERE ARE strong, independent, and intelligent women in this world so putting them in a game isn’t as fanciful as you make it out to be. Stronger role models might help address the perceived shortcomings you are talking about anyway, when helpless Disney princesses and brainless reality TV “stars” are their only role-models how could we expect positive results?

    Believe me, I just had to take my ex to court to force her to acknowledge me as the father of my daughter, force her to accept my child support, and force her to let me see her. She was willing to rob her child of her father JUST to punish me for not giving her the happily ever after she wanted. There are days when I hate her and that colors my views on women, selfish, spoiled, delusional, stubborn, stupid, cruel, you name it, I thought it, but I was also raised by a single mother who worked harder her whole life than I have EVER had to work, so I try to stay positive and seek out good role models for my daughter while ignoring the Kim Kard-ass-ians and Snooki’s of the world.

    If you really think women are helpless mewling hormonal invalids then you should be first in line demanding stronger role-models for them.

    /rant XD

    #13 2 years ago

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