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

Wednesday, 13 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.

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13 Comments

  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.

    /shrug

    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

    nopenopenopenopenopenopenope

    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

Comments are now closed on this article.

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    Release dates for Game of Thrones: A Telltale Games Series have been announced. A new video offering a “first look” has also appeared. Below is the story synopsis, which you may want to skip if you haven’t played Episode One. House Forrester is in disarray. Their liege lord and his heir are dead, and Ironrath […]

  • The open beta for Nosgoth has gone live

    Consider this a friendly reminder: the Nosgoth open beta has started. Announced last week, the open beta can be accessed through the official website. Once you link your Steam account, just log into the service and start downloading the client. Everyone that plays the tester will receive double XP through January 28. More information is […]

  • First gameplay footage of Homeworld Remastered Collection being shown this weekend

    Homeworld Remastered Collection news and the first gameplay footage of Gearbox Software’s remake will be revealed at PAX South this weekend. The news and video will be shown during the Inside Gearbox Software panel at 10.30am CST on Sunday. It will also be streamed on Twitch. Gearbox is hoping to have Homeworld Remastered released by […]

  • Latest Final Fantasy Type-0 HD video delves more into combat

    Square Enix has released its latest Orience News video for Final Fantasy Type-0 HD, and it provides insight into character combat styles and techniques. In the video you will see the elite combat force of Class Zero going deeper into battle to improve their skills. Combat is party-based and each of the three characters in […]

  • Something really cool happens when you finish Resident Evil HD *spoiler*

    Those who finish Resident Evil HD will be met with a really nice surprise at the end. If you wish to find out what it is on your own, DO NOT head below the break. You have been warned. According to images posted by Reddit user omeganemesis28, a thank you message from Resident Evil creator […]

  • Metal Gear Solid 5: The Phantom Pain release date “should be” announced soon

    A release date for Metal Gear Solid 5: The Phantom Pain “should be able” to be announced soon, according to the latest Kojima Station webcast. New information on the game will also be announced at the Taipei Game Show on January 31, per Game Spark (thanks, Gemtasu). “I know you’ve all been eagerly await for […]

  • Punch-Out!!, more Throwback offerings arrive on Nintendo US eShop

    Nintendo has updated the North American end of the eShop with Punch-Out!!, Citizens of Earth and Part Two of the Throwback Sale. Here’s the entire update: Nintendo eShop releases Punch-Out!! (originally for Wii) – also 50% off until January 29 Citizens of Earth – introductory price of $11.99 until January 27 Breezeblox (Wii) Midnight (Wii […]

  • The Witcher Battle Arena has arrived on the App Store and Google Play

    The Witcher Battle Arena, CD Projekt RED and Fuero Games’ mobile MOBA, has been released. In Battle Arena, two three-hero teams fight it out as they try to capture and hold conquest points. The game features “no pay-to-win elements”, instead it contains a “player-friendly monetization system.” Every item and functionality can be unlocked entirely through […]

  • Second wave of Star Wars titles arrive on GOG, third wave next week

    The second wave of Star Wars titles will arrive on GOG.com today with more coming January 27. Today you can pick up the following: Star Wars: Rogue Squadron 3D (digital distribution premiere) Star Wars Rebellion (digital distribution premiere) Star Wars Empire at War: Gold Pack On January 27, the final three games of this wave […]

  • If Microsoft is serious about PC games, Xbox One should be the real Steam Machine

    Forget the magic space goggles. Maybe Valve doesn’t have the wherewithal to realise PC gaming’s TV dream, but Microsoft holds all the keys. If Microsoft really wants to get into PC gaming full-time, it needs to get around the table with Mr Newell and its platinum chequebook. “It’s time for us to talk about gaming […]

  • Hyperdimension Neptunia Re;Birth 1 releases on Steam next week

    Hyperdimension Neptunia Re;Birth 1 will be released on Steam for PC next week. The PC version of the was announced earlier this month and contains upgraded graphics, runs in 1080p, and has both Japanese and English audio. It will release on January 28 for $14.99. Fairy Fencer F and Hyperdimension Neptunia Re;Birth 2 also coming […]

  • Take a look at the controls and special abilities in The Order: 1886

    The Order: 1886 has a new trailer available that highlights the game’s controls and reveals the two special abilities the main protagonist has at his disposal. The game uses a similar control scheme to other shooters, but just in case you wanted to see more gameplay, we’ve got just the thing. The most interesting parts […]

  • These elderly people are better at GTA 5 than you’d expect

    Do old people get video games? Namely something known for its violence like GTA? Well, you’re about to find out. The latest REACT production sits a few elderly men and women in a room and lets them play GTA 5. The results are not what you’d expect, they start off getting a feel for the […]

  • More major Microsoft titles will be coming to PC

    Microsoft will bring more of its franchises to PC. Following on from yesterday’s big Windows stream, Microsoft has released a full recap on Xbox Wire. In the blog post, the firm hid a small bit of news revealing that Fable Legends will not be the only title to come to PC. “Today we announced that […]

  • Someone is attempting to recreate Dark Souls’ Lordran in Minecraft

    Lordran, the land of the ancient lords will soon be explorable in Minecraft thanks to a passionate modder. Davweed is a talented modder attempting to recreate the entire world of Lordran in Minecraft. Lordran is the land where the entire Dark Souls game is set. The goal is to make it a 1:1 scale of […]

  • Elite: Dangerous is getting Community Goals with update 1.1 – all the details

    Patch 1.1 is Elite: Dangerous’ first major update. Developer Frontier has detailed Community Goals, the big change coming with the patch, and more. We were told last week that big additions are coming with patch 1.1, due in February. Today, we learn in more detail what those features are. Namely, what the developer is calling […]

  • Sunset Overdrive, Skyrim and Dead Rising 3 highlight this week’s Deals with Gold

    A new week, a new set of deals for Xbox Live Gold subscribers and we’ve got the full list. Major Nelson posted the deals which are live now and run through Monday, January 26. Highlights include Sunset Overdrive, Dead Rising 3, Skyrim, Final Fantasy 13-2 and more. Check the full list below. Xbox One Dead […]

  • Survarium: 10,000 FREE Premium account keys to give away

    We have 10,000 codes to give away for MMOFPS Survarium, granting the player a Premium account for 24 hours along with 5,000 Silver coins. Each key gives the player a Premium account for 24 hours along with 5,000 Silver in-game currency. A Premium account gives you 50 percent more experience, income and reputation for 24 […]

  • “I don’t like people thinking we’re doing underhanded, dirty shit,” says Evolve dev

    Despite what it looks like, Evolve developers did not intend to give out the wrong signals when it comes to the game’s DLC plan. Evolve creative director Phil Robb spoke to Destructoid in an interview that was conducted late last year about the studio’s approach to DLC, map packs and more. Robb’s idea is that […]

  • Clock Tower spiritual successor Night Cry gets first screens

    Night Cry is coming along nicely and today we get our first look at it. Ever since the announcement of Project Scissors (at the time) last September, and then the name change to Night Cry, we’ve been waiting to see what the game looks like, especially since it’s developed with mobile platforms in mind. Today, […]

  • Tekken X Street Fighter is still happening, 40 people working on it

    Tekken X Street Fighter is definitely not vaporware. A team of 40 developers is currently working on it, according to director Katushiro Harada. Harada was interviewed by Polygon. In the interview, he touched on many topics, one of which is the status of the seemingly-never-coming-out Tekken X Street Fighter. “It’s very difficult to talk about,” […]

  • From Game of Thrones to Borderlands: all of Telltale’s adventure games rated

    Telltale Games has an impressive back catalogue of licensed adventure games to its name, and we have opinions about all of them. Note that this rundown doesn’t include bundles, the non-adventure games or games published by Telltale but created by other developers. It’s also got a fair bit of speculation in it, since at least […]

  • There is probably a new Battletoads game coming

    If you’ve watched last night’s Windows presentation you knew you recognised that logo on Phil Spencer’s t-shirt. Wearing a t-shirt with a logo of an upcoming game is an antic we’ve come to expect from Xbox boss Phil Spencer now. Based on that, we wouldn’t be alone in predicting that a new Battletoads game is […]

  • Here’s a short, 60fps trailer for DmC: Definitive Edition

    DmC: Definitive Edition has a new video available that shows the game running at 60 frames-per-second. Capcom has put out a short new trailer for the Definitive Edition of DmC: Devil May Cry that takes a look at different stages and boss fights. The video begs to watched in 1080p60 quality, if your connection can […]

  • Xbox One to PC streaming targeting 1080p, 60fps

    Microsoft has revealed that it’s looking to achieve 1080p resolution at 60 frames-per-second when the Xbox One game streaming launches later this year. The question of what final resolution and framerate Xbox One game streaming will operate at was on a lot of people’s minds when the demo was shown. Thankfully, Microsoft’s Mike Ybarra has […]

  • Microsoft is looking at offering PC to Xbox streaming

    Having announced Xbox One to PC streaming as part of its Windows event last night, Microsoft said that making the process a two-way street is on the cards. Microsoft’s Phil Spencer sat down to do a group interview following the Windows event and talked a little bit about the firm’s plans for streaming, including a […]

  • Watch John Romero play Doom

    John Romero made DOOM, and now you can watch him play it, dropping many a delightful gem of insight regarding one of the most important shooters of all time. This video was organised by Double Fine as part of its Devs Play series, a thing I only just discovered and now want to marathon all […]

  • World of Speed has gotten fairly pretty over the past year

    World of Speed has produced a new trailer, showing off the racing MMO’s progress over the past year. Announced one year ago, World of Speed is looking pretty damn shiny now. Check it out in this trailer, which introduces the Mountain Spiral Road location and teases several yet to be revealed. World of Speed comes […]

  • Minecraft user data leaked in plain text – change your passwords

    Minecraft users should change their passwords and those of any accounts using the same log-in details. Minecraft’s user data servers have apparently been compromised, with user names and passwords leaked online in plain text. 1,800 Mojang accounts were affected. The news comes via German source Heise and The Guardian and has been treated quite seriously […]

  • Resident Evil: The Final Chapter will commence filming in August

    The sixth Resident Evil movie is back on track. Resident Evil: The Final Chapter will begin filming in August, having been delayed to accomodate star Milla Jovovich’s pregnancy. In a Facebook post, Jovovich said she’s currently being very mindful of gaining enough weight to ensure a healthy birth for her second child, without the risk […]

  • Nintendo bosses “do not really understand modern gaming”, says former executive

    Former Nintendo executive Dan Adelman has provided frank insight into the Japanese platform holder’s inner workings. Adelman, who was one of Nintendo’s most important developer liaisons, left in August 2014. One of the first things he did was say that Nintendo had issued a gag order on his social media use, and shortly thereafter called […]

  • Sony’s 10% apology discount doesn’t apply to pre-orders

    Sony has updated the terms and conditions of its apology discount to exclude pre-orders. PSN members have been offered a 10% discount voucher as an apology for downtime over the holidays due to DDoS attacks. In an update to the PlayStation Blog announcement post, Sony clarified that you can’t use this for pre-orders. So. That […]

  • 343 to beta test Halo: The Master Chief Collection matchmaking fix

    Halo: The Master Chief Collection is still broken, believe it or not. The next Halo: The Master Chief Collection update is, like most of the others so far, designed to resolve the shooter collection’s ongoing matchmaking woes. 343 Industries is determined to get it right, apparently, as it’s gone so far as to elect to […]

  • Here’s the release schedule for Star Citizen’s story and first-person modules

    Star Citizen lead Chris Roberts has shared release windows for several modules of the space simulation sandbox. Star Citizen was the focus of a BAFTA Masterclass presentation yesterday, during which Roberts outlined the game’s current development milestone goals. Polygon captured the details. The first person shooter, planetside and social elements on the game are expected […]

  • Destiny: Crota’s End Hard Mode has already been beaten

    Destiny’s toughest challenge got extra tough today, but a troop of willing Guardians stepped up to the line of duty. Destiny developer Bungie has verified the identities of the first Guardians to beat hard mode for the Crota’s End raid, which launched earlier today. Bungie User Research has confirmed the World First finishers for the […]

  • All maps and modes for Battlefield Hardline detailed

    A third map and mode has been announced for Battlefield Hardline which means all modes and maps have been revealed. The new mode is Crosshair, a second competitive mode in which a former criminal “turned state’s witness” is on the run. His former buddies, who are criminals, are trying to kill him and the cops […]

  • Alien: Isolation has sold over 1 million copies

    Alien: Isolation has sold over 1 million copies, Creative Assembly and SEGA announced today, and probably in joyous fashion, although PR mails never denote the writer’s mood. The quote included from creative lead, Alistair Hope does sound as though he is super pleased with the milestone. “It has been fantastic to watch the reviews come […]

  • Fable Legends launching on PC alongside Xbox One with cross-platform play

    Fable Legends was announced for PC today during Microsoft’s Windows 10 event, along with the news it would contain cross-platform play with Xbox One. The game will allow you to play with up to four of your friends online across both platforms. A video from the team at Lionhead, which goes into more detail, was […]

  • Parkour pioneer David Belle acted as a consultant on Dying Light

    It has been announced that actor, stunt coordinator and leading pioneer of Parkour, David Belle, consulted on Dying Light in order to bring authentic parkour to the game. According to a press release sent over by Techland, the development team worked with Belle to “verify the depiction of parkour” in the game as well as […]