BioWare producer claims its female characters are not iconic

The female version of Hawke in Dragon Age 2. A Caucasian woman is shown with a strong and confident look is on her face. Her hair is short and dark grey, and she wears a set of plate armor that surprisingly covers all of her arms and chest.


BioWare sure isn’t on a roll lately when it comes to their developers sharing their opinions publicly.  A conversation on Twitter went down Wednesday in which a producer at BioWare claimed that woman Shepard (from the Mass Effect series) and woman Hawke (from Dragon Age 2) are not iconic characters.  Here’s what happened:

@MiaC  asks:

“All promo materials I see for Dragon Age 2 keep referring to Hawke as a guy. Female Hawke that uninteresting?”

@gTez replies:

“Not in the least. Just Man Hawke is iconic like Man Shep is for Mass Effect. Fem Shep is the fan favorite though but not mkting.”

gTez is the Twitter handle of Jesse Houston, Producer at Bioware for the last 3 years who has worked on Mass Effect 2 and 3.  His “About” section of his Twitter profile states that “opinions expressed here are solely my own and not the views of BioWare ULC.”  We’re not going to take his reply on Twitter as an official statement from BioWare, but this is just another example in the long list of game developers who are perpetuating the male-centric nature of the gaming industry.

Hm, I wonder why the man Shepard is so iconic.  Could it be because it’s the only character that BioWare’s marketing has ever used?  Television ads, print ads, internet ads, you name it – they all feature the male version of Mass Effect’s player-controlled protagonist.  It’s almost as if players cannot choose to make their character a woman.  How disappointing (and not very surprising) it is that Houston acknowledges that female Shepard is the fan favorite but admits that marketing still chooses the male avatar for promotional materials.

The most upsetting aspect of his statement for me, is that he is labeling male Hawke as being iconic before Dragon Age 2 has even released to the public.  He is only iconic because he’s the only character shown on every piece of promo material for the game.  Talk about a self-fulfilling prophecy.  A producer on the game feels that the male version of their main characters are the most prominent representation of the game.   You know what?  He’s right.  And it’s a sad truth.  The male characters are definitely more visible, but it’s only because BioWare has made them that way.  It’s a shame, because BioWare could have done things differently with Dragon Age 2 had it been a priority for them.

(Thanks to @AngryCSR for the tip)

About Tami Baribeau

Lead Editor and co-founder of The Border House, feminist, gamer, lover of social media, technology, and virtual worlds. Pansexual, equestrian, dog lover, social game studio director and producer. Email me here and follow me on Twitter!
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64 Responses to BioWare producer claims its female characters are not iconic

  1. It’s like they’re trying to make us hate them. ._.

    And if your games allow you to create your own character, it seems really weird to treat any version of the character as more iconic…

  2. ticktock6 says:

    There is nothing I detest more than marketing that doesn’t make it clear I can play a character of either gender. I don’t play RPGs that won’t let me play female. So they are just losing a customer if they don’t advertise the true nature of their customization options. There’s nothing “iconic” about losing money.

    If I hadn’t already been invested in Mass Effect for 3 years I would be turned off by comments like this. I have false-started Dragon Age a couple times and never really got invested in it. I have the game. But the “Shepherdization” of Dragon Age 2 in contrast to DA:O makes me wonder if it’s even worth getting into.

    Bethesda doesn’t genderize their main character. (This is not to say they don’t have other problems or gender glitches in their games, but.) If they did this sort of thing, people would think it a bit weird. Maybe I hang out on modding sites too much, but it seems female characters are far more popular than male. You have to wonder what sort of chicken/egg order this all happens in. If people think “I wanna play as THAT Shepherd from the ad” and don’t customize at all, why is that? Who put the idea into their heads?

  3. pyrofennec says:

    Oh, take a leap, Bioware. This is a load of bollocks.

  4. gunthera1 says:

    It seems to me that if the female Shepard is a fan favorite, than her image IS just as iconic as the male Shepard. The same will apply for the female Hawke once people get Dragon Age 2. Them ignoring the players who chose the female protagonist upsets me.

    Also, only using the male version of the character in marketing is a bad way to let people know you can play as either a female of male protagonist. I don’t understand why that choice is so hidden in the advertising. I see it as a huge selling point for the games.

  5. idoless says:

    What I don’t understand is why the original Dragon age: Origins had the silhouette of *someone* in armor on the cover..could’ve easily been male or female and that seemed to make the game sell just fine!

    Now, all of a sudden, they feel as though they need to make a male “the face” of the game when it was already proven that ambiguity sells too? Disheartening to say the least..

  6. Callan says:

    Oh, for the love of…come ON, BioWare. I’d so been hoping Stanley Woo was an isolated case of the stupids.

  7. JoeTortuga says:

    While I agree with the issue about female characters, and certainly BioWare’s lack of use of female leads in their advertising, I read the use of iconic here to mean that they’d chosen the men to be the icons/brand of their games, not that their female characters weren’t iconic characters.

    It’s the same problem, but a different reading of what that developer said. I read his tweet as a complaint that marketing was driving it, not that the female characters weren’t ‘up to it’.

    I admit I could be wrong in my take, however.

    • Mirai says:

      Seconding this.

      • Ann says:

        Thirding this. Also, he does WORK there. He can hardly go all rabid about how the marketing of his company works, regardless of what his personal opinion is – it’d be a dangerous position for him to take, to say the least.

        From my reading of the tweet, his comment very clearly detached whatever he might think of it and stated that it was a marketing bias in regards to which gender of character was iconic, pure and simple.

        I also have to say – I think the title of this article is misleading, and conflates the marketing position into the producer’s position, which just isn’t validated by his statement. :(

        • Melthia says:

          If he is truly griping about marketing, there are ways to make that clear without risking the ire of either his employers, or femShep/Hawke fans. If something’s too long to fit in one tweet, you make another tweet.

          He didn’t do that, though.

          • Ann says:

            Was he asked for that clarification, or was this post just written as a result of someone pointing at the tweet, though?

            • Melthia says:

              If you’re making a statement about how your company views/markets female characters, you better make damn sure you’re clear the first time, without people having to ask you.

              Now, as it happens, he did sort of try to clarify later, but didn’t do it all that well. First was:

              “@missmanda83 I can’t speak for hawke as I’m an me dude. But BSG wouldn’t be if it was BSGandthatothership :). Not being dismissive just…”

              Followed closely by:

              “@missmanda83 a belief that Casey and our mktg dept have (I don’t think I have enough xp to hold a valid opinion yet)”

              And then:

              “@MadmanJWalker naw man shep is a Casey Hudson made icon! Casey’s vision for him has been pretty cool. Not a rebuke just a clarification.”

              And now he’s given up and gone quiet about work.

              “If you follow me on twitter to find out info about my work, you should stop, I’m now officially only tweeting about my personal life. *sigh*”

        • Cuppycake says:

          I’m failing to see how my title was not accurate. He stated that the female characters are not iconic as far as marketing is concerned. Which is what my article is saying. Marketing has already decided that the male version of their characters is the iconic representation of the game and he has confirmed that for us. He also confirmed beliefs that the fan favorite is actually female Shepard, but that marketing disregards this in order to target the demographic they’re going after.

          In other words, he told us that the female characters aren’t iconic. Exactly what the title says, no?

          • Ann says:

            As this reads to me, the title implies that this is his own belief, a personal opinion of his – but it’s not, it’s a stance he attributes to marketing. The two aren’t the same thing.

            • virtual.jess says:

              Ann, Melthia provides evidence to directly refute your interpretation in the post above:
              ““@missmanda83 I can’t speak for hawke as I’m an me dude. But BSG wouldn’t be if it was BSGandthatothership . Not being dismissive just…”

              Followed closely by:

              “@missmanda83 a belief that Casey and our mktg dept have (I don’t think I have enough xp to hold a valid opinion yet)””

  8. Trodamus says:

    Jesse here was basically trying to say that Male!Hawke is iconic because marketing deemed it so, but you couldn’t really tell from the foot in his mouth. But then, this is why most companies have designated PR and marketing departments, so people like Jesse here don’t make huge gaffes like this. But then, when the marketing department is what’s behind the focus on the male option to begin with…

    Fable 2 did this too. One of the biggest additions to that game was the gender option, but you wouldn’t think so from the box art or what’s on the back.

    Quite a few games are coming out with multiple boxes and cover arts and whatnot. Wouldn’t it be nice if they did that for Dragon Age 2, for boy and girl Hawke? They’d probably get a few more sales out of collectors and whatnot too.

  9. EmmyG says:

    Quite a few games are coming out with multiple boxes and cover arts and whatnot. Wouldn’t it be nice if they did that for Dragon Age 2, for boy and girl Hawke? They’d probably get a few more sales out of collectors and whatnot too.

    Heh, I like that idea.

    And while I doubt that my Hawke will actually loook like DefaultFemHawke, at least the default one isn’t completely invisible… I have seen her around in the pre-release info, which is a kind of marketing, if only for the hardcore, and her design catches my interest a lot more than MaleHawke does. (Actually I can’t remember much about what he looks like other than the matching red stripe across the nose, but she stuck in my mind.)

  10. awildawn says:

    I agree with Trodamus and Joe. I read it like it meant that although fans deemed femshemps and femHawke as iconic characters, Bioware marketing wouldn’t take it into account.
    When you think about it, devs at bioware spend their time writing and creating assets for female characters, it wouldn’t very logical if they were that sexist.
    Now, when I read that the advertising of the ME3 and DA2 (or Fable 2) doesn’t emphasize the possibility to play as a woman, I find it lacking in its ambition to reach to a wider audience that could be interested in these games.

  11. NonCon says:

    I find this especially funny because I don’t even know what the marketing version of MaleHawke looks like but I know FemHawke at a glance. I rarely play as female characters in games where it’s an option, but in DA2 I most certainly will because I know FemHawke’s look better and that’s the more familiar protagonist to me.

    • Cuppycake says:

      Agree with this. It’s interesting that the most ‘iconic’ character in both games is actually Generic White Dude. There is nothing iconic about the character design at all. You could pick him up and plop him down in Oblivion or The Witcher or any other RPG.

  12. Trodamus says:

    If the gendered writing is anything on the level of Fem!Warden speaking with Sten, then I think She-Hawke (Shawke?) is the way to go. That was was amazing and entertaining.

    • Denis Farr says:

      That was an awesome thread of conversation. It would be interesting if more encounters as such could occur, especially as the Qunari seem to have more of a presence in this world. It’s an intriguing juxtaposition considering that the rest of Fereldan seems pretty okay with females being equal (I also liked that they acknowledged earlier sexism toward female warriors through the story of Aveline, the first woman to be knighted posthumously).

      I like Lady Hawke, but I also liked that film.

      • Deviija says:

        Mama Cousland was a great depiction of a (older) woman in Fereldan. She was nobility and yet she could throw down ferociously, and snaps at you if you try to coddle her. I love her.

        Fereldan does not appear to have much issue with sexism in that they recognize ladies being capable warriors and able to reach positions of power without stigma. Ser Cauthrien, Loghain’s most trusted lieutenant right-hand woman and a Knight, is a great showing of this as well.

        The story of Aveline, however, is a nod toward the earlier sexism in Orlais’ culture, not Fereleden. :) This had to do with the origins of the chevalier and how it came about that women could be warriors in Orlais from Aveline’s epic.

        Another thing is that only women serve within the Chantry’s priesthood. No men allowed. Only in the affiliated groups, like Templars and non-ordained positions, can men fill a role. So there is that interesting angle too, IMO.

        • Deviija says:

          Oh, and forgot to add: The conversation the female PC has with Alistair, about how he’s not used to seeing a female Warden and that they were rare in his time serving, is a showing of some sexism, perhaps, in the Grey Wardens. But Wardens aren’t a Ferelden-only — or even a Ferelden-borne — organization, they’re neutral third parties of the world itself.

          • Denis Farr says:

            Ah, yes, Orlais.

            Sten actually does have a conversation with the female Warden concerning why she’s there, as she’s fulfilling the wrong wrong, since Qunari women are not allowed to be warriors. It’s an interesting bit of dialog that I missed when I played my male mage (though he had other words about mages).

            • Denis Farr says:

              Make that, the wrong role. While I doubt we’ll see female Qunari in this game, I do hope we get more interaction with their culture; particularly as Sten was the only bit we had otherwise (even though we fought some Qunari mercenaries).

            • Devonian says:

              Sten has a similar conversation with Leliana via party banter if you’re not a woman.

        • Ben says:

          Only women being ordained in the Chantry (and the vastly different attitutdes towards gender compared to real world medieval cultures) seems to be a direct result of the dominant religion having a female Christ-figure. Andraste wasn’t just, you know, burned alive and all: she led an armed rebellion against the Tevinter Imperium.

  13. Yeah, I think “iconic” is being used here in the sense that e.g. D&D uses “iconic characters”–the specific character chosen and designed to be the emblem of a particular game (or class, in D&D), a prescriptive icon rather than descriptive.

    Which doesn’t in any way erase the general criticism, of course.

    Of course, I’m just upset that DA2 has an iconic character at all, and its general Mass-Effect-ification. DA1 didn’t have an iconic character–the many options for the PC were the point of “Origins”, after all. (Also: playing an exiled black dwarf princess in a world without any black dwarfs was hilarious/disturbing.)

    • Denis Farr says:

      I had a similar experience, though my exiled dwarf princess was Latina.

      Then again, that was the fun part about DA:O. I know they had a ‘typical’ human male Warden for their advertising for DA:O, but it never occurred to me to play him. Considering I’ve met a number who just play default maleShep in Mass Effect, I feel much the same will happen here.

  14. Bethany says:

    That actually always bothered me about ME and ME2. You can play as either male or female, sure, and that’s great! But marketing makes it clear who the “real” Shepard is (male, that is).

    • Bethany says:

      I want a Femshep poster. :(

      • Superblondine says:

        So do I! Heck, I’d actually like ANY form of femshep marking. BioWare would win my heart if they miraculously decided to make a ME3 trailer featuring her instead of male Shepard. Alas, I know that is too much to hope for… =(

    • Agrona says:

      And like the most boring possible Male Shepard at that.

    • Ben says:

      My brother played a slightly-adjusted default Male Shep and he struck me as incredibly bland. I don’t know why Bioware thinks Blandy McBlanderson should be their iconic character.

      • Ohma says:

        teens just love short brown haired 30-something white guys with beard stubble

        or at least that’s the prevailing meme apparently

  15. virtualjess says:

    Wasn’t there an article on Border House a while back about how games don’t advertise that you can play as both male and female in them? Bioware was on of the honourable mentions…

    I find it striking that people in that company actually believe that icons are spontaneously occurring phenomena, rather than explicit outcomes of design and marketing choices and the identities and situations of the individuals who make said choices.

    “Well, it’s an icon/archetype/marketing choice, therefore it is beyond the pale of social critique, and WE certainly don’t subscribe to any of the views that you think underly it… stop OVERREACTING ladies…”


  16. Jamie says:

    I can actually remember reading the Mass Effect review in the (UK) PC GAMER magazine, and the writer actually saying that you should play as FemShep since she was voiced by Jennifer Hale, who is apparently brilliant in it.

    So I dutifully did when I got Mass Effect, and I did think the voice acting was better for FemShep than MaleShep, (though I only played MaleShep for the first mission, so I might have gotten used to his voice.

    Which leads to my point that MaleShep is iconic only because some players simply can’t be bothered to change their characters gender, maybe they don’t know, maybe they just want to play as quickly as possible with the quickplay function, but to be honest, if you consider a character ‘iconic’ yet you don’t really give a chance for the female character, it’s going to be a self-fulfilling prophecy.

    Honestly though, I always though Garrus or Liara were more iconic in the original Mass Effect, they just looked (on a superficial level) much more interesting than the rather generic humans and because they appeared in so much promotional material.

    Interestingly, I was just randomly looking around the net while typing this, and found a Dragon Age 2 article on IGN in which the writer used a female Hawke in all their screenshots, ( and then he mentions that your family’s appearance will change as you change that of your character’s oh crap, I;m getting optimistic.

  17. Trodamus says:

    Which leads to my point that MaleShep is iconic only because some players simply can’t be bothered to change their characters gender, maybe they don’t know, maybe they just want to play as quickly as possible with the quickplay function

    Given these statistics, most players actually did customize their ME2 Shepard, so I don’t think the preponderance is because they just hit (A) until they could shoot something. I’m not sure what it says otherwise that most people that played ME2 played a guy, but there you go.

    For myself, in video game RPGs, I find it difficult to get immersed if I’m playing a male, because there’s this weird idea that they’re supposed to be me, and they’re not…and I always just make decisions “I” would make anyway. My Fem!Shep had a deep backstory involving her Indian mother, whom she followed into the service, and her British father who more or less stays on Earth with his (extended) family. Guyshep would just be, “Here I am, in space for some reason.”

    • Doug S. says:

      Hmmm. I think the degree to which the viewpoint character of an RPG is “me” tends to vary… the WRPGs I play tend to have highly customizable characters and branching dialogue, while JRPGs hand you a character with his or her own personality and dialogue (when they don’t give you a silent protagonist instead). Baldur’s Gate II is “my” story, but Final Fantasy X is the story of Tidus and Yuna.

    • Jamie says:

      Heh, that’ll teach me to go looking for information (that I knew existed) before I spout my mouth off.

  18. Rakaziel says:

    I actually even see a reson besides sexism why they may have considered M-Hawke as more iconic. He or she is a warrior and armor simply looks even bulkier and more impressive when the character is taller and has broader shoulders. It’s like the difference between a rhino and a bigger rhino.
    Though I also still assume they try to cater to a certain male audience. And wonder why, actually. It would be saner to use the fan favorite in the promotional material.

    The iconic character from DA:O was Morrigan imo. Yes, the bikini was eye candy but she looked actually iconic aside from that.

    • kateri says:

      Actually, despite his ruggedness, Promo-ManHawke is a mage, and the LadyHawke we’ve seen seems to be the warrior of the pair.

  19. Alex says:

    I can see the producer deflecting to the marketing team, and just not having enough room on Twitter to explain fully. That I can buy. But it doesn’t change the fact that the marketers are fucking AWFUL.

  20. Deviija says:

    It truly does irritate me that we, the consume, require a ‘iconic’ image to cling to and for marketing purposes. The common response from companies (and BioWare on this, as we on the forums have complained and asked about this many times) is that it would be TOO confusing to market more than one iconic image of the headlining character. It would be too confusing to the consumer.

    Not a good excuse/answer/response, IMO. Tis easy enough to market with a video about crafting your own hero and having an epic journey, where you are in control of your destiny/fate, and the decisions you make will echo across time… or some ridonkulous fantasy eyecatch summary. ;)

    • ticktock6 says:

      Yes, and how come MMO marketing doesn’t require an “iconic” image to sell games? I’ve heard people play those.

      I agree. I want to know that I’m playing a game that lets me craft a cool hero of my own.

    • Korva says:

      I find it mind-boggling that marketing assumed there must be an “iconic character” in the first place — and even moreso that this icon must be the protagonist. A symbol, a catchphrase or a tune can be just as memorable or more. And if it absolutely must be a character, then why not use the main villain as many games in the past did?

      Going back to Bioware games of the past, the “iconic protagonist” didn’t appear until Jade Empire. BG1 had the Bhaal symbol as its primary calling card, with Sarevok as a second. BG2? That symbol with the woman in the feathered headdress plus ol’ leatherface Irenicus. The BG2 expansion? The modified Bhaal symbol plus Amelissan. NWN? The eye symbol and Aribeth. KotOR had Bastila and Malak plus several Star Wars calling cards (the font, the scrolling intro, the music).

      Morrowind, Oblivion, the Fallout games and the Diablo games also did not feature an “iconic protagonist” in their marketing. So what gives? Did any of these flop horribly due to that “lack”? Hardly!

      Even in Jade Empire, you could argue that Furious Ming and Wu the Lotus Blossom, which as I recall got the most publicity among the preset protagonist options, were not THE big symbol of the game, as Death’s Hand as the supposed main antagonist can also make that claim. And in this case, we DID have both genders represented!

      So where on Earth does that “we must have an iconic straight white dude hero icon” craze come from?

      • Korva says:

        Trust me to forget half my thoughts.

        Maybe the “iconic protagonist” craze is due to games being pushed out of the gamer niche and more into public view? The older games certainly did not have TV or cinema ads that I am aware of. But even so, I don’t get it. As others have said, surely “create your own character” has a big appeal as well, and a wider one at that? Do marketing people believe that their target audience is too stupid or has too short and attention span to appreciate choice? Or do they simply not see or aim for anyone who is not a young, straight white male? Having recently discovered this blog and some others like it, I am glad that I’m apparently not alone in my jaded impression that the answer is “both”.

        For Dragon Age, I always thought that the blood dragon is the perfect calling card. How many generic dudes do we see every day in countless products? And how many blood dragons? Now I grant you that as a homosexual feminist woman I’m “biased” and fed up with all those generic guys, but surely I’m not the only one who thinks that the blood dragon is way more unique and recognizable?

        • Deviija says:

          Yay, Korva! :) It is good to see you here.

          In the end, I think much of this iconic character for marketing hooplah is an excuse. Why we need an excuse in a game where you have freedom to customize your character’s appearance and be a lady or a gentleman is beyond me. Especially when those huge facets of the game are rarely touched upon — like Mass Effect. You can be a lady and you can customize your appearance, but… you’d never know that from the marketing or the info ME had on its website.

          As I often tell on the BioWare forums when these topics crop up, I never knew you could play ME as a lady — nevermind that you could personalize Shepard (of both genders) — and it is one of the big reasons why I never gave the game a second look. It wasn’t until eight months after the game’s release that a friend showed me you could be a woman and make her your own. :\ (Of course, the way the series is going by ME2, I have no interest in the franchise any longer.)

  21. Callan says:

    BTW, this article and Houston’s tweet were both noted this morning on the BioWare boards (see FemShep and FemHawke fan threads), and at this time, not a single BioWare staffer has bothered to reply, even just to say, “Yeah, that’s how it is. Sorry.”

  22. Ben says:

    He’s clearly saying that FemShep and FemHawke are not Marketing’s idea of iconic. I think that’s a huge load, but I don’t want to shoot the messenger here. The real problem is that Marketing at Bioware seems to think that the bland, shaved-head-and-stubble MaleShep is somehow iconic in even the most charitable definition of the word. Iconic characters generally have traits that make them stand out from the average vidja game character, not blend in.

  23. oddboyout says:

    I think it would be cool if the ads they created each had a different version of the main character, the way to keep continuity would be the outfit. That would have be really easy with Shepard for Mass Effect 3.

  24. Matt says:

    It’s amazing what being the first thing in someone’s head can do.

    This picture is the first thing I’ve taken a good solid look at of DA2, and now femHawke is the baseline default for me. “Iconic” if you will.

    …well played with the file name btw

  25. 12Sided says:

    I’m at the point where I’ve got to question why they don’t use the unchanging party members as their ‘iconic’ character. Being able to make your own hero is a selling point, not something to hide. Companions are also something Bioware prides itself on and you don’t have to worry about the disconnect people get when they say ‘that’s not my Shep.’ but they’ve been only letting them out in a trickle but I can already see Varric, Cassandra and Isabella as more iconic then a main character that’s going to be different from player to player, even if they use the defult. To an extant Morrigan was a great icon for the box art of DAO, Garrus and Tali have been constant figures in both ME games.
    It’s such a simple solution *throws hands up*

    • anison says:

      Especially disappointing since BioWare has managed to do that before… if you go back to Knights of the Old Republic, I’d say the most prominent marketing characters were Bastilla and Darth Malak (the primary party companion and the final boss).

  26. Champagne Ivy says:

    Marketing is designed to appeal to the lowest common denominator, sadly. Bioware knows that part of the demographic that they are trying to sell to is incredibly stupid incredibly sexist men who are easily confused and don’t want to play a videogame as a woman.

    Every single single-player game that has customizable characters does this. Fallout 3 did it, Every Fable game did it. It would be nice if instead of using codewords like ‘iconic’ they would just flat out say “We think we have to use a white man to promote the game because gamers are overwhemingly racist and sexist.”

    But I guess that would hurt the feelings of all the racist and sexist people.

    • XIV says:

      The problem I have with it is the question of whether marketing really is designed like that or is it more about a number of (bad) marketing teams making lazy assumptions and apathy, depending on stereotypes and outdated ideas? I always find it dishonest when companies put forward the idea that the audience is forcing them to be this way and not really taking any responsibility themselves? It’s presented as some neutral ground of ‘just business’ and out of their hands, as long as you blame the invisible audience with the gun to your head then you’ll be safe.

      But that part of the demographic thrives and continues to go on and grow with each generation because of the messages that come from games like this, don’t they? Like that ‘women cannot be iconic’. It just further entrenches really disgusting ideas of prejudice. The gaming companies have to take some responsibility, it’s not just a crowd that takes part in perpetuating something. Because constantly fueling it on because that’s the easiest way of things is really just giving it tacit approval.

    • Sharks says:

      Ha ha ha ha! Wow, you really took the words out of my mouth!

      What I don’t get is that with KotOR and Jade Empire, they managed to make box art that either didn’t show the main character, or at least showed more than just “the main guy deemed as most marketable by the PR department.” But I guess KotOR was able to sell on the Star Wars name alone (besides it being a really spectacular game), while Jade Empire floundered, probably because it didn’t feature an ugly, bald, generic space marine shooting aliens on its box. Maybe that’s why Bioware decided to create such a crappy, ugly main “icon” for Mass Effect. Good Lord, I think even if I was a guy I’d be disgusted by default Male Shepard and sing praises for the create-a-character function.

      Also, XIV, you make a really good point about marketing departments.

  27. Callan says:

    He appears to have deleted the tweets to @missmanda83 and @MadmanJWalker now (the ones Melthia linked to and quoted above).

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  30. r_fletch_r says:

    What i hate is the lack of care they put into fem sheps model and animations. she’s just using male sheps motions re targeted onto her skeleton. He has a totally different body type and volume, so animations created for him don’t work so well on her. for instance you can really see it in the first ingame scene where she grabs her side as she wakes up. on male shep it makes contact with his chest but on fem shep it floats beside it (shes smaller so the animation doesnt fit)

    Also all the main characters have fantastic custom face models, where femshep has a crappy NPC head.. What makes me go nuts is Jennifer Hale’s performance is SO good and they sell her work short. Femshep should have been on a par if not better than Miranda or Jack (im not saying she should be packed with sex appeal but she should look better than the NPCS)

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