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Developer Speaks Out Against 'Gamer Feminists'

Rust developer Garry Newman spoke out for Ubisoft in the current controversy, but went about it all wrong... and perhaps made the problem worse.

Last week a controversy arose pertaining to the lack of female playable characters in Assassin's Creed: Unity and Far Cry IV saying that it "can't be done" because it would be too much work.

However, it seems like there may be a new controversy on the rise associated with the game: Rust developer Garry Newman speaking out against the "self elected video gamer feminists."

His intentions, saying that Ubisoft is unfairly receiving all the blame for a problem that is prevalent all over the gaming industry "as if they invented sexism", are good.  But the way that he went about it, arguing over Twitter has not only made the problem worse but lost him followers of his game, some even requesting a refund for the money that they spent on Rust.

Newman seemed to try and backtrack later on by posting a tweet clarifying his original intentions, saying "It would undoubtedly be good if there were more female protagonists in games, but rallying against games for not having any is insane, in my own personal opinion," but it wasn't nearly as well met as some of his other tweets.  All of this craziness comes after last week's announcement from Ubisoft that says we can expect to encounter some strong female characters in Assassin's Creed: Unity

I'm sure when Ubisoft decided to address the issue of the lack of female playable characters it was not with the intentions to make the gaming world upset or to provoke a twitter battle that has quite possibly lost business for a different game developer.  Assassin's Creed Unity director Alex Amancio claimed that it would take a lot of extra work-- an estimated 8,000 extra animations-- for the female character alone, which if they took the time to do may possibly impact the game's release date.  From a business standpoint, it makes sense.

However, the way that the issue has been handled has caused nothing but more problems.  Perhaps everyone involved (or those with a strong opinion that have been involving themselves) should just stay quiet for a while to assure that an already negative thing doesn't grow worse, into something that may be unable to be resolved.

Published Jun. 20th 2014
  • MiriGhost
    Ubi's not wanted to have a woman in the lead for along time with lovely excuses like, " It was a story about men," " a woman just wasn't right for our story," and now the ever popular " having a woman is too much work" we also have FC4's excuse of " we were inches away but couldn't find a woman to do the VA." FAns are sick of their BS and finally called them out on it.

    The message ubi sends over and over with comments like above are girls suck but then they say here's a token woman lead with a crappy port love it cuz we won't be making another anytime soon despite the fact it did well for both Ubi's pockets and players who like fem leads, unless they make more ACL its simply their, " We have black friends!" so they can move on to the real games! This retourt is done to the gaming world that want women in the titles they now enjoy.

    But who cares right?

    Women own more consoles then men, they play the same games, and log the same hours, http://www.academia.edu/3304688/A_quantitative_study_exploring_the_difference_between_gaming_genre_preferences

    An indie project to catalog all major games 1981 to now has found women are out numbered as sole leads by 1 to 6 http://www.truancyfactory.com/articles/gender-representation-in-video-games.html

    In 2014 48% of women buy the same amount as 53% of men do on games http://www.statista.com/statistics/232383/gender-split-of-us-computer-and-video-gamers/ yet devs can't be bothered to care about what they want in a game

    In 2011 women made up 40% of traditional gamers vs 53% mobile http://www.statista.com/statistics/272327/mobile-social-and-traditional-gaming-users-by-gender/ and now that the number is up by 8% people still want to assume its all mobile players.

    You want to know more fun facts?

    Like 20% of women play COD you know its only manly to shoot people in the face!

    BW gimped their ME3 fshep numbers by counting ONLY xbox gold and ps+ to come out with the lovely number of only 18% of players played as her. You want to know the rest? Well 80% of players customized an fshep compared to 42% of players who made an mshep. In a bsn user wide poll 27% always play as her, 25% usually pick her for playthrough but have played male also. According to devs adding fshep has been well worth it.

    Kings Quest IV back in 1989 had 40% fem players and sold over 200,000 copies but girls didn't play games back then! http://gamestudies.org/1302/articles/nooney

    When publishers and developers work to not have fem leads they actively keep saying women aren't worth it and no one would want to be one anyway because girl is stupid boy is awesome! And with all the men and women buying your product who want a fem hero they will eventually get sick of your message and either stop gaming or play an RPG or mod a PC game that caters more to their desire and stop fallowing and playing your game.
  • Si_W
    Actually I think that now the point has been made that everyone needs to leave it alone.

    On both sides.

    For the likes of Ubisoft, their position is silly.

    For those criticising Ubisoft, this is doing what is normal with ourselves and going too far. People demanding refunds for software they bought, played and presumably liked just because you got upset by 140 characters or less?

    I looked at the Twitter feed you linked to in the article above, and quite frankly it reminded me why Twitter is completely pointless.
  • Mary Yeager
    Senior Intern
    To be honest, I disagree. If everyone just stayed silent during the height of an issue, nothing would affect change. Perhaps some go about it using the wrong tactics but some people are just aggressive in nature and that's human.

    Ubisoft dug its own trench this time and now they are having to deal with the fall out. And there is a reason behind the outrage. I noticed here at GS the focus has been on AC: Unity, but it goes well beyond that and that is the heart of the issue. It isn't just about AC. The developers of FC4 came out with the same exact reasoning on lack of females in their game. The exact same reason. This was a decision made at the corporate level and Ubisoft project managers are having to take the fall saying "they didn't have time." Its bad form considering they debut other games coming out with females in them, but they are the "cutesy" games.

    Ubisoft is a major corporation in the industry and this decision to cut females was made at that level. Ubisoft apparently didn't think we were worth the cost or extra effort. And that is what is the most upsetting.
  • Venisia Gonzalez
    Featured Columnist
    Mary you bring up what is really the "heart" of the issue.
  • Krystina Butler
    Senior Intern
    I don't agree with anything that has happened with Ubisoft at all and I completely see what you are saying. My thoughts stem from basically they, and those that are trying to defend them, are making it worse by trying to explain themselves when they are really in the wrong. It's beginning to get to the point where it seems that they might begin to lose business, so if they want to keep making sales in a gaming market that is heading downhill as it is (with the closing down of multiple game developers and gaming magazines/ websites in the last month alone) they will either try and fix it, or stop trying to dig themselves out of a whole and instead digging themselves farther into it.
  • Mary Yeager
    Senior Intern
    Ok, I get you now. Article was a little unclear on which side should stop making it negative. And I agree. My biggest protest is me and my wallet. And guess who's keeping their money.
  • Miranda Kirk
    Featured Columnist
    I agree with you when you say people should just hold off on the comments until it goes over with the people terribly upset over the issue. I think Newman was making a good point but had no idea how to express that point in the right way. Ubisoft is receiving hate for something that is prevalent in the gaming industry and however unfair that is if Ubisoft would have been honest and said something like they didn't even think about it or even better if they said they would work on including female assassins in the next game, they would be in much less trouble

    I just think they didn't have anyone on their team that knew how to handle these issues and that hurt them. Everyone should take a tip from how Nintendo handled the Tomadachi Life controversy about same-sex marriages in the game.

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