The role of women in video games has been a very hot topic as of late.
The latest development is bound to generate further discussion- During a recent VG24/7 interview with Naughty Dog creative director Neil Druckmann and voice actress Ashley Johnson (she plays Ellie in the game), we learned that initially, the powers that be didn't want Ellie on the front cover of the box. And why? It was argued that doing so might lead to lower sales. Said Johnson:
" I feel like they don’t put women on the covers because they’re afraid that it won’t sell. It’s all gamers really know–and I don’t want to be sexist by any means–but I get the feeling, generally, that they think game’s won’t sell as well with a woman on the cover, compared to some badass dude on the front. "
Druckmann agreed, saying that he doesn't believe putting a female on a cover would result in lesser sales. He also added that Naughty Dog was asked to remove Ellie from the front of the game box for The Last Of Us …a request the company immediately denied. Said Druckmann:
"I believe there’s a misconception that if you put a girl or a woman on the cover, the game will sell less. I know I’ve been in discussions where we've been asked to push Ellie to the back and everyone at Naughty Dog just flat-out refused."
I'm not entirely sure having men on a video game cover automatically translates to higher sales. That sounds a little outdated to me; that's like implying the same thing of movie box art. Granted, this industry still features a much higher percentage of hardcore male participants but that doesn't necessarily mean they'll somehow subconsciously (or consciously) avoid games with pictures of a female character on the front. Seems silly.