If history happened again, would the original Tomb Raider have sold if Lara Croft looked like this:
As opposed to this:
If the gameplay and everything else of Tomb Raider was EXACTLY THE SAME, would Tomb Raider have sold?
I do not think it would have. The reason is not because people buy Tomb Raider for Lara Croft, it is that Lara Croft helped satisfy people who bought Tomb Raider.
Content does matter. By content, I mean everything not counting the gameplay. The game setting matters. The escapist world of the game matters. During the peak of Starcraft 2, people said they thought the game was a failure not because of the single player or multiplayer but because of the nonsensical ‘story’.
The Game Industry (meaning the larger game companies) has decided a path of the Gamergate Vs. SJW battle which they believe will satisfy everyone. They are going to leave old iconic characters alone. Lara Croft will not balloon to become a fatso. What they will do, instead, is to create new iconic characters that SJWs will love. They expect gamers to love these characters as well.
All this has been sold to the game artists as ‘their own unique vision’. The artists are not making something to satisfy whatever business objective the company has. No. They are led to believe they are “having a vision” (which must stick to what the company wants hahah).
This example has already been shown with Blizzard. They will not fatten up or cover up Sylvanas, but they will make new fat tub-o-lard women such as that monster just introduced to Overwatch (making Winston the ape pretty in comparison).
I, actually, do not have a problem with this. It hastens the end to some of these companies. Let the market decide.
There are two proposals on why things are the way they are in Gaming World:
A) Gaming was made by nerd male programmers and male artists who keep designing sexy girls for their own amusement with masculine gameplay.
B) Masculine gameplay and sexy girls scampering about is the product of market forces.
I believe the answer is B. The reason why is because the market came to the same reaction with movies, music, modeling, car shows, Hooters, and on and on it goes. Ugly women with ‘different body types’ do not sell. They do not make the cash register go ‘ding’.
It is all about making the cash register go ‘ding’.
The image of sexy women have a way of fooling the male brain to fork over money. Booth babes are not an international patriarchal conspiracy but the result of market forces.
Above: Go to 2:36. Nintendo oppresses and exploits da women. Actually, this is classic sales. Note that all the ladies are wearing high heels. Yum!
“But Malstrom,” you say. “They will just ‘add’ the ‘new body shapes of women’ [and heaven knows what monstrosities they will do with the male figures] by inserting new ones into already profitable franchises.” What the reader is asking is whether new characters will be accepted automatically because they are put into Halo or some other established franchise.
Now I have no doubt they will try to say “see? It sells, therefore we need more fatty and other mutant-like characters.” But there have been many rejected characters from established franchises. Look at a few from Nintendo:
If game companies had the power to make people love any character they made, then Zelda would have been replaced by the Adventures of Tingle by now. Nintendo tried but no one gives a damn about Tingle. He even frightens the kids!
Nintendo has a very strong and loyal fanbase. If Shigeru Miyamoto cannot get all his characters of choice from Nintendo to be iconic, do you really think companies like EA or Ubisoft or Activision can do it?
“But what about Blizzard, Malstrom? OMG.”
Blizzard tried. Look at Tyrael in Diablo 3:
I can’t find any Diablo fan happy about what happened to Tyrael. “But Malstrom, that is because it was a change to an iconic character. It was not a failure of a new character.” OK. Then…
Leah was an absolute failure of a character. No one cares about her.
No one cares about Tosh.
No one cares about Ariel Hanson either.
No love for Aggra either…
I believe people should make whatever games they want to make. However, do not tell the market what to like. The market will tell you what it likes. And it will not be what you want it to be. The market obeys only itself.
Also, all this has happened before, and it will happen again.
Video games always have people complaining the games are too violent or too sexy. We are now in the ‘sexy’ part. Eventually, years from now, the fuss will blow over. Then people will begin complaining that video games are too violent again.