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Saturday, April 16

Here's why there's no Female Sheppard Marketing for ME3

Commander Sheppard: Female
Game Informer has the inside running with Bioware in the lead up to the release of what is going to the year's Best Game (sorrry GOW3, I still love you long time!) Mass Effect 3 - so they got the chance to briefly interview Dr. Greg Zeschuk and Dr. Ray Muzyka - the two founders of Bioware and asked them some questions about a few games - I thought this question about ME3 was most interesting:

For both Mass Effect and Dragon Age, the marketing has focused on male protagonists. Since players can create both male and female characters, why isn’t the female side represented?
Muzyka: That’s a great question. One of the things we really embrace in our games is diversity and enabling people to take on different roles so, obviously, we have strong female leads. We have amazing voice acting talent for both the male and the female roles.

That said, for the marketing face we have to make a choice. And it’s a tough choice to pick an iconic face -- the face of the brand. You have to pick an iconic representation for the brand and it comes down to the marketing team’s intuition. It’s not easy because we know a lot of the fans enjoy playing the female lead so we always make sure it’s just as high quality as the male lead for the main characters in our games.

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So it comes down to a marketing strategy which kind of makes sense - it might suddenly confuse consumers if Commnader Sheppard is suddenly a female - and it could possibly put buyers off if they thought there was a 'new' ME3 main character. I think all the confusion that happened re Master Chief and Noble 6 is a case in point. Either way I'm looking forward to play my male 'Aubrey' Sheppard as a paragon and my 'Bella' Sheppard as a right royal bitch!

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