I'm surprised they didn't partner with Sony since they had similar ideas on this issue, given Horizon. I suppose they are working on a game using Ureal with one of their partners as the resaon for the engine partnership.
I can't find information on the survey Dove said they commissioned. I have a VERY HARD time believing half of gamers out there are female. A sizable number of girls play for sure, mostly on Nintendo's consoles thanks to software like Nintendog's, Pokemon, Animal Crossing, Style Savvy, etc, and generally having a more cute and family atmosphere in their games (mother's playing with their kids in MP titles like Mario Kart). On phone's I usually see younger girls playing games with lot's of customization. I saw one playing a title while we were lunching where they were making their character look all goth-like, and spending a considerable amount of time on her and then sharing with the group. My sister like's the pretty Korean boy aesthetic and therefore like's Final Fantasy and games with a similar look. She also liked Nier Automata, but found Horizon Zero Dawn "too boring" and didn't bother with Forbidden West.
Horizon is a very masculine kinda game (Like Nier Automata which also has a dominant female presence), and while Aloy appears feminine enough, I felt like the developers barely wanted any of the ladies being particularly lady-like in that game. For a title set in the far future where everything got sent back to the primal ages, Gaia made sure to have women look similar to God's design, but artificially boosted their biological strength (or decreased the Men's) or had some kind of organization set-up so that world didn't fall into the usual human nature trappings that 'strong vs the weak' had previously placed our world in. But they somehow still do the outcast thing and all, so they're still well shy of a progressive utopia in Horizon. At least for the Nora tribe this is true, but all the tribes barely felt any different from each other. Their religions are different (how they connect with them, I don't know. Religion is a very complicated nut to crack with millennium's of history behind our most believed one's, but that's the 'simple' direction Gorilla chose to differ their tribes with for the players), but they all feel like pretty similar to the other. I digress though, Horizon is a game where you shouldn't think about a lot of things too much, but man the characters yap yap so much, they clearly think they got a decent narrative for somebody with this. I'm sure a number of folks enjoyed the series, it has just hasn't clicked with me completely. I finished ZD, but dropped FW at or before the half-way mark.
On topic, I'm don't understand what Dove is trying to accomplish here really. Is Overwatch their ideal cast of characters? It's got everyone, plus robots, monkeys, and hamsters. Super Smash Bros. stuck completely to the world's most iconic gaming characters, and perhaps that's Dove's invisible ire here that gaming is largely driven by Men, Asia, FPS, and kid animals. I don't know, the aim here is a little lost on me. I always like Tetsuya Takahashi's approach to stuff like this. He made Shion, a nerd scientist girl, the main character of his very risky Xenosaga venture because he felt no one's made a character quite like her for a game like that at the time, and he thought it'd be more refreshing. Granted, you're still forced to control other characters throughout that narrative still, and that game was too ambitious for the staff and budget they had (a budget that they went well over, I believe, which put Tetsuya in hot water yet again just like with Xenogears).
My point there is that Monolith Soft saw 'rare' as an opportunity, and 'rare' is not a BAD thing (can be quite the opposite and very enriching which is why it's called a risk). People like new and refreshing, underdogs, and the under-estimated beating all odds. It's like the Tiger Woods story, a black man in a dominantly white sport, coming in and shaking the landscape because of his hard work and passion, proving to all YOU can do it too, not someone else's interest in looking to recruit any and all (mediocre or less) and check a box.
The games radar headline reads "to change the game and boost diversity." What game are they trying to change? And we need details on this survey they're talking about, because while Nintendo made it a point years back that women made up half of their Wii/DS install bases years ago, they made a very real effort to win the ladies over, and it wasn't by swapping male leads with female ones, it was by trying to make games girls actually want to play. Early in the Switch's lifespan, it was reported Nintendo wanted more of those visual novel games in Japan with the girl as MC and a bunch a dudes she can win over on their new machine (I can't remember what they're called). We know girls like romance, and I've always wondered if Nintendo saw data from Fire Emblem, and the romance push it has gotten since Awakening, that convinced them to try and grab those titles. The ads for that Tomodachi Life, the game that was a surprise hit in Japan and was localized for the west, met controversy for having romance stuff, but not having anything to do with LGBTQ, and a Nintendo rep regrettably commenting that they don't do politics. That game was very much geared for the female audience and the ads show who the target audience was (and I briefly argued this with GAF back in the day):
I think the Dove partnership is worthless, trying to boost their PR with progressives with no understanding or even a vision for what "diversity" or "change" should entail for gaming, and their so called 'survey' is a flat lie without context. Who are these girls who make up half the player population, and what are they playing? What games are girls particularly complaining about, and are they playing them or just have general disinterest in them? I don't buy the 'survey'. The whole thing smells like gunk. Dove needs to soap up and ship out. They have NO BUSINESS in our hobby.