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What happened when Sega courted female players in the mid-’90s

Kazza

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I know, I know, an article from Polygon, but I like to browse their Features section every few months, as they do occasionally produce something worth reading (for example their Oral History series - here's the one for SFII). I just today noticed this one they put out about Sega a couple of months back.

In 1993, when Sega of America came calling, Michealene Cristini Risley had been growing increasingly concerned at the lack of female representation in games and animation. “I’d spent a lot of time in L.A. and Hollywood,” she says, referring to her job doing production and licensing in Marvel’s animation unit, “and I’d just noticed, particularly when I was working in kids television, that there were not a lot of roles for female [actors/characters].”

she recognized that at Sega, as head of its new Entertainment & Consumer Products division, she might be able to do something about it. Empowered by the company’s aggressive recruitment efforts (it sent her several boxes of Genesis games and offered to pay for her wedding coordinator, among other things), Risley accepted Sega’s offer. Shortly afterwards, she asked for approval to attend a two-week program at Stanford on women and gender studies. “It was a life-changing experience for me,” she says.

While I confess to never having had the pleasure to study the subject, it seems that women and gender studies in the early 90s may have been very different from those of today, as they appear to have given her some very unwoke sounding ideas about intrinsic differences between males and females:

GENDER DIFFERENCES

Once formed, Sega’s Girls Task Force sought out all the research it could find to better understand how girls play. “We’d never really asked girls what they wanted [before],” Risley says. “We were just like, ‘Oh, they’re going to like the same things [as boys].’ But it just wasn’t so.”

The research revealed that girls like games to have strong, resourceful, and smart female characters. And also that girls tend to play differently to boys. “Girls have a stronger auditory nerve in their ears or, you know, they like lots of small [precision movements, like those required in games like Tetris, Mario, and Pac-Man],” says Risley. They also found girls prefer cooperative rather than competitive play.

“So there are lots of things that were very different than what we were creating in games,” Risley continues. “Do girls want to play shoot-’em-up games most of all? No, they like puzzles. They like using their brain.”

Kalinske, who after all had been used to marketing to female consumers with Barbie at Mattel, was pretty into the idea, but apparently Japan wasn't so enthusiastic:

Kalinske remembers skepticism from the Japanese side of Sega. “When we would talk about this in Japan, they didn’t understand it at all,” he says. “They didn’t buy into the idea. This was another crazy American deal, and ‘go ahead and do it, but we don’t really expect you to be successful with it.’ Frankly, they felt that way about a lot of stuff we tried. And thank God most of the time we were right.”

According to the article, Sonic, Ecco the Dolphin and Aladdin were popular with both genders (as too, surprisingly, was Virtua Fighter), although there were some struggles during the development of Aladdin:

“I was working with Disney and Virgin on Disney’s Aladdin,” Kelly says, “and I remember the Disney producers saying, ‘We are going to make this the hardest game ever!’ Oh my gosh, did I have to fight to say that is the silliest thing I’ve ever heard.

“Look who’s the audience. Go to the movies, see who’s going into the movie, see who’s playing the videos. You can’t alienate those kids, ’cause they’re the ones who want to play.” Kelly won out in that instance, and worked with programmer David Perry on filling the game with accessible, light-hearted humor. But she remembers the attitude of the Disney producers being a common problem, especially with licensed games. “It really came from that mind of ‘I love games; I’m making a game for myself,’” she says, when in fact the game would be for fans of the franchise — many of whom are young girls or boys.

Sega's efforts to publish female-oriented games didn't bear much fruit:

Armed with this research, Sega had what it needed to take steps forward. The company set aside a small portion of its publishing budget to test the waters of girl-friendly game development with three titles — Crystal’s Pony Tale, Baby Boomand, The Berenstain Bears’ Camping Adventure.

Baby Boom, a puzzle game about corralling hundreds of escaped babies back into their daycare center, was canceled early on. “It wasn’t fun with the D-pad,” says designer Ed Annunziata, so it got shelved. The Berenstain Bears game and Crystal’s Pony Tale, meanwhile, ended up on the Sega Club kids label — both simple, colorful platformers targeted at a younger audience, the latter of which was focus tested several times with young girls — though nothing much came of either game on the market.

The reality was that girl games remained only a very minor concern to Sega’s console gaming efforts. “Sega never spent much marketing money on girl games,” says Cindy Hardgrave, a member of the task force who was producer on these titles, “and there was never a big push to target girls.” Even with a team of senior female executives at Sega driving for change, real progress would come slowly.


Although the article does claim some success in increasing the number of female Genesis users:

While the Sega Task Force’s precise impact on the industry is impossible to gauge, market surveys from the time indicated a massive increase in the use of Sega Genesis by young girls — from just 3% in 1993 to 20% in 1995, when Risley left the company.

Those were the main bits, but I think the article as a whole is worth a read. I don't recall seeing many game adverts directed towards girls where I was (UK), and don't think I've seen any US ones either. I'm sure most mascot platformers of the day were equally appealing to both genders, and the same could probably said about RPGs (which normally featured female characters) I wonder which console had more female users, the SNES or the Megadrive (the PC Engine and Amiga seem much more male-oriented to me). I wonder what the GAF users breakdown looks like?
 
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Soltype

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I know Space Channel 5 was made with women in mind, so it might have carried over some to Japan.
 

Deft Beck

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I know Space Channel 5 was made with women in mind, so it might have carried over some to Japan.

Do you have a quote for that? I've read extensively into Mizuguchi and I've never heard that.

Regardless, this reminds me of the show Bad Influence from UK TV in the 90's. They would have both girls and boys review the games featured on the show, and their opinions were quite candid. They also had them play everything, not just specifically gendered games. The girls and the boys could have surprisingly different ratings for some games.

I would also look into the games championed by Keiko Erikawa, the female co-founder of Koei. She began the Neuromance series, which is considered the beginning of the female-focused otome game genre.
 
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I am shocked that SEGA didn't bundle Puyo Puyo with the Mega Drive, localise it and call it the Girls Bundle. Then add Sonic 1 to it in 1993.

PP could have had the success of Sonic but for women!!!

To be honest though. When I go outside and do stuff, I usually hear middle aged women playing Sonic on a DS or iPhone so Sonic has had some influence on women over here.
 
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Obviously you can make games that appeal to both men and women. Tetris is the greatest example of all. It is the game equivalent of the film's 4 quadrants.

But many existing IPs are designs to appeal to specific groups of customers. Trying to go broad is not always possible.

Nintendo's 1st party are basically dedicated to appeal to as many people as possible. By deliberately targeting children as a major customer base, Nintendo couldn't do anything too gender specific. But in general i have to say they managed to get broad appeal through hard work.

On the other hand, making games that specifically appeal to women is also possible and have been done. However big budget AAA games have an easier time getting money off teenage males than they do females. And they needed that money to stay profitable. Don't see that as an issue myself, as I personally like AA games more than i do AAA these days anyway.
 
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petran79

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Aladdin was indeed too hard, especially after stage 4. Snes version was easier

As for Sega and girl gamers, tell me any western publisher who dares to organise video game musicals. I'd buy a ticket to see this. GOW, life is strange and TLOU on Broadway next please!

 
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I am shocked that SEGA didn't bundle Puyo Puyo with the Mega Drive, localise it and call it the Girls Bundle. Then add Sonic 1 to it in 1993.

PP could have had the success of Sonic but for women!!!

To be honest though. When I go outside and do stuff, I usually hear middle aged women playing Sonic on a DS or iPhone so Sonic has had some influence on women over here.
Yeah why did they go with that Robotnik guy instead?
 

Kazza

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Clearly not enough Barbie


Funny you should mention Barbie, because one of the subjects of the article, Pamela Kelly, would later help build a million+ selling Barbie game:

The next few years saw a blossoming of girl game efforts, both from startup and small studios as well as big brands like Disney and Mattel — the latter of which hired Pamela Kelly to co-found its interactive entertainment division, where she drew from Mattel’s decades of internal research data on male and female play patterns to help build Barbie Fashion Designer, the first million-selling girl-focused game.



I am shocked that SEGA didn't bundle Puyo Puyo with the Mega Drive, localise it and call it the Girls Bundle. Then add Sonic 1 to it in 1993.

PP could have had the success of Sonic but for women!!!

To be honest though. When I go outside and do stuff, I usually hear middle aged women playing Sonic on a DS or iPhone so Sonic has had some influence on women over here.

That would have been a good idea. They could also have added the Amy Rose sprite from Sonic CD to that bundled version of Sonic 1 (just have her play the same as Sonic, no need for the hammer moves that she would have in later games). They could also have released different colours of the console, say pink or a light pastel blue. I was surprised when Sonic Mania Plus passed up on Amy.


Nintendo's 1st party are basically dedicated to appeal to as many people as possible. By deliberately targeting children as a major customer base, Nintendo couldn't do anything too gender specific. But in general i have to say they managed to get broad appeal through hard work.

I think almost all Nintendo IPs are like Sonic in how they appeal to both sexes (in a way that other Sega IPs such as Shinobi, Altered Beast etc wouldn't). That said, I think they have missed a trick in never having a playable Zelda in a mainline Zelda game. I hear the new BotW might feature her as a playable character. I'm personally fine with that, as she looked pretty thicc in BotW and I would prefer to stare at her lovely posterior rather than Link's scrawny body all game.

Regardless, this reminds me of the show Bad Influence from UK TV in the 90's. They would have both girls and boys review the games featured on the show, and their opinions were quite candid. They also had them play everything, not just specifically gendered games. The girls and the boys could have surprisingly different ratings for some games.

I always preferred that show over Gamesmaster - more game footage and less waffling. I remember the reviews too:


On the other hand, making games that specifically appeal to women is also possible and have been done. However big budget AAA games have an easier time getting money off teenage males than they do females. And they needed that money to stay profitable. Don't see that as an issue myself, as I personally like AA games more than i do AAA these days anyway.

Different mediums and platforms seem to attract different proportions of male/females. It could be that games will always tend to attract a larger number of younger men and boys, and that's fine. It would be interesting to see what an all female dev team with a decent AA budget would come up with though. I don't think that's been done before.
 

Kazza

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Since we're talking about Sega and games which might be attarctive to a female audience, how about making a full game out of the cabaret club mini game. Reading reviews, it seems that this was a favourite part of Yakuza 0 and Kwami 2 for a decent number of people. I haven't played either of those, but remember managing a hostess club in either 3, 4, or 5 (can't remember which one exactly), I don't know if the cabaret mini-game is similar to that. I had to decide what dress, make-up, hairstyle ect to use on the hostesses, but found it really hard and the customers always ended up finding them unattractive. I guess my and Japanese guys' taste in women is a little different.

They could add male host bars or dates for romantic options for the female protagonist. I'm not sure what would replace the fighting mechanics. Maybe have a second, younger character how wants to be a pop idol and have dance offs (pretty much a rip off of Haruka's Yakuza 5 gameplay)
 
Dec 25, 2018
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Yeah why did they go with that Robotnik guy instead?

Holy shit, is that a real comic? 😱😱


That would have been a good idea. They could also have added the Amy Rose sprite from Sonic CD to that bundled version of Sonic 1 (just have her play the same as Sonic, no need for the hammer moves that she would have in later games). They could also have released different colours of the console, say pink or a light pastel blue. I was surprised when Sonic Mania Plus passed up on Amy.

SEGA almost made Falcom's Popful Mail into a Sonic game called Sister Sonic but that never came to be.

I always saw Arle as SEGAs de facto Female Mascot even back then and the recent games are not only fun but feel like the games cater to girls better than boys with a villian being in love with Arle!!! Draco mentioning herself as being cute is another thing I thought was pretty cute and girls could relate to.

Regarding Yakuza, I know of a few female games who love yakuza the way it is. Playing a tough guy seems to be thr main draw for them.
 
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Fat Frog

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Do you have a quote for that? I've read extensively into Mizuguchi and I've never heard that.

Regardless, this reminds me of the show Bad Influence from UK TV in the 90's. They would have both girls and boys review the games featured on the show, and their opinions were quite candid. They also had them play everything, not just specifically gendered games. The girls and the boys could have surprisingly different ratings for some games.

I would also look into the games championed by Keiko Erikawa, the female co-founder of Koei. She began the Neuromance series, which is considered the beginning of the female-focused otome game genre.
Space Channel was directed by a woman and i remember Sega wanted to expand the audience of usual young men of the saturn with the dreamcast.
 

Kazza

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Yuji Naka seemed good at making unisex or girl games. I would imagine that Nights appeals to both, as does ChuChuRocket. His first game, Girls Garden on the SG-1000 was acute little game, picking flowers for your boyfriend before he dumps you for another girl:





According to Wikipedia:

After Naka joined Sega in April 1984, he was asked by his supervisor to try developing games for girls as part of his initial month of training.[
 
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EightBit Man

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Kalinske, who after all had been used to marketing to female consumers with Barbie at Mattel, was pretty into the idea, but apparently Japan wasn't so enthusiastic

I stopped reading right there. What a fraud this man is. EVERYTHING is SEGA of Japan's fault. We know that now Kalinske. Fuck right off.
 
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Kazza

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I stopped reading right there. What a fraud this man is. EVERYTHING is SEGA of Japan's fault. We know that now Kalinske. Fuck right off.

Ha ha, I thought you might take issue with that bit! It would be interesting to compare the SoA and SoJ libraries to see which was more female friendly.
 

EightBit Man

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Ha ha, I thought you might take issue with that bit! It would be interesting to compare the SoA and SoJ libraries to see which was more female friendly.

To me, that's of secondary concern. This man cannot accept that HE made monumental mistakes during his tenure, blaming everything wrong on SEGA of Japan. This man is a freaking revisionist too, and this is another prime example. I lost all of my respect for him. And believe me, there wasn't much left.
 
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Deft Beck

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Space Channel was directed by a woman and i remember Sega wanted to expand the audience of usual young men of the saturn with the dreamcast.

What? Takaski Yudi directed the original Space Channel 5. You're thinking of the VR game released recently.
 

Aurelian

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Different mediums and platforms seem to attract different proportions of male/females. It could be that games will always tend to attract a larger number of younger men and boys, and that's fine. It would be interesting to see what an all female dev team with a decent AA budget would come up with though. I don't think that's been done before.

I wouldn't be surprised if some game genres skew that way. With that said, I do think developers should be thoughtful and build games so that they don't come across as hostile to players who aren't necessarily the majority audience. It wasn't that long ago where there was practically a "dudebro" shooter genre where you could picture the testosterone-fueled, insecure men who'd play them the most. Not that games have to descend into blandness to appeal to wider audiences, just that they don't have to be so fiercely stereotypical that someone from another gender feels like they're not welcome.
 
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Deft Beck

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Different mediums and platforms seem to attract different proportions of male/females. It could be that games will always tend to attract a larger number of younger men and boys, and that's fine. It would be interesting to see what an all female dev team with a decent AA budget would come up with though. I don't think that's been done before.

Koei made a game with an almost entirely female dev team for the PS2, Angelique Trois: https://koei.fandom.com/wiki/Angelique_trois

There's also Napple Tale, which was made by primarily women for female players:
 
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To me, that's of secondary concern. This man cannot accept that HE made monumental mistakes during his tenure, blaming everything wrong on SEGA of Japan. This man is a freaking revisionist too, and this is another prime example. I lost all of my respect for him. And believe me, there wasn't much left.

I recall the guy didn't want to sell Phantasy Star 4 and Working Designs wanted to pick it up (although that means no EU release), so they put the price up to $100 in order to make it sell terribly. The fans didn't mind paying the price it seems because Square was doing it on their RPGs! XD

I am surprised SEGA doesn't advertise Puyo Puyo more, and not releasing Chronicles is a damn crime I tell you!

This is the perfect time to show off my GIF that I personally love!



SEGA Avengers Assemble! (Me, Kazza, EightBit Man, DunDunDunpatchi and Fat Frog) **It seems to be us who always flock to SEGA news!!**
 

GV82

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Didn’t anyone else notice the use of berenstain bears in the OP? 🤔


(Jk btw it’s the silly Mandela effect joke)
 
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Soltype

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Do you have a quote for that? I've read extensively into Mizuguchi and I've never heard that.

Regardless, this reminds me of the show Bad Influence from UK TV in the 90's. They would have both girls and boys review the games featured on the show, and their opinions were quite candid. They also had them play everything, not just specifically gendered games. The girls and the boys could have surprisingly different ratings for some games.

I would also look into the games championed by Keiko Erikawa, the female co-founder of Koei. She began the Neuromance series, which is considered the beginning of the female-focused otome game genre.
 

MrCunningham

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I don't know exactly when the time frame was when Sega started doing this. But I have a feeling that it was a reaction to the 1993 violent video game hearings that were held by Senators Joe Lieberman and Herb Kohl. there was a woman at the hearing named Marilyn Droz who was there as part of some sort of 'National Coalition on Television Violence' group who mainly spoke out about the roles of ' empowering women in videogames'.


Sega was already getting blasted pretty hard for selling violent games in toy stores like Toys 'R Us. Even though they preemptively had their own rating system in place. It was always suspected that Howard Lincoln from Nintendo of America was trying to throw Kalinske and Sega in hot water because they were unhappy that Genesis games were outselling their SNES counterparts at retail. Part of that reason was because many Sega games (Mortal Kombat in particular) were uncensored (via a cheat code), while the SNES games were not. But there were also some other compounding issues thrown on top of that at the senate hearings as well, like the whole women representation thing.

My guess is, this was SOA's way of responding to that 'controversy'.
 
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EightBit Man

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My (former) neighbor's daughter was heavily into video games back in the late 80s to mid-90s. In fact, she's among the most hardcore gamers I have known in my life. She was the one who introduced me to this very phenomenon itself. She owned a lot of systems by Nintendo, SEGA, and she also owned the Atari Lynx at the time, along with lots of Japanese games for some of the systems (especially the Game Boy). She became more into SEGA over the years though. All this talk about the need to be "more inclusive" is downright ridiculous.

But I get it, Kalinske, together with polygon can have a ball together; they are a perfect fit. One may not have noticed, but Kalinske's twitter feed is almost solely about politics these days, as he's a utterly obsessed with Donald Trump. I despise politics myself, but it's no wonder why narcissistic egomaniacs like Kalinske are feeling right at home in such a environment.
 
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DT MEDIA

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I remember the many embarrassing articles in the gaming magazines trying to solve the mystery of why more females don't play videogames. Every single time the question was asked, the same answer was given: stop with the dumb violence and shooting. The industry would then collectively scratch its heads and offer up a D-tier Barbie game, followed by a swimsuit issue featuring "hot gaming babes" that were obviously drawn by virgins.

Sega always had a difficult time attracting more girls and women, as their style was mostly aimed at older teenage males. They did make a lot of progress during the Genesis era with Sonic the Hedgehog, Toejam & Earl, Ecco the Dolphin and Streets of Rage. It's unfortunate that momentum wasn't carried into the Saturn era, where the Japanese software library would have been extremely helpful. Unfortunately, the SoA bosses (and most of the western gaming industry) had convinced themselves that dark, gritty and violent were what the kids wanted. Whoops.

Meanwhile, Nintendo has always been extremely successful in creating characters and videogames that are embraced by females. During the DS/Wii era, woman and girls made up fully one-half of their market. That number has probably remained the same today.

Today, the mystery of "girl gamers" has long since been solved, and the answer was always there: stop with the dumb violence. Create videogames that build and bring people together, not just shooting and killing. Create some compelling characters who embody fun and wonder. Build social relationships.

Key examples: Pac-Man, Tetris, Super Mario, Wii Sports, Mario Kart, Animal Crossing, The Sims, Minecraft, Angry Birds.

Of course, there is also another key change from 30 years ago, where computers were almost exclusively the domain of boys and nerds. The rise of technologies like text messaging, chat and social media caused a revolution in gender equality, and the rise of easier interfaces--GUI, Mice, Touch Screens, Motion Controls--made it all accessible. Nerd culture has also become mainstream culture in a way that we '80s kids could never have imagined. The difference between the Star Trek conventions of 1989 and Comic Con today is staggering. It's a whole different world.

Anyway, back to Sega, who couldn't do "cute" nearly as well as Nintendo, although they had some good moments here and there.
 

EDMIX

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I know, I know, an article from Polygon, but I like to browse their Features section every few months, as they do occasionally produce something worth reading (for example their Oral History series - here's the one for SFII). I just today noticed this one they put out about Sega a couple of months back.





While I confess to never having had the pleasure to study the subject, it seems that women and gender studies in the early 90s may have been very different from those of today, as they appear to have given her some very unwoke sounding ideas about intrinsic differences between males and females:



Kalinske, who after all had been used to marketing to female consumers with Barbie at Mattel, was pretty into the idea, but apparently Japan wasn't so enthusiastic:



According to the article, Sonic, Ecco the Dolphin and Aladdin were popular with both genders (as too, surprisingly, was Virtua Fighter), although there were some struggles during the development of Aladdin:



Sega's efforts to publish female-oriented games didn't bear much fruit:




Although the article does claim some success in increasing the number of female Genesis users:



Those were the main bits, but I think the article as a whole is worth a read. I don't recall seeing many game adverts directed towards girls where I was (UK), and don't think I've seen any US ones either. I'm sure most mascot platformers of the day were equally appealing to both genders, and the same could probably said about RPGs (which normally featured female characters) I wonder which console had more female users, the SNES or the Megadrive (the PC Engine and Amiga seem much more male-oriented to me). I wonder what the GAF users breakdown looks like?

Read the whole thing, very thorough and good read. My sisters LOVED Ecco The Dolphin
 

Kazza

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Koei made a game with an almost entirely female dev team for the PS2, Angelique Trois: https://koei.fandom.com/wiki/Angelique_trois

There's also Napple Tale, which was made by primarily women for female players:

Never heard of that game before, but the music sounds really nice.

SEGA Avengers Assemble! (Me, Kazza, EightBit Man, DunDunDunpatchi and Fat Frog) **It seems to be us who always flock to SEGA news!!**

It's all part of our slow takeover of GAF, in preparation for the Dreamcast 2 announcement in 2022.
 

EightBit Man

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My sisters LOVED Ecco The Dolphin

Yeah, it's a wonderful game. There was (and still is) nothing like it. My grandparents owned a Master System and Mega Drive, and this was one of the games I regularly played at their place. That was until I got the game later myself.

There was a nice interview recently with its creator, Ed Annunziata (if one is interested):

 
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Kenpachii

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I know, I know, an article from Polygon, but I like to browse their Features section every few months, as they do occasionally produce something worth reading (for example their Oral History series - here's the one for SFII). I just today noticed this one they put out about Sega a couple of months back.





While I confess to never having had the pleasure to study the subject, it seems that women and gender studies in the early 90s may have been very different from those of today, as they appear to have given her some very unwoke sounding ideas about intrinsic differences between males and females:



Kalinske, who after all had been used to marketing to female consumers with Barbie at Mattel, was pretty into the idea, but apparently Japan wasn't so enthusiastic:



According to the article, Sonic, Ecco the Dolphin and Aladdin were popular with both genders (as too, surprisingly, was Virtua Fighter), although there were some struggles during the development of Aladdin:



Sega's efforts to publish female-oriented games didn't bear much fruit:




Although the article does claim some success in increasing the number of female Genesis users:



Those were the main bits, but I think the article as a whole is worth a read. I don't recall seeing many game adverts directed towards girls where I was (UK), and don't think I've seen any US ones either. I'm sure most mascot platformers of the day were equally appealing to both genders, and the same could probably said about RPGs (which normally featured female characters) I wonder which console had more female users, the SNES or the Megadrive (the PC Engine and Amiga seem much more male-oriented to me). I wonder what the GAF users breakdown looks like?

Should have made a game called social media.

Heard it was a massive hit under females.

But honestly other females i met in games where more into the cosmetic part of the game and social aspect of the game while guys where more in biggest DPS and competitive side of the game.
 
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Fat Frog

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You're right. Mineko Okamura was supervisor, Assistant producer not director. My mistake. The Sega retro files also confirms there was the will to reach women though :)
What? Takaski Yudi directed the original Space Channel 5. You're thinking of the VR game released recently.
 

Kazza

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Yeah, it's a wonderful game. There was (and still is) nothing like it. My grandparents owned a Master System and Mega Drive, and this was one of the games I regularly played at their place. That was until I got the game later myself.

There was a nice interview recently with its creator, Ed Annunziata (if one is interested):


My friend had Ecco, and I borrowed it off him a couple of times, but just could never get into it. It's one of those games that I feel guilty about not liking, as it is obviously a very original concept (especially in the sea of platformers, shooters and fighting games of the early 90s), but it just never clicked. I thought the Megadrive Mini might offer another chance, but it's not on the Asian version. I'll probably buy the 3DS Sega Ages version once I get around to buying a 3DS.
 
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iconmaster

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Pac-Man was designed specifically to appeal to women, and it went on to be hugely popular with both sexes.

Every single time the question was asked, the same answer was given: stop with the dumb violence and shooting. The industry would then collectively scratch its heads and offer up a D-tier Barbie game

Heh, this seems pretty apt.

I enjoy playing games with my daughters. Popular choices for them: Minecraft, obviously. Smash Bros, Mario Maker 2, Stardew Valley. Octopath Traveller also interestingly grabbed one of my older daughters -- she played right up to (I think) the post-game dungeon boss, but never got past it AFAIK.
 
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EightBit Man

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My friend had Ecco, and I borrowed it off him a couple of times, but just could never get into it. It's one of those games that I feel guilty about not liking, as it is obviously a very original concept (especially in the sea of platformers, shooters and fighting games of the early 90s), but it just never clicked. I thought the Megadrive Mini might offer another chance, but it's not on the Asian version. I'll probably buy the 3DS Sega Ages version once I get around to buying a 3DS.

Heh, well, you don't have to feel guilty for not liking something. There are some very beloved games that never grabbed me either, or at least in the way they "should have". You can try and revisit a game again, and maybe find something in there you didn't see or feel at previous times. I can definitely understand why some people may not l be grabbed by it. Just don't blame yourself. 😎
 
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