Saturday, March 17, 2012

Does Ethnic matter in Video Game marketing?

Video Games of today feature all types of different cultures, but with this said, looking back on a majority of triple A titles, they always feature one of two ethnics as the main characters of the video game's plot. White American, or Japanese characters are usually the main focus of a lot of popular games, "Is it because White or Japanese influenced characters are more guaranteed to sell more copies?"
The other day I was thinking about picking up a copy of Final Fantasy XIII-2, but I refuse to pay for an ending to the game, so that got me thinking... What ever happened to the Final Fantasy game titled Versus XIII. I surfed the internet looking for a trailer, and it wasn't hard to find. I began to watch it and I was enjoying it quite a bit, until I came across a scene where it seems to be the other characters in the game walking dramatically to there car. All the characters seem to look alike, I know they're different, but I couldn't help feel like I've seen these characters before. Where's the variety in ethnics??? and I'm not talking about adding some other ethnic as a Support character, I'm talking main Character. Everyone says, "Well that's there culture." Yea and they're Square Enix, they have enough money to go and explore new cultures, hell! with the internet they can just search other cultures.
Just  because of this one pic I took from the trailer it got me thinking. Is this a marketing thing???, making a main character other than what has become the status quo, are developers afraid they won't see a profit? Not getting it??? ok let me paint you a picture.
Naughty Dog's Uncharted is a well written, adventure game for Playstation 3, and a lot of fans like the series main character Nathan Drake. Now... what if Nathan was Mexican, would this game still be as popular as it is today, what if there was only one white guy in this whole game, and it was Cutter from the third installment, would people be interested in buying it. Gameplay is still the same, Graphics are as beautiful as ever, and the storyline is unlike no other. What if Final Fantasy's Lightning was of Puerto Rican decent, would she be as popular or would the game have even sold?

Look at Naughty Dog's new Title the Last of Us.
The Two Main characters are Caucasians, what if the Male protagonist was a African American, with an Asian American Girl, would the game still recieve the same amount of hype that is now. The game is based off some sort of disaster in a city where I assume there is other ethnics.
Now we have the new Prototype game coming out, and it features an African American Protagonist, but the Hype to this title is minimum, there are some people waiting for this game, but we all know it's not going to be game of the year. Is it the character, or is it because gamers are cautious because of the previous title.
I was recently looking through my game collection, and I notice out of the 200+ titles that I own only Five of them feature ethincs other than White or Japanese as the main characters.
Why am I asking this question??? Simply because I can? and I want to know other people's thoughts, I mean Grand Theft Auto Series did it, added all kinds of ethnic main characters in there games, but GTA games will sell regardless. The main question is, Why don't we have more Ethnics playing as main Characters in video games? and is it indeed a Marketing equation?

1 comment:

  1. Maybe you should take a look at Assassin's Creed 3: Liberation.