It's 2011. Why are game companies still doing this?
Forty-two percent of all game players are women. In fact, women over the age of 18 represent a significantly greater portion of the game-playing population (37 percent) than boys age 17 or younger (13 percent).I've been disappointed to see companies that have gotten my money turn around and spend it on booth babes. Don't get me wrong, I love women. But to me it's a misallocation of resources since booth babes don't make games better. Designing for the male gaze doesn't make games better either.
It's disappointing to see the perpetuation of sexism through the presence of booth babes at E3 and the exploitation of booth babe photos by so many gaming sites.
Meanwhile, in a smart money-saving move, Zynga stayed away from E3. Check Zynga's demographics:
Figures from Anekal suggest that 55 percent of all social gamers in the US are female while, 53 percent of Zynga players are females between 25 and 44.While I've yet to play any of its games, I appreciate Zynga's decision to avoid E3 and the whole booth babe issue which might turn off some of its female customers. While the rest of the industry continues to stock up with booth babes at E3 in order to chase the same old pool of 14-34 year old males, Zynga's laughing all the way to the bank.