Sony’s Beyond: Two Souls will see lead character Jodie Holmes take centre stage on its cover art.
Why is this relevant? Because as the name suggests Jodie – played by Ellen Page – is a female. That shouldn’t maater, obviously, but sadly it does.
And before you start jumping on MCV, however, note that this is only an issue due to the events that led up to this news.
Last month Beyond’s developer Quantic Dream revealed that it came under pressure from Sony marketeers to feature Jodie holding a gun on the game’s cover. It refused, saying that such an image would betray the true contents of the game.
That Beyond will feature a female cover star in the first place is notable, at least in the environment of modern console gaming.
Developer Naughty Dog had to fight to get the female co-star of its upcoming PS3 game, The Last of Us, a spot on its front cover.
I believe there’s a misconception that if you put a girl or a woman on the cover, the game will sell less,” creative director Neil Druckmann said in December. I know I’ve been in discussions where we’ve been asked to push Ellie to the back and everyone at Naughty Dog just flat-out refused.”
Ashley Johnson, who plays Ellie in The Last of Us, added: I feel like they don’t put women on the covers because they’re afraid that it won’t sell. It’s all gamers really know – and I don’t want to be sexist by any means – but I get the feeling, generally, that they think game’s won’t sell as well with a woman on the cover, compared to some badass dude on the front.”
And other games have fallen short of even this. Mass Effect 3 may have been famed for its gender and sexuality equality, but that wasn’t enough to get ‘Femshep’ a role on the game’s main cover.
Here’s the Beyond: Two Souls cover art: