Skip to main content

BioWare Pledges to Totally Acknowledge Female Shepard in Mass Effect Marketing This Time

Great Moments in Advertising

Okay, here’s the background on this one. Bioware has so far released two Mass Effect games. Both these games are action RPGs where the player takes on the role of one Commander Shepard. Shepard can be male or female, depending on the whim of the player, a choice that has effect on the pronouns used throughout the game, certain (but not all) romance choices, and the recorded dialogue, where Shepard is voiced by two actors, Mark Meer for ManShep (or BroShep), and Jennifer Hale for FemShep. But this is where the gender differences end: all dialogue choices are the same, and even Shepherd’s body language and movements are kept the same between models.

What fans of Mass Effect have found peculiarly in common is that at majority of the game’s player population overwhelmingly prefers to play Shepard as a woman, for a number of reasons, including what is considered to be a better voice acting performance from Jennifer Hale. In light of this, many people have wondered why Bioware’s marketing team doesn’t seem to understand what the fans have discovered.

As has been pointed out in the advertising of other games, if one only had the advertising images to go by, one might never find out that there was even an option to play as a woman. (More on why game advertisers need to start considering that women are interested in their games too here.) Bioware predominantly featured ManShep in the box art and other non-gameplay art leading up to the release of Mass Effect 2, and gamers clamored to see their Shepard represented as legitimate as any other.

Earlier this week, Bioware’s director of marketing David Silverman let everyone on Twitter know that FemShep will be getting her due in the publicity for Mass Effect 3:

Mass Effect 2 doesn’t come out for almost a year, so that leaves plenty of time for fans of FemShep to feed their Mass Effect jones with trailers and official art.

(GamePro via Tipster Hillary! Thanks!)

Have a tip we should know? [email protected]

Filed Under:

Follow The Mary Sue:

Susana Polo thought she'd get her Creative Writing degree from Oberlin, work a crap job, and fake it until she made it into comics. Instead she stumbled into a great job: founding and running this very website (she's Editor at Large now, very fancy). She's spoken at events like Geek Girl Con, New York Comic Con, and Comic Book City Con, wants to get a Batwoman tattoo and write a graphic novel, and one of her canine teeth is in backwards.