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Naughty Dog Wanted Female Testers For The Last Of Us

The majority of hardcore gamers are male, which is probably why the majority of testers are male.

However, Naughty Dog didn't want only men testing their hotly anticipated new title, The Last Of Us. As creative director Neil Druckman told The Escapist, the developer had to demand female testers when an unnamed research firm adopted the "girls don't play video games" attitude.

"Another aspect that influences how a game is promoted is focus testing. Players are rounded up and are asked to view materials and answer some quantitative and qualitative questions about it. My big surprise during this process [was] that the research group wasn't planning on focus testing female gamers--it's something we had to specifically request. I hope this is a relic of the past that will soon go away."

Druckman added that the marketing firm recommended removing co-star Ellie from the back of the game box. Thankfully, Naughty Dog ignored that advice and decided to put Ellie on the front, too. I definitely support that, and this is because I don't believe in the theory that guys are less likely to buy a video game because they see a female on the cover (even if that female is a young girl).

And I certainly understand the philosophy behind getting female testers, but I have difficulty believing that anything less than 95% of all those who purchase this particular title will be male. I think the marketing firm believed that, too, which is why they weren't all that interested in getting a female take on the game...realism and sexism are two very different things, which is sometimes difficult for some to grasp.

Related Game(s): The Last Of Us

Tags: the last of us, naughty dog, female gamers, the last of us testers

4/9/2013 10:36:12 AM Ben Dutka

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Comments (12 posts)

telly
Tuesday, April 09, 2013 @ 11:41:10 AM
Reply

I don't think there was any sexist intent from the research firm -- as you note, they surely just thought this game is a game that will primarily appeal to and be purchased by males. I do think it reflects well on Naughty Dog, though, for wanting to know more about what female gamers want, and for wanting that data to be the norm, not a special request, in the future.

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wackazoa
Tuesday, April 09, 2013 @ 12:19:05 PM
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I actually think that you go wrong by pushing for to broad a base. It seems to me that when you push too hard to be something to everyone, you tend to be nothing to some.

I do feel its sometimes good to talk about inclusion, and that sometimes you have to push for it. But most of the time, its best to let it happen naturaly. Otherwise it comes off as forced, a token so to speak, and that acually seems to lead to exclusion.


"You can please some of the people all of the time or all of the people some of the time. But you can never please all of the people all of the time." - Abraham Lincoln

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WorldEndsWithMe
Tuesday, April 09, 2013 @ 2:00:47 PM
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So did they have to find binders full of women?

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telly
Tuesday, April 09, 2013 @ 3:17:23 PM

ha

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Sandtech
Tuesday, April 09, 2013 @ 4:32:44 PM

Good one World.:)

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WorldEndsWithMe
Tuesday, April 09, 2013 @ 4:51:10 PM

lol that was too easy :)

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Alejandro562
Tuesday, April 09, 2013 @ 3:30:24 PM
Reply

I Think the psn is down , anyone having issues?

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SmokeyPSD
Tuesday, April 09, 2013 @ 3:46:59 PM
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It's not about whether more male or female gamers are playing, it's about respecting who IS playing and representation which the firm obviously was not doing.

Naughty Dog at least gets it.

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PC_Max
Tuesday, April 09, 2013 @ 4:18:05 PM
Reply

If a statistic says more gamers for this type of game are boys and not so much girls... no its not sexist. Its a statistic that someone is stating. Whether the numbers were accurate or correct, who knows. That would be why you do more than one sample.

Regardless, if the Naughty Dog requested it, give them the female testers. As for the marketing, I get what they are saying, but if I game cannot be judged on its gameplay and story dev BUT as suggested on its cover. Wow. Whats that old saying... don't judge a book by its cover. I think.. hell I hope we are little more enlightened than that. Well... most of us.

I am still unsure about this game. I have not seen anything that grabs me, other than hearing people say.. but its Naughty Dog. I know. I loved the Uncharted Series and I am sure about the quality, but the story and setting is just... not a grabber for me. Hopefully more will be revealed, but I think I have gotten the basic idea what the story is about. Survival and morality.

Two Souls is the one that interests me and yep, that is a female lead for that one.

Either way, I hope both games and their female leads are great games to play.

Still waiting for Mirrors Edge 2. :)

Keep Playing!

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Rogueagent01
Tuesday, April 09, 2013 @ 9:24:33 PM
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I just laugh when anyone thinks girls don't play games. I have several on my friends list and also many in real life that would easily show that that idea is BS. Even if mostly males were/are to purchase the game it doesn't change the fact that if even 1 female was to buy it then focus testing them is a good idea. People really need to open there eyes a little more and stop believing numbers. The stats about women in gaming aren't accurate nor will they ever be, so just to be safe assume women will also be playing your game.

As far as that firm goes I personally would never use them again since all they want to do is pull out a business degree and say we know what we are doing.

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Akuma07
Tuesday, April 09, 2013 @ 11:10:40 PM
Reply

The research firm should check themselves.

Seriously, this whole, girls don't game thing is an outdated and misogynistic point of view.

These days, I would prefer to play multiplayer with chicks then guys, guys are always such tools and talk so much shit. The girls just like to have fun. Although I have seen some that are just as bad as the guys.

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___________
Wednesday, April 10, 2013 @ 6:51:52 AM
Reply

there probably right, a very small amount of girls will buy this.
but instead of just ignoring that and only getting male testers, why not try to do something to change that?
dunno if this is the right title to do this with though.
i really cant see this gaining much girl interest simply because its VERY dark, graphic, scary and gory.
the complete opposite of what type of games the girls i know play.
guess its better than GOW, but besides that, ND could of chosen their battles better.

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