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October 03, 2007



Heh, don't know whether I should laugh or cry.... I bet the next one in the series will be Imagine: Horsiez! :D


Cry, definetely.
Imagine: bullshit! Comes in cute pink wrapping, because that is what women and girls want.
Bugger all this "making games of good quality with interesting stories" - why bother when you can make money with cheap, awful games just as well?
Then again: If Galliano did "Dior Fashion Show Inferno" for Nintendo DS, i'd buy it.


I totally agree with your point about the lack of imagination. Trying to find games for my five year old daughter I get faced with the same dilemmas - she's not into fairy-frock-pony-peaches and neither is she into alien-gun-fun - and she's more inclined towards the wii play mini-games - some sort of legend/mini-games woudl be the thing - with a social aspect as well.


Wonder why all the babyz on the cover are caucasian?


"Then again: If Galliano did "Dior Fashion Show Inferno" for Nintendo DS, i'd buy it."

bwahaha! Brilliant! See, at least that has *humour*.

Gosh, Ubisoft really need to pull their socks up on this one. Pronto.


I agree I find this offensive. Been meaning to post about it.

Funny thing is, if you walk around the Ubi montreal office (at least last time I was there) they have one of the healthiest male/female employee ratios I'd seen at any studio (until coming to MS casual games!). Unfortunately, I don't think this is true of the upper ranks there - at least last I checked.

One does wonder though, at some point, even if it's going to sell a cubic assload of units, is it just *wrong*? It certainly isn't helping.


Remember that these titles aren't being marketed to little girls or young women.

You heard me right. These titles are being marketed to soccer moms who have been infected with a cultural virus that leads them to believe that little girls should be interested in horsiez (sic), shopping and homemaking, and not in affairs of state, swashbuckling or driving giant robots. Being infected with this virus, they are also predisposed to pass it on to their offspring. Seriously, can you imagine a soccer mom buying "Barbie's Swordfighting Adventure" for her kids? Even if it includes a Fabio-lookalike dressed up in a Zorro-knockoff outfit somewhere on the cover? The girls might go for that (the game, not Fabio, I mean), but their mothers will cluck and fuss and put the game back on the shelf, muttering about media violence - and then turn around and buy a twice-as-violent, T- or M-rated game for their male offspring.

To sum up, the gendering of games is a symptom of an endemic cultural disorder rather than a disorder in and of itself. I would add that games may be the cure rather than the disease (see: WoW etc).


Okami for the Playstation 2 is the game I would have loved best when I was a young gamer. You get to play an animal spirit, you get to draw, the graphics are beautiful, and your actions improve the world around you. It's a little violent for very young girls but a version that toned down the violence and cranked up the creativity could be a hit!

David Bowman

I'm in the game industry. I have a 9 year old daughter and 8 year old son. I'm totally in support of Ubisoft's right to meke these games, but desperately want better for my daughter.

The young men who dominate this industry almost always start any new game design discussion with "We need to make a game that we want to play!". Which makes sense to them and leads to high quality games of a specific type. We need more diversity in the people making the games. To that point: we are hiring for a programmer. This job is posted at www.certainaffinity.com. We have only had men apply, so, it is highly likely that a man will be hired. Unless women are applying for these jobs, nothing is going to change. I know there are brilliant women out there who want to make great games, but we can't hire them if they aren't applying.

David Bowman


Yeah, the not-enough-female-programmers-to-go-round thing is a recognised issue: that'll take a generation to work out, if not two, as females are often (I hear) less likely to be encouraged towards maths and science as chaps.

Still, it's not just programmers the industry needs: game designers, artists, producers, management, marketers, strategists and CEOs can also be female :)

But really, like I said, my biggest issue is that normal games probably won't be marketed to girls like these dolly ones are. And that's a shame.

Peter Kemmer

I worked as an engineer on the Petz franchise (from which Babyz, and now even Horsez is based) before it got sold off to big corporate game companies AS a franchise. That's about when I left. :)

I think the rationales people assume we had for originally making these games are WAY off. First and foremost, the Petz games were always an attempt to simulate realistic interaction with a virtual character that can express a narrative on the computer. Babyz is an extension of that idea. Andrew Stern, a huge driving force behind both Petz and Babyz, saw them as vehicles to both model and tell a story (as simple as it might be) more than as an appeal to girls to buy our products.

Why did we pick pets, and eventually babies, as the subject material then? Mainly because the interactions with either are simple and well defined. People know what to expect from a pet, and the same goes for a baby, so creating an experience that plays into these pre-conceptions is substantially more achievable than modeling, say, dialogue with an autonomous simulated adult. In fact, Andrew's gone on to create 'Façade' to do just that, now that the groundwork has been laid by Petz & Babyz. Petz & Babyz were just the 'baby steps' (as it were) along a path towards fully autonomous virtual actors.

P.F.Magic, the original creators, had an excellent mix of male and female staff. Approximately 50% of the art department, 20% of engineering, 75% of QA, and 90% of marketing were staffed by women, and they were intimately involved at all stages of planning and implementation. Don't think it was just us guys sitting around trying to figure out how to exploit a market niche!

Finally, and on a personal note, we put a lot of work into the Petz series, it's kind of sad to hear it dismissed out of hand as crap just because it doesn't have a conventional story line. I don't know, maybe they've butchered the franchise, but it was quite a technical feat at the time it was released. How many other software titles even HAVE autonomous characters that you can interact with in a free-form, realistic way? Contemporary games like Oblivion that make a stab at filling out the behavior of in-game characters to make them behave more realistically STILL don't come close to the depth of interaction available in the Petz-based products, and they were first released in the mid 90's! It took Nintendogs a full decade to finally rip us off, and the dogs' behavior isn't any more complicated... it's even simplified in many ways compared to Petz.

I guess you're damned if you do, and damned if you don't. Make an open-ended, kid-friendly, and truly interactive game that users of all ages and sexes BESIDES teenage boys can really identify with (boys, burdened with the need to prove their manhood, must NOT like cute kittens or caring) and get dinged for providing stereotypical fluff, as if it's a calculated ploy.

Not that any of this criticism matters much from my point of view, I take more than enough pride in that period of my life. Not only did Petz sell unfathomably well for a 'software toy', developing a cult following that still exists to this day, it actually inspired MORE THAN ONE TEENAGE GIRL to send in fully realized, shockingly detailed functional specs for Horsez (a product that didn't get made until almost a decade after I left) and inspired another girl to literally risk life and limb running back into her home to save a copy of her pet Catz to floppy right before the building got hit by a tornado and destroyed. If that's not providing personal, meaningful, and inspiring software to girls, I don't know what is.

Here's hoping I don't sound TOO defensive, eh? :)


Heh Peter! I played Catz. I loved it - except I played it on a mac, and one day I came back from lunch, and my designer workmate had taken a fullscreen screenshot, then chopped up my cat and distributed bloody chunks of him across the screen, then left it full screen so it looked like that was the game was showing.

I got back from lunch and stopped dead in my tracks, and he said, "you forgot to feed your cat, and he exploded", and for a minute there, I believed him. The whole company (all 12 of us) was waiting for the moment when I realised what he had done - they were cracking up.

I've been ever so slightly traumatised by tamagotchi-games ever since ;)

Anyway, to reiterate the point, the content isn't so awful - it's the grouping (cooking, babies, shopping together), the packaging and the belief behind the system that this is all little girls want. It means even less choice for the little girl who wants an adventure..


Ubisoft sponsor an all-girl gaming clan called the Fragdolls.. ok it's a bit contrived, but it's something isn't it?



A bit contrived? It was put together *by* Ubi, and a very successful marketing move too, having girls who frag in matching cute teeshirts.

I wouldn't say this would exonerate them for having a lack of imagination: actually - this reinforces it.

Jay and Laura

LIES LIES LIES! What a crap game, girls dont just like that stuff, thats just wierd. We like mario and pokemon! so its just a big liiiieeeeeee!
Make the game, but no one will buy it because its that crap.



"babyz" is not a spelling mistake, there is a cartoon franchise called "Bratz" that has the same deliberate use of "z" as a plural.

You say that this game will sell lots because of marketing and I agree. But if you mean JUST because of marketing then I disagree. The game will be bought and enjoyed by plenty of girls because it seems fun and is perhaps a genuinely a good game at its core.


belinda parmar

I think the point is there is a market for these type of games and the 'cutability' factor will always be successful with very young girls. However there is an important audience who are currently overlooked. These women tend to be older women over 24 who actually feel there is no alternative for them other than Bratz or BrainTraining. This is where companies need to focus their marketing efforts as its currently untapped. My research highlighted that there are now more women who play games than men within the 24-35 age bracket. Its time companies woke up to the fact they don't have to cater to the bleedin' obvious and intelligent women with cash can be brought into gaming if they have the right games, marketing and distribution strategy.

Doug Roberts

It's games like these that do nothing to dispel the old myths about computer games being a male past-time developed by male geeks who have never had a conversation with a girl.

Imagine what it would be like if all the "games for guys" were about "driving fast cars", "playing football", "cops and robbers".. oh wait...

Seems like the biggest problem is a fundamental lack of imagination.


They forgot cooking :\

.. I'm kidding.


Well, lets just hope that this game shows young girls the reality of being a parent and makes them think twice before having a kid before they have at least finished full time education!
Maybe some good will come of it.

Alex RPM

If you want the industry to change then there needs to be more females in the games design industry itself. Stop crying about how guys aren't catering to your tastes and make the difference yourselves.

Alex RPM

..and just because these games are out there, it doesn't mean you're at gunpoint to buy them - girls do like a lot of Nintendo games, as far as I am concerned Nintendo have done an excellent job particularly in releasing unisex games. You might point out the fact that 'the girls are princesses' in a lot of games, but then you're ignoring the fact that not all guys in real life are these macho, moronic 'he-men with guns' types either, which is equally insulting afaic.


IC - babyz is indeed a spelling mistake, because even as a play on the 's' sound, it's not babys, it's babies. Should be Babiez, if anything, no?


Alex - tons of people *are* doing things about this, your point about Nintendo is spot on. This post was about Ubisoft not doing great things here; as for pointing out that boys get the same treatment, it's in there too. You must have missed it..

Alex Taldren

"Wonder why all the babyz on the cover are caucasian?"

I wonder why that was the first thing you noticed. I like to define the term racist as "someone who constantly notices race and color above anything else." According to my definition, someone who wasn't racist would have seen three human babies on that cover. Here's a little tip for you: If you want to end racism, stop seeing and making everything about race.

Sorry, that was a little off-topic. Anyway, I don't see what all the fuss is about. So software companies are trying to develop games geared toward girls and female audiences. So what? I mean, this is a good thing because it brings balance. If a girl doesn't like "Babyz" or "Horsiez" she doesn't have to buy the game right? Chances are that she won't ask for the game for Christmas if she doesn't like either. If a girl wants to play and have an adventure, she can buy one of the many, many other games that appeal to that interest.

The main argument here seems to stem from a severe hatred of what many feminists believe to be a male-engineered woman -- the stay-at-home, unemployed, soccer mom. Of course, when you think about it, most women who perform that role in life actually enjoy it and find it to be very rewarding and fulfilling. Don't try to tell me that being a writer or a business executive is as rewarding as raising your children to be responsible adults.

Games like these aren't going to appeal to girls because men told them that is what they like. They are going to appeal to girls because that is what they like innately. Granted, there are exceptions and variables, blah, blah, blah, but to suggest that this will perpetuate the "cultural endemic" is an exaggeration.

Men and women are different by nature. Just because a game appeals to the supposed innate interests of a female doesn't mean it is a terrible and sexist idea.

Mr Tom

This is gaming by committee. It's like a load of guys were sat in a board room, high above the world and the next order of business was:

"Brainstorm ideas to appeal to the young female market"


Movies with lots of action, cgi, sci/fi driven films are more for males while films with relationships/ social/ emotional themes are more for males. Just take a look at many couple's DVD collection and you will the difference. Games which appeal to men contain the same elements to the films, so by that logic female games should include relationships/social/emotional elements. Sims is a classic example of using this to a degree. But I doubt a chick flick adventure game would appeal though?!

John Angel

I've seen so many so called 'experts' on this subject who claim to be very knowledgeable on the demographics of games players despite never mentioning any objective sources they've used to back up these statements.

Myself - I prefer to go on real world experience. I know lots of guys into games, all kinds, but mostly real-time strategy and shooters (online as well). I know NO women who play games - perhaps my circle of contacts isn't that big, but it's not that small that I wouldn't expect some female gamers but I've never met one.

This claim that females play games just as much as men is total crap and the games companies know it. These companies are in business to maximise profit and if there was a large female market, they would cater for that. And if females feel so hard done by, why don't you put your money where your mouth is and fund games development yourself - if you're so sure there's a market then you'll make money, easy as that.


"I wonder why that was the first thing you noticed. I like to define the term racist as "someone who constantly notices race and color above anything else." According to my definition, someone who wasn't racist would have seen three human babies on that cover. Here's a little tip for you: If you want to end racism, stop seeing and making everything about race."

Personally, I'm glad Cindy mentioned it. I didn't notice at first glance that all the babies were caucasian because I'm white and therefore often don't notice that people who aren't my colour are missing from TV, movies, and video-games.

Being blind to race isn't being non-racist, it's just being privileged enough not to give a crap about other people and their different experience of life.


"These companies are in business to maximise profit and if there was a large female market, they would cater for that."

It's much harder for companies to realise what their potential customers want if those groups of customers aren't represented within their own employee populations.

Sports manufacturing and retailing is a case in point: the male market was fairly well saturated by the late 90s but the market for women's sports clothes and shoes grew massively over this time period. This is at least in part to the (at that time) relatively recent presence of women in the executive suites of said sportswear companies.

Alex Taldren

"Personally, I'm glad Cindy mentioned it. I didn't notice at first glance that all the babies were caucasian because I'm white and therefore often don't notice that people who aren't my colour are missing from TV, movies, and video-games.

Being blind to race isn't being non-racist, it's just being privileged enough not to give a crap about other people and their different experience of life."

Actually, being blind to race is exactly what being a non-racist is. Acting and thinking that three white babies in one photo is somehow "immoral" or "wrong" is ridiculous. So what? Multi-culturalism is this politically-correct idea that diversity must be everywhere at all times lest we offend someone is just stupid.

Putting a black or asain baby into that picture won't solve racism... only seeing beyond skin color will.


RA: Chick flick adventure ... Lord of the Rings? It has lots of crying in it, and hugging, and dying for each other.


Alex: The problem with saying "But some girls do like shopping/making a home/raising babies!" is that it ignores the fact that almost all entertainment created for a female market caters to this single concept.

Feminism, at its very heart, is about choice; a woman who decides that making a home would be the most fulfilling thing to do with her life is as feminist as a woman who becomes a corporate CEO and the typical "power" woman.

But look in any toy aisle for girls, and you'll see toy stoves, babies, tea sets, and dollhouses; there's no choice and no diversity. The games that Alice talks about don't exist in a vacuum.


AlexRPM: Perhaps it's not because girls are princesses and boys are macho hero-men, but because girls are *passive* and boys are *active.* Girls are to be rescued, while boys rescue. Appearance is almost the least of our concerns.


Wmn shld stp plyng gms nd gt bck nt th ktchn nd mk my t whl m plyng.

** disemvowelled for being a predictable troll; with thanks to Teresa Neilsen Hayden for inventing disemvowelling **


As a girl, I list my favourite games:

Sims 2 (PC), ALL Pokemon games, Star Trek: Birth of the Federation, Final Fantasy 7 and 10. Maybe among all games I play, Sims 2 is the one most people would think is aimed towards girls.

It really annoys me that games developers look at females and sterotype us, thinking we only like pink things, cute things, and 'girly' things such as shopping and doing our hair. Many games that already exist appeal to us, but advertising is aimed at men and boys. Attitudes need to change - and developers need to stop insulting the female with games that are bottom line CRAP and took 2 weeks to make.

Here's hoping that whole 'Imagine' series fails - and that it teaches Ubisoft a lesson.

Peter Kemmer

Thanks for the reply Alice! It's great to hear you're still fond of it.

You should see some of the horrible things that people at P.F.Magic did to their co-workers Petz, with all those code and art resources at the ready! I remember the day when we took out the ability to cause 'permanent' damage to a pet's personality, so Petz in the field would eventually normalize and return to their original natures. Okay, it was partly done so that Petz can retain individual quirks to better differentiate themselves, but it was a bittersweet day in the shop. :)

I was responding mainly to the comments (still ongoing, grumble grumble) where people seem to think that a game, if it appeals to girls because it's about pets or shopping, MUST be crap. That's unfair in the extreme. I've played some pretty excellent shopping and dollies games. WoW is one of them, you're absolutely right about that. But even stereotypical girls games can have amazing depth.

There's a flip side though. Do people believe a software toy about kittens and puppies would sell if it were marketed any other way? We advertized in Good Housekeeping, not PC Gamer. We made this choice because there was a market for Petz there, and not in the gamer rags. It might not be very imaginitive for Ubisoft to bundle those titles up 'For Girls', but I'm pretty sure that if they don't use white, pink, baby blue, or yellow in the packaging, the games simply won't sell. If they don't advertize in 'women's' magazines, they'll be shooting themselves in the foot. I whole-heartedly agree with you about the underlying belief system being a problem, but the marketing is beholden to that belief system.

Additionally, a game about puppies or babies will never sell in a black and orange box. It appeals to the wrong aesthetic, WHOEVER has it, boys or girls. The packaging not only has to appeal to the consumer, it has to reflect the product itself. Last time I checked, babies are drowning in pink, blue, and now that soothing pale green that's become so popular. Why shouldn't the marketing reflect this? Is it really such an issue to wrap Babyz in baby colors, regardless of who it's being sold to? We DELIBERATELY made the packaging of Petz a little dorky, instead of slick. Pet people don't want slick, they want goofy. People who want cute go for cute packages.


John  Angel

OK - I'll repeat myself.

If you women believe there's a market for female oriented games, then why don't you put your money where your mouth is and fund games development????

You sit there and make wild unsubstantiated claims that there's some sort of male conspiracy against you. If you honestly believe there's a market then why don't you put in the millions of $ to fund a new game. It's easy to talk and pontificate, less easy to put your wealth on the line. Perhaps the reason is because THERE IS NO MARKET FOR FEMALE GAMES!!!!!! GET OVER IT FFS!!!!

Anyone care to tell me why you females won't do this, but prefer to just sit on your fat asses and complain????


John Angel, you're just showing yourself up to be not actually reading this - or incapable of understanding it: this thread is not about whether or not there is a market for games aimed at girls (which there is, all you need to do to figure that out is look at games sales - there's no argument there).

The issue discussed here is Ubisoft's method of thinking about the young female market and what type of content to offer it. We're discussing whether girls should *only* be offered games about cooking, babies and pets, rather than, say, games about adventure, mystery or science, too.

As for the fat asses comment, well - there's only one ass in this thread, so far.

Peter Kemmer

You can see an excellent (counter-)example of how specfic color and
packaging are used to draw the attention of a certain demographic inside
actual pet stores. Almost everything in a pet store is a primary color,
some fashionable derivative, pink, baby blue, or white. Simple, playful,
inelegant. But wait... what's that over there? href="http://www.hyper-products.com/products.html">Sleek black
packaging with Xbox green accents and sharp, tribal-tattoo-esque video
card graphics? What could it be? The only two toys in the entire store
that 'only a man' would buy for his dog, a sling-shot for tennis balls,
and a golf club for tennis balls. You know, for shooting things and waving
your big stick around. For your dog. I was instantly and pathetically
attracted to them, and literally bought the slingshot my most masculine
dog-owning friend as a gift. The packaging TOTALLY worked!

Finally, babies and kittens are objectively closer together than puppies
and rocket launchers (although that might make an excellent game itself),
so I don't really have a problem with the bundling either. Anyone who
likes puppies is probably more inclined to like kittens, babies, and
shopping than someone who likes FPS greifing. Bundling Halo 3 with Cooking
Mama? A terrible, terrible idea. Cooking and babies? Why the heck not?

I feel the real problem is that Ubisoft LIMITS the games it markets or
bundles 'for girls' to the genres you've described, when most games are
neither 'for girls' or 'for boys' but 'for particular tastes'. Why can't a
'violent' game be marketed to girls with violent tastes? Why can't a
'cute' game be marketed to boys unrepentant about their fondness for lil'
critters? Sell the violence, sell the cute, don't sell the gender.
Unfortunately, this is hard to do, so companies take the easy way out and
buy into an pre-existing 'brand', the gender of the consumer.

I'm also interested in the overt ageism found in most game advertising.
Game companies seem to think that if you're a guy over 13, you'll like all
types of violent games. They treat ALL their male consumers exactly the
same way. Only now and then do rare games like Brain Age infer there might
be some stratification in the market. Personally, I can't even play an RTS
anymore, I'm too creaky and slow. Where are my 'adult-safe' games? :)

P.S. We beat Tamagotchi to market! Don't you mean traumatised by
Petz-games? ;)


Hey, I'm a 37 year old married male and I'd buy Babyz. You don't have to be a girl to buy it do you? Bravo Ubisoft for creating a game aimed at me!


I somewhat disagree with this post.

You see the game developers are stuck in a catch 22 at the moment. Games cost an astronomical amount of money and man hours to make and developers risk going bust if they take too many risks.

I'd say Rare make games that seem to appeal to the female market and they are quality games. but if it were not for MS backing them with unlimited money then they would be bust by now. There is just not the female userbase there to support the kind of games I think you are talking about at the moment.


To Belinda Parmar,

I am intensely curious as to what games you feel are ideal for the "24-35 age smart female bracket". Please explain more. Perhaps Alice can also give some ideas?

I would have thought this demographic, of which I think Alice belongs, is doing what Alice is doing right now: enjoying Ratchet and Clank, Mario Kart, Dance Dance Revolution, Wii Sports, Pokemon and suchlike.

To Alice,

Fair point about the "Babiez" spelling!

I would guess your answer to the question above to Belinda Paramr would be: "games about adventure, mystery or science", right?

Of course it is not just females who may wish for more of those games. I myself would love to see more games with the depth and quality of a "Zelda: Ocarina of Time", or the same with a more mature story like "Vagrant Story", or even something with the gameplay mechanic of "Resident Evil 4" with a sophisticated mystery behind it.



Someone wrote:

Someone wrote:
"Wonder why all the babyz on the cover are caucasian?"

I wonder why that was the first thing you noticed. I like to define the term racist as "someone who constantly notices race and color above anything else." According to my definition, someone who wasn't racist would have seen three human babies on that cover. Here's a little tip for you: If you want to end racism, stop seeing and making everything about race.”

Ever since I was growing up in the seventies and called a nigger multiple times a day (and nigger lover, since I’m actually caucasian myself) and figured out how much race seems to matter to adults, I’ve noticed how race is represented in the media. What I wonder is why some people don’t even notice such glaring lack of representation of other races on the cover of this game? That is my definition of racism – when you are so indoctrinated that you think it’s just fine (don’t even notice) that only caucasions are chosen to be portrayed (marketed to, matter, etc.). Many caucasion people don’t even notice this absence of other peoples and that is quite sad.

I’ll stop noticing the way race is represented in the media when the majority of the world stops thinking that race is the key defining characteristics of a person.

Alex Taldren

And that is why there will ALWAYS be racism.

[edited for unnecessary repetition]


"I’ll stop noticing the way race is represented in the media when the majority of the world stops thinking that race is the key defining characteristics of a person."

And now that I wrote this I'm going to continue on this train of thought and say that this is also my problem with the way many games are marketed to girls. Games are marketed to girls as if the key defining characteristics of a girl is her preoccupation with babyz, make up, and pink hair bows. Not that there is anything wrong with any of those things, but they are not the only things that matter to girls.

This exclusion of other ideas, points of view, etc., contributes to the longevity of these stereotypes. The exclusion of any males who might also be interested in playing a "girl" game, the exclusion of the concept that a girl might be interested in other things beside "babyz", make up, and pink accessories and the lack of acknowledgment that diversity does exist, all reinforce stereotypes that are way overdue for being debunked.

It's only when people point out this lack of representation of differing points of view and lack of diverse looking people being shown as representative of the population, that the acceptance of these stereotypes will begin to be questioned.

Mr Tom

Let's look at it this way: What is the (or one of the) most popular PC games of all time - The Sims.

Why? Because it appeals to girls, but not in a patronising way, not in a way that it appeals ONLY to girls.

And yet these companies don't seem to get it. We're still getting games pumped out with cakes, fluffy animals and glitter. We need more Sims, more Wii Sports, more Animal Crossing, more WoW.


After some head-crunching, I just noticed something. What sin has Ubi committed, other than writing in their press release that the line of products is aimed at girls?

Take a second look at that cover design. It's just about as neutral as you can get, using basic white as a dominant colour. (Can anyone offer a more gender-neutral cover treatment of the subject of "babies", using photorealistic babies?) People talk about "pink", but I see very little pink in the image. Granted, there's some fuchsia, but not that much. The cover design is ugly, but to me it looks pretty gender-neutral.
(BTW - the packaging for Sakura Wars for the Sega Saturn, IIRC, was almost 100% pink. And that game was aimed squarely at the guy market!)

And as for whether or not the gameplay sucks - well, nobody knows, right? Certainly Peter seems to believe in it... Assuming you actually had a decent game about babies, how else would you market it? Would you toss it in the can just because some people might get offended that - oh my gosh, they're selling a game about babies, it must be a plot to keep our daughters barefoot and pregnant?

To re-iterate, I fail to see what mortal sin Ubisoft has committed. Certainly one press release does not a mortal sin make. I still stand by my assertion that, if a game with a more "conventional" (violent??) theme were marketed to girls specifically, the ones holding the purse strings (parents) would steer clear of it.

Perhaps it might be more helpful to go after the folks who are marketing games with potential mass-appeal in ways which alienate potential female customers. (Everquest, I'm looking straight at you.) Chasing down the people responsible for this game looks to be barking up the wrong tree, IMO.

FInally, out of curiosity - and being one of those big, dumb males ;) - can anyone comment on whether or not Prince of Persia: Sands of Time was marketed well qua cross-gender appeal? (Let's not get started on - ugh - the sequel, shall we?)


Babyz Ubisoft is a really fun game! It starts as...Your Grandmother has left on vacation and she let you stay at her house. The people who live in the neighborhood usually asked Grandma to babysit their children. So here's where YOU come along! They leave you in charge of taking care of their babies for a couple of hours. You can give them a bath, take them outside (backyard), dress them, feed them, and lot's of other things. Just remeber not to wake them up while they're sleeping! Hope I helped! :D


I manage a video game store. At my company's annual conference, Ubisoft showed off these games and was fairly impressed with themselves that they found how to get girls to buy games. I was enraged. I REFUSE to put these games on my shelf. My location has not sold a single Imagine game out of protest. Being a female gamer, I am very sensitive to what parents buy for their little girls. I am feminine, but not feminist. I play shooters, action games, puzzle games....pretty much everything except turned based RPGs and sports games. I firmly believe that every girl can find games that get to them even if they aren't pink and tied up with ribbons and lace. My entire staff backs me up. If someone asks for one of those games by name, we explain that we don't have it, but we have many other games of higher quality and entertainment value. It just really irks me to no end that Ubisoft feels like they can only get to the female market by pigeon-holing them into a stereo-type that died many years ago.


Jessica, that's pretty much the definition of feminist, what you're doing right there!

Seems feminist has a bit of a bad connotation over there in the US (?); it's a shame, because all it means is pro the ability and option for females to have the same level of rights and treatment as males. Which is just plain nice, iznit.



I'm new here, just wanted to say hello and introduce myself.


It's watched necessary.

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