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Xbox Relishes Opportunity To Move Away From Male-Dominated Games

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Xbox Relishes Opportunity To Move Away From Male-Dominated Games

Xbox head honcho Phil Spencer has said that up and coming titles like Perfect Dark offer an opportunity to tell the stories of female protagonists and increase representation in its first-party portfolio.

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Perfect Dark was revealed in The Game Awards 2020 with an especially snazzy trailer. It's a "[reimagining] of one of the best loved IPs from gaming history" from The Initiative, which is one of Xbox's studios that snagged developers from all over the industry. It's safe to say that fans are looking forward to seeing Joanna Dark return for a new adventure on the souped up Xbox Series X, and Xbox itself views the game as a conduit for female heroes to step into the spotlight.

Not that Xbox is really slacking in this regard. There is Senua from Hellblade: Senua's Sacrifice, a character who received a lot of praise for the realistic representation of how psychosis affects a person. When Gears Of War's Kait Diaz became a playable protagonist, it showed that the series was taking some serious departures from its history as a male-centric action-shooter, and she was welcomed by players who were already invested in her personality and capabilities.

Through the acquisition of ZeniMax Media, Xbox also has Emily Kaldwin and Billie Lurk from Dishonored, Morgan Yu from Prey, Julianna from Deathloop, and Jessie and Zofia Blazkowicz from Wolfenstein among its roster of female playable characters. On that note, Arkane Studios revealed its next game, Redfall, in the Xbox and Bethesda showcase last month and it is looking incredibly cool. Well, it's Arkane - what did you expect?

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Last week, while appearing on the IGN Unlocked podcast, executive vice-president of gaming at Microsoft Phil Spencer enthused about the possibilities that the new Perfect Dark has for the brand as a whole. "I think it's awesome that, for us, we can focus on a female protagonist in our line-up, we don't have a lot of that in our first-party [games]," he said. "I think that Joanna offers a lot of modern opportunities. I love to see the team focusing on having a strong protagonist."

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Though Rare isn't the studio at the helm of the next Perfect Dark, the team at The Initiative is enviable. The head of the studio, Darrell Gallagher, used to lead Crystal Dynamics which is the developer behind the most recent trilogy of Tomb Raider games. Furthermore, it brought on board God of War level designers as well as talent from Naughty Dog, Grand Theft Auto, and Red Dead Redemption. Even though the team is keeping its cards close to its chest at the moment, there's evidently a lot to look forward to from The Initiative.

Featured Image Credit: 343 Industries, The Coalition

Topics: Xbox, News, Microsoft

Imogen Donovan
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