The Verge interviewed EA’s CEO, Andrew Wilson who was asked about diversity in their games. Here is a quote from the interview.
The Verge: Representation is an ongoing issue with video games. For decades, we’ve had this generic protagonist: the joyless, bald, muscular white guy. It feels as if indie creators rapidly expanded beyond that hero, and AAA is gradually following suit. What is being done to improve representation in big-budget games going forward?
Andrew Wilson: Representation is really important. Again, when I started playing games, we could squint and see 200 million players. Many of those players were 14-year-old boys playing in their mother’s basements. That was really what gamers were. There was this negative connotation about what being a gamer meant. Today the average age of a gamer, I think, is about 35. Nearly 50 percent of them are female, and certainly gaming transcends all forms of culture and gender and background, both socioeconomic and ethnic background.
As we think about representation inside games, what is the most important thing for us, like it is in movies and books and TV and all other forms of entertainment, is to really capture the true nature of the community that’s engaging in that content. When you look at some of our games today, you see that we have strong female leads, we have strong black leads, we have strong Latino leads, we have young leads to older leads. It’s really important as we design games, and that wasn’t really any mandate that we made as a company, and it won’t be any mandate that we make going forward.
It’s really just the creators inside of our organization saying, “Hey, I’m looking at who’s playing our games. We know that they want to look into the games that we make and see people like them so that they can better relate to those games. We want to capture that.”
The diversity that we live in today is amazing. It’s what is driving us as humanity forward is this real true understanding of who we are as a global community. We actually have probably more than any other community the ability to do that at the most profound level. We really want to capture that in our games.
It’s great to hear that EA is being diverse with their game leads, I personally find it boring to play as the same generic character all the time, and it’s a good sign that this will continue in the future.