Microsoft Encourages Developers To Avoid Exaggerated Female Designs

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Microsoft Aims To Avoid Negative Gender Stereotypes!

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  • Microsoft is against making women curvy in video games.
  • The gaming giant has provided guidelines not to make the designs exaggerated to avoid negative gender stereotypes.
  • A game like Stellar Blade takes the exact opposite approach.

Various female characters have played iconic roles in video games, such as Lara Croft, Bayonetta, and Ada Wong. Therefore, it is safe to say that females are a huge part of the industry, becoming fan favorites throughout the years.

However, some can often come with exaggerated designs. This is becoming less common in the industry today, and Microsoft’s Production Inclusion Actions help explain why. On its website, the gaming giant discourages developers from creating such characters.

Why it matters: With Sweet Baby Inc. becoming highly popular, inclusivity is more important than ever for developers and publishers.

Microsoft Encourages Developers To Avoid Exaggerated Women Designs
Microsoft Encourages Developers To Avoid Exaggerated Women Designs

As part of its inclusivity initiative, Microsoft has offered developers a list of questions to consider before creating their games. These include various stereotypes that the gaming giant believes are best left out.

Among other things on the list, Microsoft’s official website points to historically controversial character designs.

Are your female characters equipped with clothing and armor that fits their tasks?  Do they have exaggerated body proportions?

-Microsoft

The biggest example of such a character would be Bayonetta, where the character’s design is integrated into every facet of the game. It also plays a role in the gameplay, with Bayonetta utilizing her hair for combos.

Anyhow, Microsoft seems to argue in favor of more realistic character proportions. However, Stellar Blade, another game with a controversial design, has used a Korean model for its main character.

Screenshot from Stellar Blade
Eve From Stellar Blade is Based On A Real Life Model

Rated 18+, this game seems to be a throwback to female character designs rarely seen today. Protagonist Eve is based on a 3D scan of Shin Jae-eun, a Korean Model. Still, Microsoft appears to be against more curvy and intentionally designed females.

Fable, expected to ship in 2025, previously garnered criticism for the female character shown last year.

As an in-house studio, Playground Games likely follows these guidelines closely, highlighting a very different approach compared to the likes of Bayonetta or Stellar Blade.

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