"Games cost much too much money to focus on a niche market," she said. "To survive, they need to be such a broadly popular part of entertainment culture that you would be hard-pressed to find anyone who doesn’t play games. Women represent over 50 percent of the population, tend to be in charge of household finances, and are the majority purchasers of games (when factoring in games bought by women as gifts for husbands, children, friends, etc.). To indulge a community that is actively trying to alienate this powerful market segment (not to mention gay men, casual gamers of all types and anyone new to the hobby), is suicidal.
"It’s important to listen to fans about what’s important to them, but it’s equally important to listen to people who are not currently gamers about why they aren’t playing. Hardcore gamers want a product that is made specifically for them and is actively unfriendly to anyone new. They will beg and bully to get this product and then praise and wax nostalgic over any game that lives up to their standards even if the company that made it went bankrupt. They don’t care about keeping companies in business or artists employed. Their only job as fans is to say what pleases them, and it would be foolish to expect them to think beyond that. But to cater to those desires without thinking about how to bring new audiences in and make them comfortable will ultimately result in a stagnant and money-losing industry.
"I could go on and on about this, but I’m just going to consider one example: the word ‘noob.’ If you decide to take up almost any other hobby in the world, you can find beginning classes teaching you how to do it. If you want to knit, you can go to a yarn store and meet fellow knitters who will help you get the basics. If you want to play basketball, you can join a rec center or community league at a beginner level. And generally, the people already involved in those hobbies are thrilled to have someone with whom they can share their passion. But if you want to get started as a gamer, you get told, ‘go home noob,’ because people in this hobby hate newcomers so much they turned the word itself into an insult. How are we supposed to thrive as an industry if we are actively hostile to growing our audience?"
- Jennifer Hepler (source)
I’m not sure how to comment on this truthbomb more than to say “THIS,” because—on top of being the right fucking thing to do—making a more inclusive environment for all kinds of gamers is the only logical growth strategy. Now someone tell every other game company to read this as well.