“Ask five people who follow the video games industry what to expect from an E3press conference and they’ll all paint you a similar picture. Bright lights on a big stage, lengthy cinematic trailers for shooters starring gravelly-voiced stubble-faced white men, interspersed with awkward patter from white men in suits (or, depending on the publisher, suit jackets and T-shirts and trainers), cheered and whooped at by a largely white male audience. This industry is often unwelcoming to women and underrepresented minorities, and these widely watched events do little to counter that.
Of course, some conferences do better than others. This year, we’ve judged EA, Bethesda, Microsoft, Ubisoft, and Sony for the diversity of their speakers and of the games and characters on show. How do they compare?
The event: EA is known for its shooting and its sports, which this year included Madden NFL 17 and FIFA 17 sandwiched between Titanfall 2 and the irritatingly-named Battlefield 1, with a brief mention of new Star Wars: Battlefront content for good measure.
More interesting were the brief glimpses at Mass Effect: Andromeda and Amy Hennig’s untitled Star Wars game, though both had little enough to show that any in-game footage was padded with concept art and clips of developers looking busy. The only real surprise was the first game from the new EA Originals programme, an arty indie-style game called Fe that’s so clearly meant to follow in Unravel’s footsteps that EA brought on another nervous Scandinavian man to announce it…”