Nintendo Is Serious About Girl Power!
The Nintendo video game company has a long history of featuring powerful women as lead characters, but they've been equally inclusive in appealing to girl gamers, as well as employing women!
Samus Aran, of the Metroid series, is considered the first playable woman character in a mainstream video game. Samus first appeared in a game in 1986, but many players didn't know this for years. To reveal her gender, you had to beat the difficult game in under 5 hours!
While Princess Toadstool, aka Peach, originally appeared as a damsel in distress, she proved she could take care of herself as a playable character in Super Mario Bros. 2, released in 1988. She was also playable in 1996's Super Mario RPG: Legend of the Seven Stars.
Since then, she's been playable in a number of Nintendo titles, most recently in Super Mario 3D World, as well as in the upcoming Super Smash Bros. tiles for Wii U and Nintendo 3DS.
Another classic female character, Dixie Kong from Donkey Kong Country 2: Diddy Kong's Quest in 1995, is available as a playable character in the new game Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze.
Last week, we discussed the eight amazing female playable characters announced so far in Hyrule Warriors for Wii U. The two new Super Smash Bros. games are also set to have a bunch of amazing female characters to choose from!
Characters from previous Super Smash Bros. games will carry into the new game, including Sheik and her alter-ego Zelda fromThe Legend of Zelda, Samus and Zero Suit Samus from Metroid and Peach.
However, the new game will feature a number of new female characters from beloved series, such as Palutena from Kid Icarus, Lucina from Fire Emblem, Rosalina from Super Mario Galaxy and the Wii Fit trainer from the Wii Fit fitness games!
You'll also be able to play as the villager from Animal Crossing as either a male or a female. And if you want even more character options than the ones available, you can customize your own female Mii fighter to adapt the powers of the other fighters within the game!
The upcoming third-person shooter and strategy game Splatoon will also feature several female lead characters.
Nintendo has always made it a priority to include women in their games, and for good reason. According to the Entertainment Software Association, 48 percent of gamers are women, and women over the age of 18 are a bigger portion of the game-playing population than boys 18 and under!
But it's not just about making games for women. It's also important to Nintendo that they include women in the creation and development of these games.
For example, nearly half of the development team for the latest game in the massively popular Animal Crossing series was female. For the game series that has appealed equally to men and women, it made sense to develop a game with equal input from men as well as women.
The resulting game, Animal Crossing: New Leaf ,has sold more than 7.38 million copies worldwide!
Aya Kyogoku was the first female director at Nintendo's Entertainment Analysis and Development Group. She also produced and directed Animal Crossing: New Leaf.
"Having worked on this team where there were almost equal numbers of men and women made me realize that [diversity] can open you up to hearing a greater variety of ideas and sharing a greater diversity of ideas," Kyogoku said in an interview with WIRED. "Only after having working on a project like this, with a team like this one, was I able to realize this."
We look forward to seeing even more awesome women rise in the ranks at Nintendo, and the chance play as even more capable and compelling women in Nintendo games!
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