'Women are the new core,' says Microsoft narrative designer

"Our audience is leaving us behind," Abernathy said. "The world is changing, it has already changed, and we have not been doing a very good job of keeping up with it."

"Women are not a small, special market on the fringe of the core," Abernathy said. "Women are the new core."

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-Superman-1880d ago (Edited 1880d ago )

"Our audience is leaving us behind," Abernathy said.

"Women are not a small, special market on the fringe of the core," Abernathy said. "Women are the new core."

Looks like Microsoft focus more new core, casual, just like last 3 E3s was all about Kinect.

Nintendo tried re-creat Wii, what is not that good.

Sony goes back to basic, this what gamers love.

-Superman-1880d ago

Also, all the leaks(95% true, same source was right about PS4) says that Xbox 720 will come with Kinect 2.0
Kinect 2.0 is built in.
Well, yeah, sure, who likes casual gaming and stuff like Kinect games then those people will buy, but all those who bought Xbox 360 for Halo, and some FPS games, are going over the PS4.

iGAM3R-VIII1880d ago (Edited 1880d ago )

Well we still should wait until E3 or May (May is supposed to be the reveal of the 720) and then see what Ms plans are but I think that all of these rumours are true about leaving core gamers. Ms will need all the hope in the world if they think they can sell consoles like that

Septic1880d ago (Edited 1880d ago )

Yeah the common sense approach is to wait till the reveal to make up your mind before prematurely making a decision on a console that hasn't even been announced yet and one we know very little about other than rumours of a speculative nature.

But there appears to be a lot of consensus that Microsoft is going for the more mass market approach with its next console. If this turns out to be true then it will truly be a shame because this gen, they showed how they can put up a fight against the best of them and provide us with amazing gaming experiences.

The true core will always comprise of those gamers who the original Xbox and 360 were targeted at anyway. Funnily enough, the PS3 appeared more mass market than the 360, the latter of which catered more for shooter centric PC gamers. If MS relinquishes its link with us, it needs to realise that it won't ever regain that trust. Whilst it's MS' decision to go in whatever direction it wants, us gamers will relinquish all ties with a company that used the console business to insert its Trojan Horse into our living rooms.

Time will tell though. I'm giving them the benefit of the doubt because I recognise that I spend a lot of time on N4G and it can be quite easy to get swept up in the agenda of the mob. We shall see. Here's hoping that MS do get their act together. If not, the PS4 will become the primary gaming device of the true core gamers.

fsfsxii1880d ago

You mean all the people that jumped ship to the X360 from PS2??

MikeMyers1880d ago (Edited 1880d ago )

"Women are not a small special market on the fringe of the core," Abernathy said. "Women are the new core."

He isn't just talking about the Xbox 360 audience but gaming in general. It is true that more women are playing games than ever before. It is a market that is growing and of course Microsoft wants to be a part of it.

Sony also brought social gaming into Playstation Home:

They have also talked a lot on the new PS4 and the share button and also Facebook. Plus a new camera. Do you really think Sony isn't also trying to attract more casual and women gamers? The social integration on the PS4 is being heavily marketed. They know the world around them is changing as well. They know people love to post on Facebook and upload videos to their friends. They know chatting and texting and video conferencing is popular. They also know woman are part of that as well.

Nintendo also came out with Miiverse. What remains to be seen is just how much focus Microsoft will put into casual gaming and trying to attract women into gaming. Gaming as a whole needs to evolve. We need to get past the stereotypes. What I want to see from Microsoft is a commitment to creating new IP's and not ignoring the gamers that got them here in the first place. The ones that bought the original Halo, Mechassault and Crackdown. So they either need to create more studios to handle all of these various gamers or partner themselves like they did with Epic and Nintendo is doing with Platinum. The Xbox 360 suffered because resources were shifted. You can still attract casual gamers but it shouldn't be at the cost of hardcore gaming.

amiga-man1880d ago (Edited 1880d ago )

I know this is just a rumour but everyone of the rumours concerning the next-box 720 have been negative, by the sounds of it M$ are not even trying to compete with Sony next gen.

thechosenone1880d ago

And those same sources that pegged the PS4 hardware months/weeks before they were made official are now saying that the PS4 will be 40-50% more powerful than the xbox720...discussion starts at post #3044

DragonKnight1880d ago

I'm all for women getting more into gaming, but I'm sorry to say they are not the "new" core. This is an attempt to change the definition of the core gamer. If we're talking gaming habits, games haven't changed significantly to where you can say that there are more games geared towards women (and in all honesty, what could you really call a game geared towards women?). If we're talking numbers, men still outnumber women. So if there are more games geared towards the male audience, and there are more male core gamers, exactly how is it that women are the "new" core?

I would say that more women are becoming core gamers and as such development may shift towards a more egalitarian (ideally, but not likely. It'll more likely have more of a feminist lean if anything) design philosophy, but to suggest that women are overtaking men as gamers isn't backed up by numbers.

thechosenone1880d ago (Edited 1880d ago )

Why not cater to both? Why does it have to be either one or the other?

MikeMyers1880d ago

"Why not cater to both? Why does it have to be either one or the other?"

It doesn't. Which is why Nintendo is trying to distance itself from the Wii being aimed at casual only gamers. It also begs the question post-Kinect on the Xbox 360 how Microsoft will market the new Xbox. They need to have more balance. You don't shift resources from one to the other just because the market is changing. What you do is expand so that you serve not only the core gamers from the beginning but also attract new gamers. It was clear Microsoft shifted resources to help drive Kinect sales.

Ritsujun1880d ago Show
1880d ago
SolidStoner1880d ago

@ fsfsxii

that's impossible 360 gamers didnt even got born when PS2 was launched :) no offence for mature gamers but part of that is true....

MaxXAttaxX1879d ago

After all, why would he talk about it. He speaks for his company.

sikbeta1879d ago

As long as third party and "7th gen core" first+second party games arrive to the console and it's not flooded with shovelware like the wii, everything is OK...

Gaming1011879d ago (Edited 1879d ago )

Here's the thing, Microsoft thinks it has tapped out its current hardcore gaming audience, but it needs to grow its audience for the purpose of appeasing shareholders like the typical Western company that Microsoft is.

To do this, instead of trying to steal more hardcore gamers away from Sony, it is reaching out to all the other corners of the market, those that are currently growing at a fast pace, and Microsoft thinks this includes female gamers.

What Microsoft has failed to realize is that although females are reportedly increasing in numbers in terms of the gaming population, what these studies fail to realize is that those females are not necessarily console gamers. They are just gamers - which means if you play games on your phone, or on facebook, you're still a gamer according to studies.

Given the explosion of popularity of smart phones, and internet gaming on facebook, a lot of the people playing these games are women. This is the cause of the increasing of the "female gaming population" of recent years. If Microsoft was selling Smart phones it would benefit from targeting that audience, however that audience is not growing in the CONSOLE market. Microsoft will never sell more consoles by targeting that group of people.

If you want to know who Microsoft is competing with, company spokespeople have already indicated they are not just in competition with Sony, but also Apple, Samsung, and Google. Translation: Microsoft is going to try and steal market share from those companies by marketing to the same audiences that those companies market to IE. women, casual gamers, anything other than hardcore gamers. Microsoft thinks it can be everything to everyone, and it will dilute its product in order to market to all audiences. This will be its downfall, if anything.

Get it now? Good.

YodaCracker1879d ago

Yes Gaming101, I'm sure you have done more research into this than all of Microsoft. /s

AsimLeonheart1879d ago

Oh well, have fun next-gen playing Adventures of Barbie and the Pink Pony with the girls Xbox fans. :-/

1nsaint1879d ago

If we bought the 360 for halo, then why should we switch to ps4? They don't have halo..

No matter what console you're on, I think nobody with a big library of games would want to switch, losing their physical and digital games, and ofc you're account with all your achievements/trophies, dlc and your friend list.

+ Show (15) more repliesLast reply 1879d ago
IronFistChinMi1880d ago

You realise he was talking about the industry as a whole and not just Microsoft, right? He was speaking on a panel at GDC.

Alos881880d ago

He can only speak for his company, and their perceived market changes. This is simply them stating what I've been concerned about for awhile now; that MS is no longer interested in pursuing the traditional gamer's interests.

Mike134nl1880d ago

He was talking about the industry as a whole, gamespot just wrote a sensationalised article.

" reports that Abernathy recalled his own experience of gender equality in games and expressed his frustration when trying to find games for his daughter that let her play as a female character. He would often end up empty-handed.

He added that while America now has a black president and that same-sex marriage has been approved in many states, that the games industry is yet to take such significant strides.

The female gamerbase is swelling, with adult feales making up 30% of the American gamer population, according to numbers from the Entertainment Software Association and research conducted by PopCap games. The so-called ‘core demographic of males under 18 now makes up just 18% of the nation’s players."

SDF Repellent1880d ago (Edited 1880d ago )

As expected. The ps3 fanboys are all over this piece and won't read the entire artice, which is a guy talking about female gamers in general and has nothing pertaining to the nextbox, but yet, they can turn this one into the same old " oh, MS has abandoned core gamers!"

What is even worst is the person that submitted this piece, superman, post the first 2 posts to spread propaganda that is just plain wrong from the original source. This ps3 fanboy is just sad. Smh

kenshiro1001880d ago (Edited 1880d ago )

Maybe you should do something called 'reading' yourself. He's mainly speaking from HIS company's perspective.

Relax, no one is attacking your precious 'can do no wrong whatsoever' Microsoft.

nukeitall1880d ago (Edited 1880d ago )

It doesn't matter what is posted on n4g, because time and time again, the market has shown that it doesn't align with the viewpoints of rabbid fanboys on n4g or the hardcore gaming community.

A perfect example of this is how the PS Vita was praised to high heavens and the price was celebrated, while the 3DS was derided as a casual device.

Fast forward, and look what happened! PS Vita is dead in the water, and 3DS is marching on like nothing ever happened!

Further proof? You got your superbly core device focusing on games and games only with PS Vita, but where are the supporters? You know, third party quality games?

Ultimately it is about adoption, and then the games and whatever greatness will come with it.

It's a good thing that these companies steer their company based on hard data and not rabbid and loud fanboys.

DragonKnight1880d ago

@nukeitall: "Fast forward, and look what happened! PS Vita is dead in the water, and 3DS is marching on like nothing ever happened!"

MysticStrummer1880d ago

@ Any and all MS defenders -

Read what this developer has to say about Sony and PS4. He says it will be interesting to see what MS fires back with at E3, but given what he says about MS having a different outlook, how can you believe 720 won't be largely going in a different direction that's away from core gaming? Reading between the lines isn't even necessary when you have quotes like these.

Eyeco1880d ago

You're name, it was this awesome Manga I used to read as a kid,

IronFistChinMi1880d ago (Edited 1880d ago )

@Eyeco Yes, I read them as well, that's where I took it from!

IronFistChinMi1880d ago

@Mystic Strummer

Durango will still have core games will it not? Will an owner not be able to play BF4, Watch Dogs, Destiny, Halo, New IP from Black Tusk Studios, PGR 5, AW2, Fable etc?

Yes, they are going to do things differently than Sony, but that doesn't mean there won't be as many core games on Durango than the PS4.

nukeitall1879d ago


Is that the best response you got? Do I make you angry speaking the truth and therefore you have no real response, but try to insult?

Game over. Insert coin, try again!

DragonKnight1879d ago

@nukeitall: You didn't speak the truth, you said something retarded when you said the Vita is dead in the water. Clearly you've been blind for the past few months so I said something contextually accurate to the retarded post you made. Maybe when you decide to say something relevant and intelligent people can take you seriously, but for now the link speaks the point perfectly well.

+ Show (9) more repliesLast reply 1879d ago
Ezz20131880d ago (Edited 1880d ago )

by doing this seems like MS themself are living in the same dream land
@greenpowerz lives in

sony didn't only won last gen and this gen
it seems that they will win next gen too

whoyouwit041879d ago

And just how did sony when this gen who did they out sell.

Ezz20131879d ago (Edited 1879d ago )


no they didn't
it got outsold by ps3 even with the year head start
you comments are soo uninformed and wrong ...i don't know why i even bother

LordHiggens1879d ago


Ezz2013 is right, Sony did win this generation...not counting the Wii because's a Wii not a real gaming machine.

Total PS3 Worldwide sales are greater than that of the 360...the only place that has more 360s than PS3s is America.

shutUpAndTakeMyMoney1880d ago ShowReplies(1)
Knight_Crawler1880d ago

Or maybe the 720 will be what the PS2 was...the perfect console which caters for every age, gender and demographics.

I know some of you people want this rumors of leaked documents to be real and watch MS burn but will you really be happy to see MS and leave and some some other giant like Apple replace MS?

Do you really want MS to leave so that Sony can go back to their arrogant and pretentious ways like they were when the PS3 launched at $600 and them tell people to get two jobs to afford one or saying that next gen does not start until they say so.

dedicatedtogamers1880d ago

Actually, I would like to see MS leave. They haven't really brought anything into the industry. They've just slapped their brand on other people's ideas (nothing new for Microsoft). Instead of Microsoft, I would like to see other companies enter the console market, especially a Western company like Valve Corp or (dare I say it?) Activision.

Jack of Death1880d ago

I agree with you Knight Crawler. How can anyone think it would be good to not have MS. PSN is free and has improved 10 fold since it launched. If there was not competition you would be paying for everything. Sony has improved this gen even though they had the worst console launch ever. Bring prices down and everyone wins.

Mike134nl1880d ago

A competitive gaming market is always good for the market. At least for dedicated gamers, as this means companies will need to focus on exclusive games and innovation; in order to differentiate themselves from the competition.

Why o why1880d ago (Edited 1880d ago )

I'm with jack, knight and mike on this one. Ms needs to be in the industry whether we like their methods or not as they have brought balance to the industry. I believe without them Sony wouldn't be fighting so hard now. Their services like psn and ps plus may not have been where they're at if there wasn't strong competition. There will be negative aspects but I think the positive ones far outweigh those.

stuna11880d ago

The game industry was doing just fine before Microsoft entered the console market! If anything they instituted a lot of things that gamers could have done without! For starters a paid online service on consoles.

Then not being able to access the online portion of $60 games you spent your hard earned money on without first paying for said online service.

Making you pay for access to services that you would automatically have access to anywhere else for free.

kickerz1879d ago

@ stuna - well the game industry was doing just fine before Sony came along. Sega, Nintendo and pc were the good old days. Sony fanboys are just annoying, just reading half the comments in this thread I'm like WTF did you even read the article. If you love your playstation that's fine, but why come here and bag Microsoft when we know hardly anything about their next console. It's an article about girl gamers, nothing more nothing less.

rainslacker1879d ago


Actually the market was becoming stagnant before Sony came along. Sega was struggling big time, and Nintendo wasn't pushing technology fast enough to keep up with the changes in game design that came along with the advent of 3D rendering technologies. Nintendo itself had become complacent with it's place in the market, much like Sony did during the launch of the PS3.

The market wasn't expanding fast enough to keep up with increases in game development budgets...maybe that sounds familiar...if it does it's because it's exactly what is happening right now. On top of that production costs of physical media was sky high because memory prices were more than triple what they were before the mainstream use of CD media.

Sony brought a lot of changes to the entire industry with it's PS1. They opened up developer relations and moved away from the overly draconian Nintendo methods that developers had to deal with because it's what Nintendo did(same thing that made Sega so appealing to publishers). They implemented a standard optical media drive which circumvented memory price fluctuations. And they produced and heavily marketed a console that was considered to be the must have gaming console for 2 generations in a row. On top of that they made a console that people wanted. They expanded the market, and helped publishers cater to a wide variety of gamers, which eventually helped bring more into the fold.

Had Sony not come along(or someone else for that matter) then the gaming industry was on the road to another crash. It was just stopped much earlier than people realized, so everyone assumes that everything was fine and good.

kickerz1879d ago

@ rainslacker thanks for the informative response.
I guess when you put it like that Sony are important to the industry.My main issue I have though is all the negativity towards microsoft/nintendo/pc here in general. If you like nintendo thats fine, if you like sony its fine and if you like xbox its fine.Just enjoy the games. N4G is a good site but I feel if your not a sony fanboy here you just get hammered.

+ Show (6) more repliesLast reply 1879d ago
ALLWRONG1880d ago

Only on N4G can they turn women into a negative.

Tito081879d ago (Edited 1879d ago )

And only on N4G they know why you're always wrong, just like your username.

SilentNegotiator1879d ago (Edited 1879d ago )

How is N4G "turning women into a negative"? By pointing out that women being the core of the gaming industry is obviously false? By being unhappy that Microsoft also made a bunch of OTHER comments that lead to the idea of a groan-worthy direction for their next Xbox?

No, you just gulped up some Microsoft comments and created a logic-free argument that makes people disagreeing with your favorite company look like misogynists.

Bathyj1874d ago

If women are negative, then two negatives make a positive.

MariaHelFutura1880d ago

And boom goes the dynamite!!!

showtimefolks1880d ago

Ok MS you have worked hard to make Xbox a very good brand now you gonna mess it up, this time there is no one year ahead start so better get your act together otherwise it's gonna get real ugly real fast

Core audience is still here, the only difference is you haven't done crap for last 3 years besides the usual halo,gears and forza. Lat 3 E3's were tough to watch when it came to ms conference and I don't think it's gonna get better this year either

Ps4 already has a lot of hype behind it by sny announcing it 1st so either step your game or and get left behind

Thirty3Three1880d ago

Can I haz sum bubblez? :D

abzdine1880d ago

you make my wife choose between playing kinect or sit watch me play infamous or heavy rain she'll for sure choose the second option.

xursz1880d ago

Or the third option, you sit back and watch your wife hoola hoop kinect style. Ehhhh?

Honestly I know a total of 0 people interested in a new kinect. I guess it could catch on with teenage girls? But ask Nintendo how long those fads last.

Xelestial1880d ago

What about the fourth option, where your wife plays Infamous or Heavy Rain? Dunno about your household but in mine, we all take turns watching or playing co-op...

Good_Guy_Jamal1880d ago

Looks like me as a gamer won't be focused on by Microsoft. I in turn won't be getting the next box if this proves to be the case.
Nevertheless, I'll wait and see.

1880d ago
Good_Guy_Jamal1880d ago

Sony loyalist I am not. I couldn't care less about them in fact. I buy their consoles to play games. That's it.
I use my hard earned money to buy said consoles so SONY don't deserve my loyalty because it isn't like they donated the console to me. Same goes for Microsoft, I don't like them, I like their console and games. Also bought with money so they can suck it in the loyalty department.
I buy and play games. I don't worship companies. I clearly stated that IF it's true then I won't buy the next xbox. Then I said I'd WAIT AND SEE.
Do you have trouble reading and comprehending or did you just see what you wanted to see?
I really don't know how I could have worded that any better to get my point across.

1879d ago
DigitalRaptor1879d ago (Edited 1879d ago )

@ edonus

What makes this quite funny, is that Good_Guy_Jamal is no Sony loyalist, but you have already pre-determined where his preferences lie. And we all know where your preferences lie so there's no surprise you're always looking on the bright side of Microsoft, even if they're doing the gamer, who built up their presence in this industry, a disservice. The fact remains is that not all of us are so blind to what is considered a poor direction for a GAMING console. Maybe this guy was talking about redefining standards for female characters, but a statement like "women are the new core"? How does that correlate with creating more diverse characters?

lol @ the backpedalling. Sure you didn't mean HE was a loyalist. Suuuure. ;)

Why o why1879d ago

typical edonus
jamal is definitely not a sony loyalist. Not everybody who says something honest against anybody is a loyalist of the other.

+ Show (2) more repliesLast reply 1879d ago
3-4-51880d ago

Women also LOVE Trends and what is " hot ".

Women are the causal ios gamers.....

That doesn't count..

Yea there are some that play other games but I wouldn't shift an entire market towards that viewpoint.

It's phase for some women gamers and if they didn't have their phone most wouldn't even be gaming.

Now that doesn't take into account the millions of women that play normal games.

Xelestial1880d ago

I think I can speak for all women everywhere when I say we'd just prefer that games take both genders into account. You know, just like real life.

And I don't know what having a penis or a vagina has to do with whether or not you can have fun playing a game anyway.

SDF Repellent1880d ago

"He's mainly speaking from HIS company's perspective. "

LOL, like I said earlier, PS3 fanboys are only programed to read the headlines (doesn't matter if it is true or false) and not the actual piece to get the facts. Thanks for your Cooperation. I rest my case. :)

xursz1880d ago (Edited 1880d ago )

Why are you even still allowed to post? It would be a waste of time to bother talking sense to you.

Crystallis1880d ago

PS3 fanboy this, PS3 fanboy that. Dont you ever get tired of saying the same old things?

"" I rest my case. :)""

you don't rest anything, you spew the same nonsense over and over again.

kenshiro1001880d ago

Wah, wah, teh mean Sony fanboys!
For crying outloud...

Morgue1880d ago

Maybe you should douse yourself with that repellent.

saint_seya1880d ago (Edited 1880d ago )

I could say "as you are a lil girl u will be covered by MS, so stop your rage against sony supporters", but i dont need to be down to your level to reply you. So im going to do this as an adult #hope u can understand that concept#.

If u want to be heard (i know is hard becouse all the nonsense u talk 24/7 makes it hard to even start to read your comments), try at least, of hearing other peoples thoughs, and come to them with a reply without calling ps3 fanboys. Reply one by one, because not everyone in this site is a ps3 fanboy, and even some are actually 360 owners that are not happy with MS aproach.

In top of that if you keep saying "LOL" at the beggining of all, and having points #that you only think are valid#, you look like an angry child that cant have a real talk, and will be ignored or just downvoted.

PD: By the way, u can call me ps3 fanboy, yet once i said to you i was agree with what u said, u can check in your old posts, because was something that i though was ok. People will hear you, if u have something worth to be heard. Keep that in mind.

PD2: Now on topic, i believe that rumors are just that, im a big fan of sony, as everyone here may know, yet i believe that MS rumors are just that, and their system wont have all the bad things people is saying on those leaks. If theres a reason why im interested in ps4 over next Xbox its just because im a big fun of sony games. People just should wait and see, and not judge by rumors.

+ Show (2) more repliesLast reply 1880d ago
Irishguy951880d ago

No microsoft, your audience didn't leave you behind, you left them behind.

majedx91880d ago

thy want the "PUSSY" XD

ichimaru1880d ago (Edited 1880d ago )

did you read the article?

"Nobody in the room admits to being against making characters female or nonwhite," he added. "But they're scared because they don't know how to defend that choice to their bosses."

it literally had nothing t