Believe it or not, Naughty Dog had to specifically request for female focus testers when making The Last of Us because the research firm was planning on only working with male gamers.
"Another aspect that influences how a game is promoted is focus-testing. Players are rounded up and are asked to view materials and answer some quantitative and qualitative questions about it," creative director Neil Druckman told The Escapist.
"My big surprise during this process is that the research group wasn't planning on focus-testing female gamers - it's something we had to specifically request. I hope this is a relic of the past that will soon go away."
Not only that, but the marketing firm wanted the studio to remove Ellie from the game's cover art. As you can see in the image above, the male protagonist, Joel, actually takes a backseat to his teenage girl sidekick, Ellie, on the box—a bold move, and one most certainly worth taking.
The female gaming population is growing and already makes up a large portion of today's gamers. When will the industry at large recognize this fact?