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Head of Xbox says he wants to see more diversity in games – and more female leads like Joanna Dark

Ed Nightingale July 9, 2021
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Perfect Dark N64

The Head of Xbox was discussing the new Perfect Dark reboot.

Head of Xbox Phil Spencer has said that having more female protagonists in its games provides “a lot of modern opportunities”.

Spencer was speaking on the IGN Unlocked podcast celebrating 20 years of Xbox.

Asked about the forthcoming Perfect Dark reboot from studio The Initiative, Spencer was proud to have another female protagonist.

“I think it’s awesome for us that we can focus on a female protagonist in our lineup, we don’t have a lot of that in our first party,” he said. “I think Joanna offers a lot of modern opportunities that I’d love to see the team focusing on.”

Perfect Dark was first developed by Rare for the N64 and features secret agent Joanna Dark in the lead role. Now an Xbox exclusive, a reboot of the series is planned for the new console that was first announced at The Game Awards in 2020.

And while Spencer may want to focus on female protagonists, Joanna Dark isn’t alone on Xbox. The likes of Senua from Hellblade and Kait Diaz from Gears of War lead their respective games.

Plus with the acquisition of Bethesda, there’s also the likes of Emily Kaldwin and Billie Lurk from Dishonored, Morgan Yu from Prey and Layla Ellison and Remi De La Rosa from the just-announced Redfall.

Both the Redfall characters are great examples of non-white female protagonists, something we certainly need more of and not just on Xbox.

In the rest of the podcast, Spencer also addressed how the industry is growing and becoming more diverse.

“We’re growing as an industry and I love the way that we’re finding our voice as an industry on things that we want to stand for, whether it’s accessibility to the games and the platforms that we build, whether it’s representation in the games of allowing people to show up as their true authentic selves when they play, the safety and security focus the industry has had. I see this as a real maturing of us as an industry…”

“I can’t wait when we get to the point where you don’t really know where a game comes from or who the people are behind the game, but you can kinda feel in some sense the soul of the team that created that game and the different perspectives that are held. I think there’s a massive opportunity for us as an industry going forward there.”

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Related topics: gaming

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