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21 November 2011 @ 08:53 am
Amazon leaves girl gamers out in the cold  
This blog post just came up on my Twitter feed and I wanted to share, boost the signal, and see what you ladies (and lurking gents) think. Text of the article is below, just in case people can't see the link.

Amazon leaves girl gamers out in the cold

If you pre-order the new Assassin’s Creed game with Amazon you get a nifty download cloak for your Xbox avatar - but only if you’re male.

Amazon exclusively offered a free download of an outfit worn by Ezio, the main character, in the new game in the Assassin’s Creed series: Revelations.

My sister, Eleanor, being the game loving girl that she is dutifully pre-ordered her copy of the popular Xbox Live game with Amazon and got her download code. So far so good Amazon.

Unfortunately when she proceeded to download the clothing item for her online avatar a screen popped up telling her she was not entitled to this item as her avatar is female and this item is only for males, maybe she should pass it on to someone more… penis-y.

Well not in those exact words – IN THESE EXACT WORDS:

“Can’t redeem your code because the item only fits a male avatar. Your avatar is female. You may want to share this code with a friend who has a male avatar.”

Essentially this is the online equivalent of Eleanor visiting a real life game shop offering free cloaks with a purchase and being told she can’t have one as she is the wrong gender.

“I can’t get my “reward for choosing Amazon” because I’m a girl? I laughed a lot when the message came up because I was in disbelief. I thought we were past this in gaming.” Eleanor said.

Female gamers are becoming a larger part of the online gaming community each year. According to study conducted by the Entertainment Software Association in 2010, 40% of the game playing population is female, and women 18 or older now comprise 33% of all gamers.

The biggest kicker may be that the item in question, Ezio’s cloak, is actually available as a female avatar costume option to buy and wear from the avatar marketplace. So why the male-only download Amazon?

“This is just proving that higher up someone thinks women don’t play games, and definitely don’t pre-order them.” said Eleanor.

(Mods: sorry, it won't let me tag this!)
Caitersayashi on November 21st, 2011 05:01 pm (UTC)
Looks like that message is in my future :P I hadn't tried to apply my code yet...

Kind of annoying and would be nice if they sent both codes.
Dawndevilduckie831 on November 21st, 2011 05:18 pm (UTC)
Meh. You contact Amazon and Ubisoft, probably get a female code and a $5 Amazon for their mistake, and move on with your day. Ubisoft, despite how much I love the AC series, is on my shite list anyway, and Amazon is fantastic about resolving issues. If the code was in the game package, you blame Ubisoft anyway as Amazon just ships them.
Dawndevilduckie831 on November 21st, 2011 05:18 pm (UTC)
"$5 Amazon credit," rather.
clafount on November 21st, 2011 06:02 pm (UTC)
It's still a shitty thing to happen, no matter whose fault it is, and people are right to complain about it.
darth_silverdarth_eldritch on November 21st, 2011 08:29 pm (UTC)
Dawndevilduckie831 on November 22nd, 2011 01:02 am (UTC)
Complain and blame the wrong party.

Personally I think Ubisoft is all about playing favorites and intentionally pissing off specific gamer groups these days anyway. I think I wouldn't be too irked by it simply because I'm starting to expect this kind of shite from Ubisoft.
darth_silver: Altairdarth_eldritch on November 21st, 2011 05:19 pm (UTC)
To think it took board meetings and company decisions between xbox and amazon to come up with this decision of freebies for male avatars, which are presumably played by only males.

ξ( >◡❛)ξ▄︻▇▇〓〓 Tiro Finale!: grumblegrumble || by castletownlunelight on November 21st, 2011 05:24 pm (UTC)
I know right?
Jennimariye on November 21st, 2011 07:43 pm (UTC)
Xbox and Ubisoft more likely.

Amazon and retailers aren't responsible for what pre-order items they get. Those are decided by the companies that make the games.
darth_silverdarth_eldritch on November 21st, 2011 08:27 pm (UTC)
Who ever it is. It surprises me that no one says "Hey wait a minute"
Tiikay: RD - Not Amusedtiikay on November 21st, 2011 05:21 pm (UTC)
Indeed, I also thought we were past this crap. :\ *le sigh*
ξ( >◡❛)ξ▄︻▇▇〓〓 Tiro Finale!: maskio || by withfireandironlunelight on November 21st, 2011 05:23 pm (UTC)
Woooow. That's ridiculous, especially since the female avatar cloak is already an existing thing.
Andrea Christophvoyevoda on November 21st, 2011 05:58 pm (UTC)
So the item is available for purchase, but the code is only for the male version? Was it THAT hard to go either way? Bah.
kimikoshine: Rikku is so cute!!kimikoshine on November 21st, 2011 06:11 pm (UTC)
This is ridiculous. I can't believe this kind of stuff still happens. Why cant we get past this??
mana_runighamana_runigha on November 21st, 2011 06:48 pm (UTC)
What century are we in?
stone biscuit productionsarseaboutface on November 21st, 2011 07:21 pm (UTC)
It's a freaking cloak. How hard is it to make it unisex? Real cloaks aren't gender-specific AT ALL. I find it extremely difficult to believe that digital ones are that different.
stone biscuit productionsarseaboutface on November 21st, 2011 07:25 pm (UTC)
Having looked at the item in question and realized that "cloak" is kind of a misnomer here, I retract my statement. Still think this is bullshit.
Jennimariye on November 21st, 2011 07:46 pm (UTC)
The article makes a good point, but blames the wrong company.

As someone who has worked with game companies and such, I've learned that it isn't the store that determines the pre-order promotion. They just get what the company that publishes the game gives them and passes it on to the consumer. The publisher/its PR department determine the pre-order bonus.

So the blame in this situation should go to Ubisoft, for not providing gender neutral codes for Avatar items. Not Amazon. Though Amazon is pretty accommodating and would probably do something to fix the mistake as mentioned by devilduckie831 earlier in the comments.
ξ( >◡❛)ξ▄︻▇▇〓〓 Tiro Finale!: Sophisticated Fight || by full_moon_swaylunelight on November 21st, 2011 08:08 pm (UTC)
Duly noted. Still annoyed but now my annoyance is properly redirected. :P
zedrobber: Screamzedrobber on November 21st, 2011 09:33 pm (UTC)
Ha, I work with the girl in this article, Eleanor :) I was going to put this issue on here too :D
Queen of the Piratespirate_nami on November 21st, 2011 09:41 pm (UTC)
Oh, cool! This came up on my Twitter feed from somewhere and I instantly thought of this comm.
Mitten: heelssugarsyringe on November 22nd, 2011 12:28 am (UTC)
Wow, that's just annoying.
So basically, they either forgot to include a female version or they didn't think that a female would pre-order the game. Both options are just ridiculous.
I used to believe that we were past this whole "so there are females playing games that don't involve barbies and cute unicorns? really?!" stage but it looks like I may have been wrong. -_-
Nikki: (Duo) Tadashanaqui on November 22nd, 2011 02:25 am (UTC)
As I've just commented on the article, I received both a male and a female code -- the female code days after the male one. The original email made no mention of gender. Even if they did independently realise their mistake, it bothers me that it took so long for them to realise.

I mean, there are canonically female Assassins...
Dawndevilduckie831 on November 22nd, 2011 02:43 am (UTC)
It could have been an honest mistake and someone didn't realize there were indeed different codes.
Maiden of the Moon: Sleep and dreamladyithildiel on December 30th, 2011 02:15 pm (UTC)
LOL Pre-ordered my Assassins' Creed: Revelations via Amazon, as well, and, since I ordered Skyrim at the same time and guess what game I started first,hehe, I only got round to trying my preorder bonus codes last week...and the male avatar no-go code make me frown, for one thing!:/

Is there anything we can do about it?I thought to contact Amazon, but it's not really their fault, so, eventhough they are amazing when it comes to Customer Service, I expect they can't do much!:/