Thoughts on gender/race equality in roster selection?


As of late we’ve been getting a lot of fighting games. It’s no secret. Most of them tend to be either sequels or established properties in which there are a plethora of characters to choose from. This leads to fan speculation, outcries, demands, etc. to insert so-and-so. Lately I’ve noticed a trend (as far back as Marvel vs Capcom 3: Fate Of Two Worlds) where people whine and demand a) female characters and b) black characters. These are the two most requested, I’ve noticed. I believe some companies have even given into these demands or worries. For example:

X-23: in Marvel could have very well been Black Panther
She-Hulk: (kinda debatable since she is sort of an essential Marvel character)
Trish: I personally feel she was chosen from the get-go just to add another woman to the Capcom side of the roster
Hsein-Ko: while many fans were clamoring for John Talbain, Hsien-Ko made it in because she “felt right” in the versus series and Nitsuma likes the character
Shuma-Gorath: While not female, it was specifically stated that they wanted to add him to add diversity to the characters - basically they wanted less humanoid characters. This could also have helped Sentinel win the advantage over Juggernaut in terms of being selected.

As for the new Injustice…

Killer Frost: over Captain Cold, essentially stripping the Flash of his villain counterpart.
Harley Quinn AND Catwoman: though the excessive Batman characters is a complete other discussion, I can’t help but feel both of these women were added for this very reason.
Hawkgirl: The obvious choice here would have been Hawkman, he has his own series in the New 52
Batgirl: Though only rumored, on top of the surplus of Batman characters, this would feel like it would be the ultimate roster choice made for the wrong reason

Street Fighter x Tekken
Christie: Everyone who knows Tekken knows Eddie. He’s one of the most recognizable faces in fighting games, though he didn’t make the cut and his female counterpart did. Sounds fishy.

Nariko: While this is debatable, to me it reeks of gender equality.

I could keep going on and on, but I think you get the picture. Anyone who watches a stream chat or a character speculation thread may have picked up on this.

Basically, what I’m asking the community is “what do you think of this?”. In a medium (comics, too) that’s dominated by male characters you’re bound to have them show up in these collaboration and licensed games. Is it really worth taking away someone who would feel like a perfect fit for a reason this small? That’s what I want to know. I know how problem with females or female characters. I have a problem with dumb choices for dumb reasons. When someone like Hawkman is excluded so they can have another character with boobs, it seems dumb to me. Chime in with what you think.

I totally butchered my initial thoughts on this topic, I had a much more interesting and convincing argument but it’s all left my since I got out of work :stuck_out_tongue:

If you’re gonna post, please have something constructive to say. Otherwise, take some time to reflect on what in your life led you to coming on the internet and acting like a child.


The problem here is we’re theorizing why companies want certain characters in. We don’t and probably never will know - for example - why X-23 was chosen (though to be fair, X-23 is quite popular and had her own series as well). A lot of the time when it comes to the likes of Marvel or DC, there’s a ton of promotional reasons alongside trying to (obviously) equalize the roster.

I don’t see how Shuma fits into this discussion: as he apparently had a lot of demand, and is one of the longer running characters in the Marvel vs games. Overall, MvC3 ended up very male-heavy anyway…

As far as PSABR, I’d bet Nariko got in because… well honestly, how many recent, exclusive main characters does Sony have that would work? Also, Nariko was in a pretty important early PS3 title. She’s kinda’ important.

Christie is pretty important - Capcom could have gone either way on this one and it probably made for an easier storyline to add if it covered her angsty search for Eddie… yet again.

To the main point though… people honestly just want more variety, gender and race included. In some cases, it’s simply just to have characters that the player can relate to more from a visual perspective. In most cases, it’s because, well… its nice to have some gender/race variety so the roster doesn’t feel too “samey”. That’s why even as much as I love (and usually play as) female characters, games with all girl rosters can get dry even to me.

I’m glad to see the variety increasing, and I’m also glad they sometimes go off the beaten path of “let’s just put in who everyone likes”. Rocket Raccoon is one of the most random out-of-bum-fuck-nowhere picks ever, but it introduced me to a character I’d never heard of and (when I did play UMvC3) was mad fun to play and see played.

Actually, it was the same for me with Shuma-Gorath back in Marvel Super Heroes, and I’ve been a fan of the character since.

Side note: I’m glad Hawk Girl got in, as I was a huge fan of her from JL/JLU, and she ended up being fun to play in the little time I’ve put into Injustice so far. <3


It’s ridiculous to me that you’re going to make this type of demand when you’ve posted such a mind numbing series of paragraphs to start the whole thread. If you had a more interesting and convincing argument in mind to start with please dive back into your brain and bring it out.

The first flaw in your position is that you’re assuming you know why these characters were chosen, without any sound basis. For all the Injustice characters you chose there are equally viable marketing reasons for their inclusion.

Killer Frost: Has had TV appearances in Justice League, JLU, and Young Justice
Harley Quinn and Catwoman: Both have numerous animated appearances in addition to being in Arkham City. Heck Harley had a DLC add-on centered around her and Cat Woman is a playable character.

Hawk Girl: A main character in Justice League and JLU.

Batgirl: For one, she’s only apparently rumored and two she’s Bat Family. Anything Bat related is easily marketable.

Secondly, your post takes the tone that having diverse casts in these games is a bad thing. As if we’re getting jipped out of essential characters in favor of an affirmative action hire. Having a diverse cast is a good thing. Companies can widen the appeal of their product and characters that haven’t gotten a chance to shine get exposure.

In any case, money and marketing are what’s going to play the largest role in character selection. Especially in licensed games. I mean consider some of the new characters added to the Marvel side of MvC:3.

Thor: Main character in Earth’s Mightiest Heroes (I think he had the same voice actor) and had a movie come out.
Rocket Raccoon: Appeared in Earth’s Mightiest Heroes (with the same accent) and will be the in Guardians of the Movie coming out.
Hawkeye: Appeared in the Thor Movie and in Avengers
Ghost Rider: Has 2 movies.
MODOK: Multiple Appearances in Earth’s Mightiest Heroes (with the same voice)
Super Skrull: Represents all of the Fantastic 4’s powers and appeared in Earth’s Mightiest Heroes.
Dr. Strange and Iron Fist: I believe they were both a part of the New Avengers when this game is in development or at least close to its release. Also Iron Fist appeared in Earth’s Mightiest Heroes.
Deadpool: He was being put all over the place in comics. I think he had like 3 monthlies coming out at the same time not too long ago.

In short your entire position, as stated at this point, is full of crap.


A diverse fighting game roster is cool. Just look at Dive Kick!!! Best fighter this gen, pretty easily.


X-23 was being heavily pushed at that point in time when MvC3 came out (came from 2 successful X-Men books and was starting her own solo title).
Hsien-ko is one of the more popular Darkstalkers characters in Japan. Talbain on the other hand is one of the least popular characters in Japan (heck, the only reason I play him in VSav is because he’s a near braindead top tier character).
Shuma - tentacle monster, popular in Japan, 'nuff said. That said, he was also a chance for the team to show of their animation chops.

Killer Frost, as mentioned above has had more appearances than Captain Cold on TV and other media.
Hawkgirl, is arguably more popular than Hawkman. As stated above, the JL TV series and JLU had her as one of the founding 6 (and Injustice is pretty much NRS version of the Justice Lords storyline from that series).
Batgirl, Babs is back in the cowl and Dc pretty much wants to push her hard.


Race talk in fighting games reminds me of my CVS2 days when I made “Black Sagat” and turned Chang into Rick Ross with color edit mode. People called me Black Sagat for a long time after that, too. Good times…


I agree with d3v on Hawkgirl. Because of the animated series, Im more associated with her than the Hawkman.


I could care less about equality, or lack thereof. It’s up to the character designer/artist to decide who looks best with what pair of chromosomes. As long as his choices are solid, I don’t think anyone should worry about too many/too few of whatever.


What’s with the sudden flood of topics dedicated to sexism in games? In almost every forum dedicated to games one of these fucking threads pops up. Seriously.


It was inevitable this forum would turn into NeoGaf eventually. SFIV blew up and the FGC can no longer remain an isolated anti-PC enclave. Sooner or later the borglike rot of the dominant culture was going to seep in. Looking forward to threads from sensitive gender neutral gamers about oppressive intersectionality in fighting games.


the whole advantage of having dozens of characters to choose is that ideally, everyone would find a character that appeals to them. if they are all white/japanese guys, the appeal is more narrow. it certainly makes more sense than pandering to pedantic comic nerds who will buy the game no matter who is in it.


Who cares about the gender/race/nationality/minority/political alignment/breakfast cereal preference of a character. As long as they have a decent moveset and aren’t useless in competitive play, then they’re fine.



It’s rather they fit in the roster, or if they are going to kick-ass in competitive play.

We don’t need social-justice in fighting games.


Not if they have the wrong blood type.


X-23 - Marvel wanted a new young female X-men rep for MVC3. X-23 was chosen as she’s the most popular one. She’s had her own solo and has already made over 700 appearances in the comics. A couple years ago Comic Book Resources had a top 50 most popular Marvel characters poll. X-23 was the only character that debuted in the 00s to make the list. That’s pretty impressive for a character that hasn’t been around for a decade.

She-Hulk - Is Marvel’s most popular solo female and whose comics were the highest selling with a female lead.

Harley - Was originally gonna be DLC in MKvsDC. However Midway went bankrupt and those plans were scrapped. Her inclusion in Injustice could be them making up for that. Hell this could be why she was one of the first characters revealed.

Catwoman - Even non comic readers will recognize her. She was also already in MKvsDC, so it really shouldn’t be a surprise that she’s in Injustice as well. Was also playable in Batman Arkham City and was in The Dark Knight Rises.

Hawkgirl - As other people have said she was a main character in the JL cartoon.

Killer Frost - This one I’m not too sure about. I’m guessing it could be for a few reasons. 1. They wanted to give some lesser known characters some exposure. 2. Ice themed characters are pretty much a staple for NRS games and apparently Boon doesn’t like Flash’s villains that much and I think he said he wasn’t trying to have so many Batman characters. 3. They’re probably making up for not having Frost in MK9 and this could serve as a consolation to the people that wanted her.


this is a candidate for worst thread of the year as well


This one is the worst imo


If you want gender equality why don’t you play Arcana Heart? At least it also happens to be a great game. <- The only good reason to play a game.