It seems that even in this modern age, gamers around the world are just as vulnerable to a good beauty contest as any other demographic. After BioWare revealed their intention to bring a new design to the female version of Commander Shepard, the protagonist of Mass Effect 3, fans wasted no time in voicing their opinion. It turned out the blonde was the preferred model among loyal fans, but to make sure that the development team gets it right, BioWare has just begun the second round of voting to determine what version will be available in Mass Effect 3.
It’s about time that FemShep was given as much screen time as her male counterpart, and we hope that the promotional material featuring her will be just as impressive as Jennifer Hale’s vocal performance. But when fans were given the chance to choose from a number of new designs, they made it clear that blondes really do have more fun, at least where Facebook voting is concerned.
The blonde Commander Shepard didn’t seem to be the odds-on favorite among our community, and the developers of Mass Effect 3 have a few suspicions of their own. Gamescom 2011 didn’t just bring a new ME3 combat trailer, but also gave BioWare’s marketing director David Silverman a chance to drop another bombshell.
Silverman explained that the developer got the impression that the blonde model’s hairstyle was what fans liked, not necessarily the color. As a result, four new FemSheps have been drawn up, and round two of voting has officially begun. Take a look at the rainbow of hair colors to choose from, and see if blonde still takes the cake:
Now Mass Effect fans can finally decide whether they want the ‘official’ Commander Shepard to be a redhead, brunette, blonde, or dirty blonde come release. So far it seems that Silverman’s suspicions were correct, as both the redhead and brunette designs are trouncing the blonde versions at a rate of almost three to one. You’ll want to head over to BioWare’s Facebook page and vote soon, since the second round will end with the start of PAX next week.
Some may look at this kind of nitpicking and debate as somewhat silly, and not really focusing on what matters to a compelling role-playing experience. But this isn’t Casey Hudson running the contest, it’s BioWare’s marketing department, so there’s no need for fans to worry. And after Silverman made some comments that could be taken as particularly worrisome to hardcore fans, nobody can accuse the team of ignoring their community’s wishes.
What’s your preference for the female version of Commander Shepard? Does the sudden shift in voting surprise you? Leave us your choice in the comments as well.
Mass Effect 3 will be sporting a brand new female Shepard – regardless of her dye job – when it’s released for the Xbox 360, PS3 and PC sometime on March 6, 2012.
Follow me on Twitter @andrew_dyce.