Codemasters hopes to snare female gamers

Codemasters, the games publisher, aims to broaden its appeal to women and casual gamers with the launch of Hospital Tycoon.

The title, to be rolled out in early 2007, is a medical-themed game in which players can take charge of hectic hospital facilities.

Players are challenged to run a hospital, turning around chaotic situations and overseeing budgets. Key to the game is its humour as players interact with each other and other characters.

Women, a sought-after demographic among games publishers, find games involving character development or relationship-building more appealing. At this week’s games conference in Edinburgh, David Gardner, chief operating officer at rival Electronic Arts, said the industry is failing women by not providing the games content that appeals to them.

He added that girls want more than “pink games”, in what could be perceived to be a swipe at rival Sony Computer Entertainment, which this week announced the launch of pink PSP and PlayStation2 consoles.

Next week, Codemasters will launch Dance Factory, another game aimed at women. It is part of the dance-mat phenomenon, where players have to re-enact the steps shown on screen via a dance mat. The Codemasters game allows players to load their own music collection.

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