PlayStation’s EU marketing head: ‘Gaming is more accepting of female marketers than FMCG’

As Sony’s PlayStation brand celebrates its 20th anniversary, its European marketing director Isabelle Tomatis has claimed that the media and arts industry is “far more accepting” of senior female marketers and creatives than industries such as FMCG.

Tomatis, who has worked on the PlayStation brand since joining Sony back in June 1999, believes the gaming industry has evolved its perception and is no longer seen purely as a male-dominated space.

She told Marketing Week: “In my experience, gaming and media is certainly more forward thinking. It is far more accepting when it comes to appointing females in senior marketing and creative positions than FMCG, which is still too male dominated.”

Over recent years Sony has introduced more intelligently written female characters to its exclusive games. Post apocalyptic adventure The Last of Us, for example, touched on a lesbian relationship while making a maturing teenage girl its lead character.

Tomatis insists it is part of a creative shift at Sony.

“We have in house development teams that are full of women while our marketing team is much more balanced than you’d expect,” she added.

“As an industry, we are seeing more and more young women coming to the PlayStation 4. It is a generational effect too as parents are now more inclined to let their kids play on the systems they’ve grown up with.”

the last of us
The PlayStation 4’s ‘The Last Of Us Remastered’ features an adult story-line focusing on two female teenagers

Sony’s Santa Monica Studio, which is responsible for blockbuster titles such as God of War,  five female co-founders.

And despite the recent Gamergate scandal, which saw several prominent women within the gaming industry attacked by male fans, Tomatis believes male gamers are becoming more accepting of female characters. However, that is dependent on the characters being intelligently written and not stereotypical portrayals.

“For our recent Tearaway Unfolded game, the girl’s character was more popular than the boy’s character and that was because she had great personality and was well written,” she explains.

“We feel a responsibility to write intelligent lead female characters and break down the gender boundaries but I feel they are definitely blurring.”

There will be a full interview with Tomatis looking back on 20 years of the Sony PlayStation brand in the November 13 issue of Marketing Week.

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