Jade Raymond, the Canadian gaming queen, recently sat down with Courtney Shea of The Grid for an interview upon her return from SXSW.
To provide a little background, Raymond has a lot of impressive games on her resume, including, but not limited to, Assassin’s Creed, Watch Dogs, and Tom Clancy’s Splinter Cell: Blacklist. She recently left Ubisoft Montréal to become the managing director of Ubisoft Toronto.
Jade Raymond believes that games are improving when it comes to diversity: “We’re seeing some variety. Grand Theft Auto has been doing a good job picking interesting main characters in recent years—like the new-immigrant underdog. There still isn’t a game where you get to play an old lady. That’s my dream.” Raymond cites the recent improvement of action movie leads as an indication of where the industry is going, saying that “I almost don’t care how bad it is if there are big things exploding—but even those films have become more interesting in terms of complex leads. Look at Iron Man.”
Raymond also has a huge disdain for many video gaming tropes, including the overwhelming use of girls in skimpy outfits. “I think it’s all the videogames that treat gamers like idiots. I don’t like the assumption that all people who play games want big chain saws and women in bikinis. It’s like, really? Not all gamers are teenage boys, and even teenage boys want more than that.”
Expanding upon the point that not all gamers are teenage boys, Raymond believes that the video game industry is expanding, and that includes the gamers on their phones. She says that gaming is seeing the return of multiplayer games, even MMORPGs, where players may be across the globe from one another rather than on the same couch. With the increase of multiplayer gamers, the market is increasing, Raymond says: “Another big change is the broadening of the market. When we were teenagers, only certain people were into games. Now, it’s everyone—everyone listens to music, everyone games.”