Giving her two cents about the lack of female characters in games is Ashley Johnson, who played Ellie in The Last of Us.
As part of an interview with Videogamer, Johnson said, “I’m sort of coming at this as an actress, but also as a female gamer.” Johnson then directed her attention to Ubisoft’s Assassin’s Creed: Unity, which made headlines during E3 for not allowing the use of a female character in co-op:
Assassin’s Creed: Unity is a great example of when I saw the gameplay and saw that [in] their multiplayer you do not have the option to play as a female. I was like, ‘Give me a fucking break! It’s 2014! How many video games do you have to make to realize maybe have an option to have a female be in there?’ And maybe not just on PS Vita.
But it did make me upset. There are so many female gamers… I don’t know what the percentage is at this point, but there are a lot of females that play video games and it would be nice to see stronger females in a game that are not just the damsel in distress, the love interest or she’s oversexualized. She doesn’t even necessarily have to be a bad-ass. Just like a normal female character.
She isn’t singling out just female characters who need better representation though, but males as well. “And not just females. On a broader spectrum, also male characters,” she continued. “Have a good story, have real characters and… I think the audience is changing so hopefully that’ll change a little bit more.”
Fellow The Last of Us star Troy Baker also chimed in on the matter, revealing how he thinks it would be more disrespectful to “have the obligatory female character in there because that’s what marketing says we need to have,” rather than not having them in the game at all.