Activision creates a tool to quantify the diversity of their game characters

Developers at Activision Blizzard King have created a tool to quantify how different game characters are based on multiple attributes, hoping to better represent women and minority groups in their games.

As reported by Fanbytethe tool breaks down character attributes and rates them according to how different they are.

In a blog postsEric Alt explains that King’s intention is to “inspire gaming teams … throughout the Activision Blizzard King network, to think outside the box and challenge preconceived notions about how characters should look and act.”

The end result, King hopes, is that characters “better represent women, non-binary and other under-represented minorities in the industry.”

The tool uses a set of traits, including culture, race, age, cognitive ability, physical ability, body type, facial features / beauty, gender identity, sexual orientation and socioeconomic background, to determine how different the character is.

Activision office. Credit: Smith Collection / Gado / Getty Images.

Once it has established a baseline for typical character traits, established by the creative team working in consultation with diversity and inclusion experts, the tool can then weigh new character designs against it to measure their diversity.

The tool was tested by development teams that worked with Call of Duty: Vanguard and also the developers at Blizzard who work with Overwatch 2.

The plan is to release the tool internally in Activision Blizzard King from the summer and into Q3 of this fiscal year, with the ultimate goal of making it widely available for use throughout the industry.

In other news, Square Enix has outlined plans to establish new studios, after recently revealing that it will sell off three of its Western developers.

The announcement was made during the publisher’s quarterly financial review. It is hoped that the new studios will help its intellectual property ecosystem and increase game development capacity.

Leave a Comment