While other companies are struggling with concepts of diversity, and some gamers are feeling fatigued by shooters featuring ludicrously macho guys - Nintendo just splatted out a new (almost) non-violent shooter with a distinctly feminine aesthetic.
To be clear, these squid-like Inklings aren't necessarily all girls - as looks have no baring on gender - but the stars of Nintendo's upcoming Splatoon sport stereotypically "girly" styles like pigtails and ponytails. They also lack that masculine bulk so many shooters have.
Shoot, on top of everything, this is a modern top tier video game prominently featuring women (or more accurately, young girls) that isn't overly sexualized. Although, the internet being what it is, it wasn't long until some people at the GameSpot forums looked at these prepubescent girls shooting water pistols and immediately Rule 34ed it.
On the nicer side of things, Squid Girl creator Masahiro Anbe loved the game preview so much, he tweeted out his own rendition (via Crunchyroll):
This all comes back to the issue at hand: Why can't shooters have female protagonists?
Other (non-Ubisoft) multiplayers are including female player characters, though certainly, they are more mature. Sunset Overdrive, for example, seems to offer a variety of female choices with various levels of undress - including, it seems, customizable toplessness (or is Julian Renalt's art just concept?).
Splatoon, on the other hand - from the videos on the internet at least - seems to work just fine with fully-clothed female leads and without blood-and-guts everywhere (although players do go *SPLAT* every now and then). Heck, by it's very gameplay mechanics, it avoids the ruddy pallets of so many cookie-cutter shooters these days.
Dang, that game looks like fun. And it's not that the other systems don't have fun games - I'm not the only one dying to play the new indie game Cuphead - but it seems that more and more, the big game companies are forgetting that any game could be some little kid's first game. Might as well make it fun.
By the way Nintendo, any chance we can get an Inkling as a playable fighter in the new Super Smash Bros.? Please?