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Ubisoft retires its Frag Dolls team

Michael McWhertor is a journalist with more than 17 years of experience covering video games, technology, movies, TV, and entertainment.

The Frag Dolls, Ubisoft's in-house, all-female group of professional gamers who have hawked the publisher's wares and advocated for women in games for more than a decade, are no more. Frag Dolls founder Morgan Romine said on the group's official website that the team is being retired, writing that "the world of video games has moved on."

"We can count it as progress that 'girls playing games' is no longer the source of surprise that it once was," Romine said. "We've said many times over the years that we hoped to one day see true gender equity across gaming communities, rendering an all-girl gaming team unremarkable. I won't claim that we've reached gender equity, by any means; we still have a long way to go. But there has been progress enough that we've reached the clear beginning of a new era...

"We've always believed that the video game is a powerful medium that anyone from anywhere could learn to love, and it's heartening to see that truth being recognized more broadly. We are proud to think that we might have played a small part in moving the needle on that dial."

Ubisoft founded the Frag Dolls in 2004 and has counted more than 20 members among its ranks. At the time of its formation, Romine wrote, "we weren't really sure what the Frag Dolls should be, and certainly never imagined what it would become."

"But we knew that it hinged upon the common misconception that video games were boys' toys," she said. "The essential appeal of the Frag Dolls emerged from those delightful moments of surprise when people discovered that women like us not only loved video games, we were REALLY GOOD at them."

Romine thanked Ubisoft for its support of the Frag Dolls, saying the publisher treated the group as more than just a marketing device.

"Sad as it is to see something we have loved so much, for so long, reach its final days, there is a sweetness in this simple closure," she continued. "As the wide community of gamers grows up, we are beginning to learn how to incorporate this burgeoning diversity into our cultural identity. There are growing pains, like with any cultural sea change. But as we say goodbye to the Frag Dolls, we welcome the emerging world in which it will be taken for granted that women do, of course, play and love games, because video games truly are for everyone."

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