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Overkill denounces sexist Payday video

Overkill denounces sexist Payday video

Tue 26 Mar 2013 8:29am GMT / 4:29am EDT / 1:29am PDT
Development

Starbreeze CEO explains origins of controversial YouTube film, "did not portray our values"

Starbreeze

Starbreeze Studios was founded in 1998 in northern Sweden. In 2000 the company merged with O3 games and...

starbreeze.com

The CEO of Starbreeze has explained the origins of a controversial video featuring Overkill Software and the Payday franchise and clarified that its sexist tone is not representative of the Overkill ethos.

"The YouTube piece that was spread today was an external pitch made to us (amongst many) almost nine months ago," Bo Andersson told GamesIndustry International.

"It was related to the potential Payday movie and not game. We did not design it or distribute it. Part was shot in our office but then cut externally. We felt it did not portray our values as a company in any way after seeing the final cut. Therefore it was rejected some 9 months ago. Unfortunately it ended up on the internet as part of someone's CV (outside of our company)."

"We have never as a company depicted women this way nor shall we in the future."

Bo Andersson

Andersson was also CEO of Overkill before it was acquired by Starbreeze in 2012.

"We have never as a company depicted women this way nor shall we in the future."

The video (now removed by its original owner but still available via other accounts) features Top Model Sweden contestants Angner Sophie and Nina Strauss and asks contestants to apply for "The Payday Girl Contest" and features a tour of the Overkill Studio that's light on the games, heavy on the suggestive chit chat and jokes.

Sony Online Entertainment, which published Overkill's first title, Payday: The Heist, was also keen to distance itself from the video.

"SOE had nothing to do with this video or contest," a spokesperson told GamesIndustry International.

"Moreover, this contest is linked to the upcoming film (not the original game), with which SOE has had zero involvement."

Overkill is currently working on a sequel, Payday 2, which is being published by 505 Games.

3 Comments

Andreas Gschwari
Senior Games Designer

555 607 1.1
Content aside (which raises eyebrows to say the least), i find it shocking that anyone, at any point, thought it was ok (let alone a good idea) to make a video like this.

Living and working in Sweden, i can say that this has caused quite a stir, particularly in the Stockholm development community. Overkill might well distance themselves from this now to try and safe some face, but the commission of this video alone and the apparent drive to hire bikini models for an E3 video shoot (on linkedin, since removed as well) just show bad form.

It is very positive to see a lot of outrage over this though, as i think that highlights that people are not ok with the content and not everyone in the industry thinks it's ok to portrait women like this and make jokes of this kind.

Posted:A year ago

#1
Great viral marketing campaign. This is the equivalent of a sex tape.

Ok that's the cynic in me :-)

Posted:A year ago

#2

Paul Jace
Merchandiser

868 1,273 1.5
I'm always amused when people curse with accents. And although this wasn't the greatest, um....marketing video it was still better than atleast 95% of what MTV regularly broadcast.

Posted:A year ago

#3

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