Sections

Saints Row producer attacks porn promotion

"Porn star angle didn't fit in with what Saints Row is at heart"

A Saints Row associate producer has criticised the use of adult entertainment stars to promote the franchise, but defended its portrayal of women within the games themselves.

"I did not always love how much THQ put an emphasis on porn stars," says Kate Nelson told Edge.

"In Saints Row 2 and Saints Row 3 there was an emphasis on the penthouse girls, and earlier Tera Patrick. I think it's important in marketing games to make sure that the essence of the game is what's being marketed, and I think the porn star angle didn't really fit in with what Saints Row is at heart, which is a parody. We like to poke fun."

She made particular mention of the way Patrick was given the title of "special producer" on Saints Row 2, a move not hugely appreciated by development team at Volition at the time. Patrick was also a character in the DLC Ultor Exposed, and appeared in a developer diary and a DLC Of The Week video to promote the game.

The Penthouse Pack DLC for Saints Row: The Third allowed players to add Penthouse Pets Nikki Benz, Justine Joli, Ryan Keely, and Heather Vandeven to their gangs.

"I think our game actually does represent women in a positive way, but the press will focus on, oh hey, there are strippers, or there's a dildo bat - it's unfortunate from my perspective that that doesn't come through," she said.

"Because I hear women talk on panels and they're like 'there are no people that look like me in games'. Well, actually in my game [the main character] can look like you as our customization system is so extensive. We don't get that across in our marketing or in the press because it's difficult - we only have 30 seconds to explain."

Saints Row IV is due for release later this month, and was originally refused classificarion in Australia due to "interactive, visual depictions of implied sexual violence which are not justified by context."

Related stories

Nordic rebrands as THQ Nordic

Swedish publisher has 23 projects underway, with a majority of them based on acquired IPs from THQ

By Brendan Sinclair

Volition: Sarkeesian right to criticize Saints Row

"We never call a woman a 'ho' in Saints Row 4" says creative director

By Rachel Weber

Latest comments (8)

David Serrano Freelancer 3 years ago
Bars need mass market appeal to be successful. So itís not smart to put something in your bar that makes the public hate you. ~ Jon Taffer
It would be safe to assume the same is true for games. Maybe its time for a game studio intervention show lol...
2Sign inorRegisterto rate and reply
Paul Jace Merchandiser 3 years ago
"I think the porn star angle didn't really fit in with what Saints Row is at heart, which is a parody. We like to poke fun."
From what I hear porn stars also like to poke for fun. Just saying.
6Sign inorRegisterto rate and reply
Greg Wilcox Creator, Destroy All Fanboys! 3 years ago
There should be a cover charge and a two drink minimum when you post stuff like that, Paul... ;^P
1Sign inorRegisterto rate and reply
Show all comments (8)
Kevin Clark-Patterson Lecturer in Games Development, Lancaster and Morecambe College3 years ago
Sex sells...especially to the Saint Row demographic....

How can she say this when in the game you can run around with a massive purple dildo as a weapon?!
0Sign inorRegisterto rate and reply
Farhang Namdar Lead Game Designer Larian Studios 3 years ago
I liked it and I like sexual content in my games, movies and series. Sex is a bit more normal from a European main land angle, PEGI also rates nudity as 12+ and USK as well. Explicit nudity is something else though but hey I don't mind a pair of boobs or balls in my entertainment.
0Sign inorRegisterto rate and reply
Emily Rose Freelance Artist 3 years ago
The Saints Row character creator is pretty awesome.
0Sign inorRegisterto rate and reply
Bonnie Patterson Narrative Designer, Writer 3 years ago
I actually immediately gelled with Saints Row 3, in a way I completely didn't with any of the GTA franchise. I thought it was a great example of how to include content that's sexual without being sexist. Quite simply, those vaguely sexual elements in the game aren't just for the straight white male - there are plenty of female characters with character, plenty of female characters with clothes on, when you run around streaking there are people on the streets who make comments whether you're male or female and whether they're male or female. And if I don't like those comments, I can slap them around with a 3'-long purple dildo on a stick.

This is something people get easily confused about. When women say they feel game X is sexist, it's not usually because it has revealing clothes or sex scenes or whatever - many women actually quite like sex. It's when the game basically screams that it is just for boys, that sex is just for boys and any woman who actually dares to give her money to the developers can shut up, put on some lingerie and a body that gives pornstars backache and run around for the viewing pleasure of... the boys.

Saints Row didn't do that, from my PoV. I could make a character that looked and dressed however I wanted to, even if it wasn't sexy - but I could be sexy if I wanted to. I could be whoever I wanted to be, act however I wanted to act and most all, react however I wanted to.

The game was for me just as much as it was for any guys. I was incredibly comfortable with that.
7Sign inorRegisterto rate and reply
Ashwath Nair Creative Writer, Dhruva Interactive2 years ago
Saints Row IV is due for release later this month, and was originally refused classificarion in Australia...
Classification*
0Sign inorRegisterto rate and reply

Sign in to contribute

Need an account? Register now.