CD Projekt: E3 booth babes are "the cheapest trick"

CEO says sex has its place in games, but male audience will always lead to abuses

CD Projekt CEO Marcin Iwinski believes that the use of booth babes and sex to promote games will "always happen" as long as the audience is dominated by males.

In an interview with Rock Paper Shotgun, Iwinski defends CD Projekt's use of sex - exemplified by the first game's "sex cards" - in The Witcher series as coherent with its world, and very different to the "cheap tricks" often used to draw in male gamers, like E3's divisive booth babes.

"I think it will always happen as long as a part of your audience is male," he says. "The cheapest trick is to grab a fancy car and put a booth babe next to it. So yes, it's there."

"Males are making certain decisions through hormones. People are paid to take care of the market and know it very well. Am I offended in some of these cases? Sure"

Iwinski was also asked about Ubisoft's press conference, which RPS suggested had been pitched at, "some mythical Dew-drinking, female-fearing male demographic that doesn't exist."

"I don't think having a presentation where it's a major part of a game is necessarily a problem. It makes sense, because the game is defending itself. So it's just a part of the world. Some people will overuse it. Others won't," Iwinski replied.

"Yes, it could alienate audiences, but you have to look at it from the quality of the product perspective. If it's overused [in marketing], it probably won't be a big product anyway. Really, I think the market is eliminating all the weaknesses and all the cheap tricks. But, at the end of the day, males are making certain decisions through hormones. People are paid to take care of the market and know it very well. Am I offended in some of these cases? Sure.

"But you really have to look at it on a product-by-product basis. And then it really depends on somebody's taste."

The use of sex and the representation of women in games is an ongoing issue for the industry, one generally raised each year due to the use of scantily dressed models to promote games at E3.

However, this year it has been even more vigorously debated, due to a controversial Hitman trailer, Ubisoft's Far Cry 3 demo opening on a sex scene, and a scene of sexual assault in the demo for Crystal Dynamics' new Tomb Raider game.

To read Rachel Weber's editorial on the dubious press coverage of E3's booth babes, click here. For Rob Fahey's editorial on the Hitman trailer, click here.

More stories

The Witcher 3, Gwent drive revenue growth at CD Projekt

Polish company looks toward strong Q4 with Gwent iOS and The Witcher 3 for Switch

By Matthew Handrahan

CD Projekt plans to create 250 new jobs despite last year's profit and revenue decline

Company still posts a healthy profit of €25.6 million as research and development spending hits €56.4 million

By Haydn Taylor

Latest comments (4)

Draping scantily clad females to attract males and indeed scantily clad males to attract females is standard practise across many industries from cars to games, infact anything but the most unexciting of products tend to benefit from such applications(even Mr Muscle has well Mr Muscle) its hardly an issue faced only by the games industry and its only really an issue at all depending your point of view, but ultimately as long as they make more money not less by draping such individuals over, on and next to their products it will continue to happen if such things caused such "outrage" that it reduced sales it wouldn't happen.

But they don't reduce sales, wannabe moral high ground types will complain about it, allot of people with to much time on their hands will make all that right noises about how its wrong, but in the end nothing will change as the sales figures dont lie, and no one involved in the decision process for these kind of advertisements cares about anything but said sales figures, and the more outrage stories the better, free publicity.

I personally like most people think its a little crass and its blatantly there to increase sales but at the same time I don't object, as at the end of the day there easy on the eyes and its not hurting the product either, they are a cheap trick but everyone knows they are, so no harm no foul, with the exception of a few uptight downer control freak types who want everyone in the world to act there way, no one really mind's, as result this articles headline seems to be an exercise in stating the obvious.

To remove such displays from society as a whole is far beyond the scope of the games industry alone, and to remove it from the games industry you would first have to remove it from society, and given the myriad problems facing modern societies, including potentially life threatening issues amongst myriad quality of life issues, frankly there are much better topics for people to spend their time pushing for change on than this.

Edited 3 times. Last edit by Alexander McConnell on 22nd June 2012 5:01pm

0Sign inorRegisterto rate and reply
Took the words right out of my mouth... and it was a lot of words.

I'm OK with the idea of broadening the audience of games and have more games that don't cater to the baseline demographic, but trying to eliminate the baseline demographic is just a losing war.

I feel this is true with both in-game content (i.e. the way gender is portrayed in games) and advertisement (i.e. the way gender is used to sell games). Basically, we just need more games to balance the spectrum and broader (or re-targeted) advertising in instances where the product warrants it.
0Sign inorRegisterto rate and reply
'A little crass'? 'no harm, no foul?' Andrew, you still fail to appreciate the horrible reality that is modern sexism and the continued objectification of women by crude marketing tactics. THIS IS A PROBLEM AND YOU CAN'T JUST IGNORE IT.

Your continued fingers-in-your-ears objections to legitimate concerns being expressed by a growing proportion of people in this industry are wearing a little thin.
0Sign inorRegisterto rate and reply
Show all comments (4)
Morville O'Driscoll Blogger & Critic 7 years ago
I think the key part of his comment is this, to be honest
But they don't reduce sales,
For one thing, you state this as though it's fact. For another, I think what you mean to say is "But they don't reduce sales amongst men". If even one woman is put off by how the industry views her gender and changes her mind about purchasing a game, then this industry needs to reconsider how it does things.

And, here's something to think about: How many mothers do you think would stop their children from playing games if they could see what goes on in the industry?
0Sign inorRegisterto rate and reply

Sign in to contribute

Need an account? Register now.