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ASA cracks down on 'sexist' mobile game adverts

UK body resolves three complaints regarding ads containing offensive gender stereotypes

The Advertising Standards Authority has taken action against several mobile game adverts today, deeming them likely to cause "serious or widespread offence."

As spotted by Eurogamer, three mobile games were flagged to the ASA for featuring harmful gender stereotypes in promotional material.

One Twitter advert for Refantasia: Charm and Conquer, from Chinese studio Oasis Games, was reported as "sexist", and was described as displaying an "anime-style young woman in a cage."

The studio responded to the complaint and said it had carried out an internal investigation which "revealed a disconnect" between its marketing and localisation teams. It also said that ads that were "similar in nature" have been removed from Twitter, and apologised for the offence caused.

Another mobile advert for Legend City from developer TeamLOM was also flagged as it "overly sexualised and objectified women." The advert in question featured several suggestive images of a pornographic accress, plus other silhouettes images in "sexually suggestive" poses.

In response, the studio said that the game was aimed at players aged 17 and over, and said that it believed the advert had reached an "incorrect audience" due to Google Ads lack of age-limiting settings.

The advert has also been replaced, and according to the ASA, the replacement does not feature "potentially sexualised images of women."

A similar complaint was made against a third advert for Kings Throne: Game of Conquest, which was said to have "objectified and demeaned women" by featuring two women characters in lingerie.

The maker, GOAT Company, said the ad was removed and would not be re-used again.

Danielle Partis avatar

Danielle Partis

News Editor

Danielle is a multi award-winning journalist and editor that joined GamesIndustry.biz in 2021. She previously served as editor at PocketGamer.biz, and is also a co-founder of games outlet Overlode.