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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."

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Rachel Weber avatar

Rachel Weber

Senior Editor

Rachel Weber has been with GamesIndustry since 2011 and specialises in news-writing and investigative journalism. She has more than five years of consumer experience, having previously worked for Future Publishing in the UK.

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