Prime World fights the fantasy fetishisation of women: "We want effeminate males and we want burly, bulky females" | PCGamesN

Nvidia announces a new, improved, and slightly baffling Nvidia Shield

Valve's Steam Machines and Steam Controller will launch in November

Watch Nvidia's GDC event stream right here; "big announcement" incoming

Prime World: Thrones

Prime World fights the fantasy fetishisation of women: "We want effeminate males and we want burly, bulky females"

Well, thank goodness for all that billowing flame, else somebody would catch a chill.

It’s a shame the term ‘low fantasy’ is already taken, because it’d perfectly describe the sort of female character design we’ve come to expect from a subset of high fantasy PC games. The stereotype of the European strategy game still lives - the buxom blonde crammed into the impractical steel breastplate. But it’s a stereotype Prime World producer Marc Singer intends to squash in bringing his MOBA to the US and elsewhere.

Prime World is a lane-based affair with a castle-building metagame that’s already garnered a large community in Russia, where developers Nivan are based. But it only takes a glance down the banners of its official website to see that the game has - well - a boob problem.

“One of the first things I did when I came onto this project is I told [Nival] that, you know, we need to shift the way our game is portrayed,” Singer told PCGamesN. “Because coming from a Russian market, there’s a lot of stigma. 

“If you think of games that are European developed or Russian/Ukrainian developed like Gothic, the perception of these games is that they’re very buggy on release and they’re very low quality and this that and the other,” he explained. “And one of the other ideas is that the games are very over sexualised and have this particular art style and all this kind of stuff.”

Singer noted that one of Prime World’s signature characters - Fire Fox, featured in much of the game’s advertising - wears a leather skirt. Even that must change, he insisted, because “it just doesn’t work for the US market”.

“It’s something that we’re constantly working on,” he said. “And it’s funny for me personally, since I’ve always worked in US games, [the portrayal of women is] not really that big a concern because it’s a forethought; it’s something that you go into the game knowing that you don’t want to take things too far. 

“But for the Russian developers, this is not even remotely too far, it’s just a standard. So you have a lot of work in there not just localising the game for textural stuff, but visually as well.”

To that end, Nival have begun redrawing basic skins for characters already in-game - as well as adding new heroes who’ll form part of a broader spectrum of body types.

“Whether it’s taking a female hero and making them male or taking a male hero and making them female, making a young hero older or an older hero young or even turning them into something completely different, we want to give a lot of skin options that are not just hairdos and colour changes,” enthused Singer. “We want to completely shift them from one spectrum to the other - we want effeminate males and we want burly, bulky females; we want animal style stuff and old women and young kids.”

Recent patches have seen Nival launch into this process in earnest, tackling an issue which Singer recognises as crucial if the MOBA genre is to pull itself up by its uncomfortably tight leather bootstraps.

“A lot of games nowadays are very over-sexualised or male-centric when it comes to character pools,” he said. “When you have over-sexualised characters, when you have male-centric hero pools, that’s not something that the Russians are concerned about, because culturally for them, it’s not a big deal. And even in parts of Europe, it’s not a big deal either.

“But in the US, it’s a very big deal.”

His words echo those of Heroes of Newerth’s art director, who told us in August that developers S2 were working hard to break the MOBA’s porny streak in their new game, Strife. Is that a problem you lot have recognised as players of HoN or League of Legends?

Login or Register
1
+1
-0
Excessum's picture
93

If i was one of their executives, i would certainly not hold my breath prior to receiving the first quarterly report after the launch of the game.

Try these free to play games
?

These are affiliate links - clicking them and playing the games directly supports PCGamesN

Spotlight
?

Our Spotlight units plug content our journalists have made, that our advertisers want to promote. Sometimes the promotion is paid for, but the content they go to is always independent with no client oversight or approval.


Alienware - Game VictoriousTurtle Beach
Nvidia announces a new, improved, and slightly baffling Nvidia Shield

Nvidia

Nvidia announces a new, improved, and slightly baffling Nvidia Shield

Valve announce Steam Link, a device to enable plug 'n play in-home streaming

Valve

Valve announce Steam Link, a device to enable plug 'n play in-home streaming

Topic of the Week: Describe your perfect Valve press conference

Topic of the Week

Topic of the Week: Describe your perfect Valve press conference

17 things Valve might announce at GDC that aren't Half-Life 3 (and one that is)

Half-Life 2

17 things Valve might announce at GDC that aren't Half-Life 3 (and one that is)

Guild Wars 2 Heart of Thorns' new Stronghold mode is a MOBA for MMO players

Guild Wars 2

Guild Wars 2 Heart of Thorns' new Stronghold mode is a MOBA for MMO players

Guild Wars 2 Heart of Thorns eschews tradition with its exciting new approach to profession and progression

Guild Wars 2

Guild Wars 2 Heart of Thorns eschews tradition with its exciting new approach to profession and progression

I ate too many egg bagels and span around in a virtual reality chair and now I feel sick

Roto

I ate too many egg bagels and span around in a virtual reality chair and now I feel sick

We've got 1000 UK keys for the World of Tanks Generals closed beta. Fancy one?

World of Tanks Generals

We've got 1000 UK keys for the World of Tanks Generals closed beta. Fancy one?

Total War: Attila review

Total War: ATTILA

Total War: Attila review

Making it in Unreal: bringing combo combat to the PC in Age of Blood

Age of Blood

Making it in Unreal: bringing combo combat to the PC in Age of Blood

The thirty best Minecraft mods

Minecraft

The thirty best Minecraft mods

Reality check: What developers really think of DirectX 12

DirectX

Reality check: What developers really think of DirectX 12

The best Hearthstone decks for beginners

Hearthstone: Heroes of Warcraft

The best Hearthstone decks for beginners

Weekend Deal Dump: Maps, maps, maps

Weekend Deal Dump

Weekend Deal Dump: Maps, maps, maps

How good a job have Gearbox done in remastering Homeworld?

Homeworld Remastered

How good a job have Gearbox done in remastering Homeworld?

The 21 best RPGs on PC

Best PC RPGs

The 21 best RPGs on PC

The 14 best co-op PC games

Trine 2: Complete Story

The 14 best co-op PC games

Frozen Cortex review

Frozen Cortex

Frozen Cortex review

How Josh Sawyer sold me on Pillars of Eternity's combat

Pillars of Eternity

How Josh Sawyer sold me on Pillars of Eternity's combat

The best PC games of 2015 and 2014

Best PC Games of 2015

The best PC games of 2015 and 2014

Hands on with Zombie Army Trilogy

Zombie Army Trilogy

Hands on with Zombie Army Trilogy

Why have Green Man Gaming started publishing games instead of just selling them?

Idol Hands

Why have Green Man Gaming started publishing games instead of just selling them?

What on earth is glNext?

glNext

What on earth is glNext?

Topic of the Week: Where do you play, and what do you play on?

Topic of the Week

Topic of the Week: Where do you play, and what do you play on?

Introducing GameSessions: the Steam-integrated return of the demo

GameSessions

Introducing GameSessions: the Steam-integrated return of the demo

Interview — Resident Evil: Revelations 2

Resident Evil Revelations 2 / Biohazard Revelations 2

Interview — Resident Evil: Revelations 2

Hearts of Iron 4 is shaping up to make

Hearts of Iron IV

Hearts of Iron 4 is shaping up to make "The Good War" a great one

Making it in Unreal: climbing aboard the Titanic with Honor and Glory

Titanic: Honor and Glory

Making it in Unreal: climbing aboard the Titanic with Honor and Glory

Besiege Early Access review

Besiege

Besiege Early Access review

Adventures in... Space Hulk - Jeremy and Julian cross claws on the Sin of Damnation

Space Hulk

Adventures in... Space Hulk - Jeremy and Julian cross claws on the Sin of Damnation

Weekend Deal Dump: Lord of the Bundles

Weekend Deal Dump

Weekend Deal Dump: Lord of the Bundles

Hunting for gold in Europa Universalis IV: El Dorado

Europa Universalis IV

Hunting for gold in Europa Universalis IV: El Dorado

From Crackdown 2 devs comes Hollowpoint, the most interesting side-scrolling shooter of 2015

Hollowpoint

From Crackdown 2 devs comes Hollowpoint, the most interesting side-scrolling shooter of 2015

We’ve 500 Heroes of the Storm keys to give away. Want one?

Heroes of the Storm

We’ve 500 Heroes of the Storm keys to give away. Want one?

Want one of the two Turtle Beach Heroes of the Storm headsets Blizzard sent us?

Heroes of the Storm

Want one of the two Turtle Beach Heroes of the Storm headsets Blizzard sent us?

Magicka 2's next big idea is artefacts: like Halo's unlockable skulls

Magicka 2

Magicka 2's next big idea is artefacts: like Halo's unlockable skulls

Creative Assembly: The Journey from Rome to Attila

Total War: ATTILA

Creative Assembly: The Journey from Rome to Attila

Topic of the Week: What game series do you want to see brought back from the dead?

Topic of the Week

Topic of the Week: What game series do you want to see brought back from the dead?

Poisoning people in Cities: Skylines

Cities: Skylines

Poisoning people in Cities: Skylines

Making it in Unreal: visiting the afterlife with the Oculus Rift and Xing: The Land Beyond

Xing: The Land Beyond

Making it in Unreal: visiting the afterlife with the Oculus Rift and Xing: The Land Beyond