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

Hearthstone: Blackrock Mountain: all the spoiled cards so far

Having Lots of Sex With Men in Videogames: Part Two

The 101 Best Free PC Games

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
Having Lots of Sex With Men in Videogames: Part Two

Coming Out On Top

Having Lots of Sex With Men in Videogames: Part Two

The 101 Best Free PC Games

Free games

The 101 Best Free PC Games

Reign of Kings Early Access review

Reign Of Kings

Reign of Kings Early Access review

The 20 best RPGs on PC

Best RPGs

The 20 best RPGs on PC

Alienware Alpha review: why you should wait for the real Steam Machine

Alienware alpha

Alienware Alpha review: why you should wait for the real Steam Machine

Hands on with the Dirty Bomb closed beta

Dirty Bomb

Hands on with the Dirty Bomb closed beta

Pillars of Eternity review

Pillars of Eternity

Pillars of Eternity review

Evolve's Behemoth monster adds some rock and roll to the hunt

Evolve

Evolve's Behemoth monster adds some rock and roll to the hunt

Distant terror in Noct, Devolver's creepy top-down shooter

Noct

Distant terror in Noct, Devolver's creepy top-down shooter

Topic of the Week: What game would you use to introduce someone to PC gaming?

Topic of the Week

Topic of the Week: What game would you use to introduce someone to PC gaming?

We've got 500 Stronghold Crusader 2 DLC keys in Castle PCGamesN, and we're giving them away

Stronghold Crusader 2

We've got 500 Stronghold Crusader 2 DLC keys in Castle PCGamesN, and we're giving them away

Making it in Unreal: meet AIPD - a Geometry Wars genremate with 100,000 possible modes

AIPD

Making it in Unreal: meet AIPD - a Geometry Wars genremate with 100,000 possible modes

Eve: Valkyrie hands-on: how it's changed

EVE Valkyrie

Eve: Valkyrie hands-on: how it's changed

Weekend Deal Dump: Bundles, as far as the eye can see

Weekend Deal Dump

Weekend Deal Dump: Bundles, as far as the eye can see

Dust 514 developers talk Project Legion:

Project Legion

Dust 514 developers talk Project Legion: "New Eden deserves a PC shooter"

Battlefield Hardline PC review

Battlefield Hardline

Battlefield Hardline PC review

Competition: We’ve two bundles of Fury goodies to give away to World of Tanks fans

World of Tanks

Competition: We’ve two bundles of Fury goodies to give away to World of Tanks fans

Gigantic is the genre-breaking shooter you'd expect from the designer of StarCraft and Guild Wars

Gigantic

Gigantic is the genre-breaking shooter you'd expect from the designer of StarCraft and Guild Wars

Hearthstone's director discusses Blackrock Mountain dragon cards, and why Blizzard won't nerf Dr. Boom

Hearthstone: Heroes of Warcraft

Hearthstone's director discusses Blackrock Mountain dragon cards, and why Blizzard won't nerf Dr. Boom

We're giving away £2000 worth of games right now

Bundle Stars

We're giving away £2000 worth of games right now

We Happy Few looks great, but is open-world survival getting stale?

We Happy Few

We Happy Few looks great, but is open-world survival getting stale?

Tales from the Borderlands PC review

Tales from the Borderlands

Tales from the Borderlands PC review

Topic of the Week: Do you have time for 100-hour games?

Topic of the Week

Topic of the Week: Do you have time for 100-hour games?

Frame-by-frame slaughter in Ronin, an indie stealth action game

Ronin

Frame-by-frame slaughter in Ronin, an indie stealth action game

Gratuitous Space Battles 2: You can fill space with searing neon death

Gratuitous Space Battles 2

Gratuitous Space Battles 2: You can fill space with searing neon death

Making it in Unreal: Project Reality veterans shoot for more with Squad

Squad

Making it in Unreal: Project Reality veterans shoot for more with Squad

The best PC games of 2015 and 2014

The best PC games of 2015 and 2014

Adventures in... Insurgency - Never Gonna Give You Up

Insurgency

Adventures in... Insurgency - Never Gonna Give You Up

Weekend Deal Dump: Mother's Day Edition

Weekend Deal Dump

Weekend Deal Dump: Mother's Day Edition

The best Cities: Skylines mods

Cities: Skylines

The best Cities: Skylines mods

Remembering Terry Pratchett and Discworld Noir

Discworld Noir

Remembering Terry Pratchett and Discworld Noir

Multiplay on their post-buyout future and turning GAME into the

Multiplay

Multiplay on their post-buyout future and turning GAME into the "Costa of gaming"

Hearthstone review

Hearthstone: Heroes of Warcraft

Hearthstone review

Hands-on with Valve's amazing VR demo: the holodeck is here

Valve

Hands-on with Valve's amazing VR demo: the holodeck is here

Sid Meier's Starships PC review

Sid Meier's Starships

Sid Meier's Starships PC review

Overwatch designer Jeffrey Kaplan on the art and science of building a new breed of shooter

Overwatch

Overwatch designer Jeffrey Kaplan on the art and science of building a new breed of shooter

Topic of the Week: What was the most exciting thing you saw at GDC and PAX East?

Topic of the Week

Topic of the Week: What was the most exciting thing you saw at GDC and PAX East?

Having Lots of Sex With Men in Videogames: Part One

No Thank You

Having Lots of Sex With Men in Videogames: Part One

Hotline Miami 2: Wrong Number review

Hotline Miami 2

Hotline Miami 2: Wrong Number review

Cities: Skylines review

Cities: Skylines

Cities: Skylines review