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CDP – sex and violence in games works if part of the world and not overused

Thursday, 21st June 2012 16:21 GMT By Stephany Nunneley

CD Projekt RED CEO Marcin Iwinski has said there is nothing wrong with games including sex and violence as long as it’s part of the world and not overused.

Speaking with RPS, Iwinski used the studio’s Witcher franchise and George R.R. Martin’s A Game of Thrones as two such examples where such hot-button topics “fit” in the medieval, male-dominated story.

“You have to look at it from the quality of the product perspective,” he said. “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.

“And when people don’t do [these sorts of things] well, it’s obvious and there’s a lot of criticism around it. But you really have to look at it on a product-by-product basis. And then it really depends on somebody’s taste. So with Witcher, we’re not a Dungeons and Dragons where kissing is prohibited. We’re not Barbie world. Game of Thrones is a testament to that. Where sex makes sense, put it there. Because that’s how it was during the Medieval times, and that’s how it is today.”

Iwinski said with both The Witcher series and Game of Thrones, it’s all about “power, politics, and sex,” so the subject matter fits. While some of this can be overused, such as at E3 this year, Iwinski feels if it’s part of the game and presented as such, it’s not “necessarily a problem.”

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

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10 Comments

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  1. Talkar

    Having rape, sex, or anything else considered “inappropriate for games” by idiots is completely fine. Just don’t advertise it! If for example the devs behind the new Tomb Raider had just kept quiet about it, instead of shoving it in every-bodies faces at E3 it would have been fine. Look at all these mainstream news site, that have this 18th century style of thinking that said it was wrong to have the rape element in Tomb Raider. On those sites, i’ve yet to see any substantial material to the same amount of Tomb Raider, about for example The Witcher, or The Witcher 2.

    #1 2 years ago
  2. Ireland Michael

    Likewise, violence, sex and cursing isn’t necessarily mature either.

    #2 2 years ago
  3. DSB

    @1 Doesn’t that also beg the question as to why the media has to play a role in what designers put in their games?

    People were trying to label Tomb Raider as the “rape game” and that might hurt sales a bit, but ultimately designers should have the balls to stand by what they’re doing.

    Granted, that was also caused by some poorly worded statements from the designers themselves, but I just don’t believe that vocal minorities or groups that thrive on their indignation should be catered to.

    It pisses me off that people can’t slip up even a little in public, without having five interest groups or righteous pundits jump down their throat and demand a public apology.

    #3 2 years ago
  4. freedoms_stain

    And Triss Merrigold is fuckin hot.

    #4 2 years ago
  5. Da Man

    After reading #1′s comment I really wish we would go back to XVIII century, when tacky nerds simply didn’t exist.

    #5 2 years ago
  6. Talkar

    @3
    It does absolute create that questoin. But unfortunately we live in a world where everyone gets offended by everything. Just look at this site. It went all out on sexism in games and game advertisement, and it went absolutely crazy with the whole Tomb Raider thing. I know a lot of people on here commented on those articles saying the staff was wrong and whatnot, but it mattered little. Heck, they even brought in a writer from The Guardian which is notorious for hating on anything gaming related. In the end, there isn’t much we can do if a journalist doesn’t care what the readers want to read, but rather write like it was their diary, and get to cash in a few more dollars because the articles are hated on so much people have to get in and comment on them (kotaku does this a LOT ).

    #6 2 years ago
  7. DSB

    @1 Yeah, I agree.

    Although I don’t think the problem was with inviting a Guardian writer, more like not inviting anyone with the opposite view.

    The Guardian can think whatever they want, but they should be challenged on that just like everyone else.

    #7 2 years ago
  8. Talkar

    @7
    True, didn’t think of it like that until now. But by inviting only persons they knew beforehand would agree with them, they were both confirmed in their opinion if, they by any chance, were starting to doubt it due to all the opposing opinions in the comments…

    #8 2 years ago
  9. YoungZer0

    @4: That’s the succubus.

    #9 2 years ago
  10. freedoms_stain

    @9, it was just a general statement, wasn’t referring to the image.

    #10 2 years ago