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Warface: Crytek defends sexualised female skins, says they were designed via fan feedback

Tuesday, 8th October 2013 12:16 GMT By Dave Cook

Warface developer Crytek has discussed the sexualised appearance of the shooter’s female avatars in a new interview, and has revealed that they were created based on feedback from the fan base.

The skins in question depict women with low cut tops, exposed waists and have been deemed anatomically disproportionate by some critics.

In a Wired interview, lead producer Joshua Howard stressed that the female skins were based on feedback from Russian and Chinese players, and that their design will changed based on what is asked for in each territory. He added that the design is Russian-led.

During the interview he said, “The female skins [are] a good example of how we see how culturally the different regions approach the same game in different ways. The skins we’re showing right now are the skins that basically came out of our Russian region. They’re not what our players at first requested in the Russian region. They tended to be considerably more extreme that what we ended up shipping with.”

Further on, Howard added that the Warface team desires authentic military attire, yet the claim seems to be in direct conflict by what is perceived as an attempt at capturing male players with over-sexualised skins. By comparison, the male soldiers wear full combat gear and show little of what’s beneath.

“It’s our job to maintain that Warface has an authenticity to it that makes sense for us,” he continued. “They were very comfortable with the fact we have these very realistic-looking men, but they wanted the women to be not what we would think of as realistic at all. Up to and including running round in high heels which is just silly, right?”

He then stressed that the Chinese skins will be even more abstract and pandering. “We leaned a little Russian in these characters,” he continued, “but we’re doing another set of characters for our Chinese market, for example, and those are leaning in a different direction. It’s interesting to see they are also somewhat unrealistic as compared to the males but differently than the Russians.

“You look at the Chinese models and they’re also disproportionate but in a way that’s more…Chinese? I don’t even know what language to use for that but they’re different. You get these little differences you have to adjust for. The idea we were going to come up with one set of female skins across the world was clearly blown out of the water as we started to talk to more of our players and partners from different regions.”

Interviewer Phillipa Warr asked if Crytek ever – at any point – attempted to resist the way female characters have been polled and designed, or if it told the community ‘no’. She said, “Are you tempted to say, that’s not right. We’re going to do it our way and you either get on board with this or you take your misogynistic views elsewhere?”

Howard replied, “There’s a tension both ways. Early on we said we want to make this game appropriate for the different regions while maintaining a cohesiveness that’s still Warface. Coca Cola is Coca Cola all over the world even though honestly speaking that mix is different in many different countries. There are some products that are 100 percent identical in every region of the world and that was not something we wanted to do with a shooter because people around the world play shooters very differently.”

What do you make of the above?

Via GI.biz.

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24 Comments

  1. Logion

    I do have to wonder if they would really lose money over having women with realistic armor in their game.
    Will people really be annoyed if they can’t see cleavage when they are running around shooting each other?
    I do hope that a videogame’s fanbase are more mature than that.

    #1 10 months ago
  2. Dave Cook

    @1 I’d hope so too, but I know a lot of – shall we say – sexually blind gamers out there who don’t see the negative connotations of over-sexualisation.

    Idiots, basically.

    #2 10 months ago
  3. AmiralPatate

    @1
    Experience proves they aren’t that mature.

    #3 10 months ago
  4. SplatteredHouse

    Wouldn’t it be better to see a comparison before jumping to conclusions?
    http://www.wired.co.uk/news/archive/2013-10/07/warface-joshua-howard/viewgallery/308701

    If we would claim that something is pandering or practical, don’t we need to consider the application, too. We see quite clearly that not all Warface female characters appear in that way. The Rifleman is a good deal more conventionally dressed. Styled a little, but it doesn’t appear to be at odds with a more front-line role, to me.

    As a sniper, my assumption would be that a soldier would not want to wear weighty attire. They want to move swiftly and alongside their skill, stealthily. In the shot on this page, we can see a sidearm. This sniper isn’t in her element. There’s an enemy ambush ahead (rappeling enemies in background) and they’ve already begun eliminating her comrades (right foreground).

    While I think as a piece covering a developer’s wishes to cater a game according to its audience it’s fine, sadly, the article’s title leaves me at a loss. Defend what? A question was asked, and explanation given. Defend a creator’s right to sculpt their fictional universe according to their wishes. Although I recognise where that controversy may appear, I still don’t find the matter to be in need (or receipt, for that matter) of “defense” by the developer.

    #4 10 months ago
  5. absolutezero

    but but but people who don’t play it might be put off.

    people that don’t play it might be offended.

    Oh no.

    #5 10 months ago
  6. YoungZer0

    @5: Lawl.

    Though I really don’t see any good reason to have them run around like it’s the fucking beach, I don’t think it’s such a huge deal, at all.

    @2: Aren’t you a Metal Gear Solid Fan, Dave? I mean they had such a design from Day-1. Your Sex-Negative Attitude really worries me sometimes. Maybe those female soldiers celebrate their sexual liberation? O:

    #6 10 months ago
  7. Logion

    @3 I do like to think that video games are evolving as a whole though and that a lot of people will still buy a game even if the design are not targeted towards young boys, even free-to play shooters.

    #7 10 months ago
  8. AmiralPatate

    @7
    Games maybe. Players… nah. But I don’t think it’s only videogame related. If you watch TV ads, they are probably more sexist.

    #8 10 months ago
  9. Panthro

    Im so tired of sexualised female skins in make believe stories :,( they ruin my day.

    #9 10 months ago
  10. FeaturePreacher

    Has anyone considered that the free to play model, which depends on whales that buy the most from the developer, is going to lead to more sexy ladies and fewer a-cups since most of the fans, which are male, still like sexy ladies? I guess that’s just one more reason to stick with the fixed price model, especially for the white knights out there.

    #10 10 months ago
  11. Playmaker

    @9 I see what you did ;)

    This game just made +1 fan.

    I’ll always play as female models in FPS or TPS games to throw off the competition. I think it gives me a lil more of an edge.

    #11 10 months ago
  12. GwynbleiddiuM

    What if the majority of fans wanted to have butt naked female models? Would Crytek cave in to that too? I guess we’re lucky fans didn’t ask for that…

    #12 10 months ago
  13. klewd

    weak. justifying the sexualization by giving the responsibility to the gamers doesn’t demonstrate much artistic integrity. the issue is that women are in a minority and therefore whatever is decided by vote doesn’t necessarily represent their wishes, and more likely represents the wishes of horny male teenagers

    #13 10 months ago
  14. Dark

    I don’t see what the big deal is anyway.

    #14 10 months ago
  15. salarta

    Female snipers are known for exposing their chests because their big boobs get in the way of being able to breathe and handle their rifles, and so they can air out their burning hot cleavage to avoid a build-up of sweat. It is common to have to set rifles on their boobs, and cleavage makes for an excellent way to keep rifles stable. It also makes male snipers less likely to shoot her if they can see what a gorgeous rack she has that would go to waste with her death.

    None of the above is true, I’m just fucking around based on the absurdity of the pictures above.

    #15 10 months ago
  16. YoungZer0

    @15: “None of the above is true, I’m just fucking around based on the absurdity of the pictures above.”

    Puh, thought you wanted to protect the Kojima practice here.

    #16 10 months ago
  17. Neroist

    It’s a video game where the men all look like buff nordic body builders… but no one complains about that. If men have to have muscles bulging out of their eyebrows in games, women can look good as well.

    #17 10 months ago
  18. AmiralPatate

    @17
    To be fair, I’m not looking much at male characters ifyouknowhatimean.jpg

    #18 10 months ago
  19. Pitts

    So basically, what I get from this is that Crytek are catering to different regions with different skins. Ok then.

    I’m sure we farther west will get completely different versions considering the loud objections we’re already raising against the skins presented in other territories.

    #19 10 months ago
  20. archaven

    Honestly i feel westerners are abit like muslims.. close-minded people when come to female in games? So headshot, assassinations, decapitations, bombing are all fine but showing cleavage is not?

    Is a videogame.. why do we need realism in videogames? In all honesty, if based on critics theory, some games such as borderlands should exist? How is it logical that i need to fire with ANY guns with thousands of bullets (which may not kill a human boss) and each bullets deals different damage?

    If there’s no such thing as magic where players can shoot fireball out from their palms, shouldn’t that theory prevail that we shouldn’t have fantasy? IF magic is logical in fantasy games, then why wearing chainmail bikinis are not logical?

    So conclusion: boobs. So boobs and cleavage means sexualizing females? What kind of logic is that? If that’s the case, those females who walks on the street with a sexy outfit which clearly shows cleavage, then we should generalize that the lady is sexualizing all females in the world?

    This is retarded. HOnestly.

    #20 10 months ago
  21. Dunno

    Stupid western critics and everyone who think there’s a problem try to pretend sexuality doesn’t exist, nobody ever fucks and all that jazz. Everyone has fucking forgotten what’s normal and natural. Are you kids asexual or something? hahaha

    #21 10 months ago
  22. Dave Cook

    @20 “So headshot, assassinations, decapitations, bombing are all fine but showing cleavage is not?”

    Nice strawman there. You’re comparing very different things.

    #22 10 months ago
  23. DarkElfa

    There’s nothing wrong with these skins. It isn’t supposed to be a realistic portrayal of women, its a fantasy world. If people keep looking for something to be offended by or to rally against they will always find it.

    There are feminists rallying for the right to be shirtless in public like men, but having women show cleavage is misogynistic?

    What’s good for the goose is good for the gander but do as I say and not as I do.

    @2, Dave, nobody forces women to present their bodies in a sexual way, but the majority do. They don’t do it because of pressure from the male side but pressure from within their own gender. Sex is, like it or not, one of the largest driving forces in all of global society.

    Fight the fights that actually need fighting.

    #23 10 months ago
  24. torjs99

    hey liberals!

    there are women with big breasts!

    #24 10 months ago

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