Blizzard issues apology after sexualised character debate

Monday, 25 November 2013 10:58 GMT By Dave Cook

Heroes of the Storm game director Dustin Browder has issued an apology after replying to recent questions over the sexualisation of female characters in MOBA games.

Rock, Paper, Shotgun was at BlizzCon a few weeks ago. During an interview, the site posed Browder with some questions over the portrayal of female characters in strategy and MOBA titles. They then asked Browder to comment on Blizzard’s approach to females in Heroes of the Storm.

He replied, “Well, I mean, some of these characters, I would argue, are already hyper-sexualised in a sense. I mean, Kerrigan is wearing heels, right? We’re not sending a message to anybody. We’re just making characters who look cool. Our sensibilities are more comic book than anything else. That’s sort of where we’re at. But I’ll take the feedback. I think it’s very fair feedback.”

When pressed by the site further, he added, “We’re not running for President. We’re not sending a message. No-one should look to our game for that.”

Browder’s comments caused much debate over the weekend.

In reply, Browder published an apologetic statement on the Heroes of the Storm site yesterday.

It reads:

In a recent interview with Rock, Paper, Shotgun, I responded poorly to a statement the interviewer made about over-sexualised character designs in games, and I want to apologise for that. This is a serious topic and I don’t want anyone to think that I, or anyone else at Blizzard, is insensitive about how we portray our characters.

It takes work to make compelling characters, but it’s important to take a step back to ensure that we’re not alienating our players. We have an amazing roster of heroes and we will always strive to make sure that everyone can have a hero that they identify with and feel powerful using. And at the end of the day, we all want the same thing. A great game where we can all have fun battling for glory and maybe some bragging rights.

On the stage at BlizzCon, I spoke about Heroes being a collaborative project, shaped by the passion, love, and support of gamers like you. We’re building this game together, we’re listening, and your thoughts are valued.

I would like to thank Rock, Paper, Shotgun as well as our players for their feedback on this important issue. We want to do better, so keep the feedback coming and thanks for the continued support. We’ve got some pretty amazing things in store for you and we’re looking forward to seeing you in the Storm.

Will this matter change how Blizzard approaches the MOBA’s female quotient, or will it be business as usual? It remains to be seen. What do you think?

Via Eurogamer.

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