Crytek’s Warface is getting playable women soldiers

It’s still a dumb name; also, the ladies are sexualised because of fan feedback

Warface, which I still can’t say with a straight face, is adding playable women avatars to the fray. According to executive producer Joshua Howard, speaking to Games Beat, the “female characters are a big hit” in Russia, where the game, still not quite formally launched in the United States,  boasts millions of players.

Feedback from this devoted Russian audience led to the female player models, apparently. “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,” Howard said, speaking to Wired. “Up to and including running round in high heels which is just silly, right?”

Apparently, the female skins that the Chinese audience can play as are different, sexualized instead in a way that specific audience desires. “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,” Howard said.

Feels a lot more like pandering than “cultural relativism,” especially when you talk about maintaining “authenticity” while giving into the feedback for a cartoonish, skin-baring look. Also, when is someone going to make a game called Warfarin?  

Crytek overhauls Warface online shooter with female characters (interview) [Games Beat]
Cultural relativism: Warface’s exec producer talks girls, guns and global gaming [Wired]

Steven Hansen