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Porn Stars not appreciated in Saints Row

by William Schwartz

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THQ’s marketing strategy for Saints Row certainly has been interesting, with them hiring porn stars like Tera Patrick or Sasha Grey as promotion. Not everyone at Volition, the company behind Saints Row, appreciated said marketing strategy or when THQ suggested that Patrick was a “special producer” for Saints Row 2.

“Saying that someone who had no industry experience was in a role that is sexualised as a producer of our project, or saying the penthouse girls are our QA staff… I can see the humor in that angle of promotion but for me that’s the line where it gets into reality,” associated producer Kate Nelson told Edge. “I did not always love how much THQ put an emphasis on porn stars. In Saints Row 2 and Saints Row 3 there was an emphasis on the penthouse girls, and earlier Tera Patrick. I think it’s important in marketing games to make sure that the essence of the game is what’s being marketed, and I think the porn star angle didn’t really fit in with what Saints Row is at heart, which is a parody. We like to poke fun.”

Kate Nelson is also keen to point out that Saints Row 4 is more progressive when it comes to representing gender equality. According to her, “You can be an important female character – you don’t have to have a D cup either.You can be large woman, a small woman – you can be blue. You can be who you want to be in the game and you have powerful female characters written into the narrative. I think our game actually does represent women in a positive way, but the press will focus on, oh hey, there are strippers, or there’s a dildo bat – it’s unfortunate from my perspective that that doesn’t come through. Because I hear women talk on panels and they’re like ‘there are no people that look like me in games’. Well, actually in my game [the main character] can look like you as our customization system is so extensive. We don’t get that across in our marketing or in the press because it’s difficult – we only have 30 seconds to explain.”

“Saints Row, in lots of ways, has empowered minorities and empowered women, which I think is important to get across.”

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