Dustin Browder, Game Director on Blizzard’s upcoming MOBA mash-up Heroes of the Storm, has issued a public apology on the official Heroes of the Storm website.
During an interview with Rock, Paper, Shotgun, Browder was asked about the hyper-sexualised designs on female characters, particularly in MOBA games. This was his response:
“Well, I mean, some of these characters, I would argue, are already hyper-sexualized 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.”
It wasn’t long after this question that the interview had to abruptly end, which left many people angry, wondering why Dustin appeared to dodge a question on sexism. Dustin issued an apology today, however:
I”n a recent interview with Rock, Paper, Shotgun, I responded poorly to a statement the interviewer made about over-sexualized character designs in games, and I want to apologize 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.
Game Director, Heroes of the Storm”
What do you think? Should developers make more of a conscious effort to remain sensitive to issues such as these? Let us know in the comments below.