Heroes of the Storm Game Director Apologizes for Comments

November 25, 2013 - GamePolitics Staff

Dustin Browder, who is the game director on Heroes of the Storm, has made a public apology for his seemingly terse comments during an interview with Rock, Paper, Shotgun about the sexualization of female characters in the upcoming online team brawler featuring popular Blizzard game characters.

Blizzard's game director has been forced to apologize, after stating that it's not his company's place to address the issues of the hyper-sexualization of women in MOBA video games.

When asked about the hyper-sexualization of females in the game, Browder said: "We're not sending a message to anybody. We're just making characters who look cool."

When pressed further he added, "We're not running for President. We're not sending a message. No one should look to our game for that."

Commenting publicly to his reaction in the interview, Browder admitted that he had "responded poorly" to the question and apologized, saying that he doesn't not want to alienate any players.

His full comments can be found below - from www.heroesofthestorm.com:

In 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.

Dustin Browder
Game Director, Heroes of the Storm

Source: Gamasutra


Comments

Re: Heroes of the Storm Game Director Apologizes for Comments

This is just another attempt on the Gaming News Media to try to be relevant. Bottom line once the Gaming News media tries to cross a line by attacking everyone to push a political agenda and the real news catches wind and reports a different way like the Mass Effect 3 / Bioware fiasco then they go silent trying to talk about something else.

If the Gaming News Media had it's way gaming would be a niche hobby again like game developers like Roberta Williams and other failed developers who resort to Kickstarter to try to get funding from the selective group of people they wish to impress cause games made by them don't appeal to the majority people.

I love using her quote cause this is what the gaming media, and developers want.

"Back when I got started, which sounds like ancient history, back then the demographics of people who were into computer games, was totally different, in my opinion, than they are today. Back then, computers were more expensive, which made them more exclusive to people who were maybe at a certain income level, or education level. So the people that played computer games 15 years ago were that type of person. They probably didn't watch television as much, and the instant gratification era hadn't quite grown the way it has lately. I think in the last 5 or 6 years, the demographics have really changed, now this is my opinion, because computers are less expensive so more people can afford them. More "average" people now feel they should own one." - Roberta Williams

Re: Heroes of the Storm Game Director Apologizes for Comments

Wow, that is some hostility towards niche gaming there... Movies come in a huge variety, music comes in a huge variety, literature comes in a huge variety and most of it does not appeal to everyone or even to most people but that doesn't make the less known unworthy of existing. Every form of media has corners that are not working towards filling the same role as the middle, different people want different things. Kickstarter (and similar platforms) are allowing the widespread growth of a more mature and varied medium, how is that even remotely a bad thing?

Re: Heroes of the Storm Game Director Apologizes for Comments

Going to Kickstarter doesn't make one a failure, they just want more freedom than a game publisher would likely allow.

Re: Heroes of the Storm Game Director Apologizes for Comments

While it would have been better to have skipped the attitude that lead to the original comments, it is nice to see someone giving an apology rather then buckling down and getting defensive.

I can understand why designers do not think of these things, that is one of the reasons this stuff is so pervasive, it is just sorta the norm and taken for granted by a somewhat insular and fairly monolithic community... and questioning it makes people uneasy and defensive.  It can be a hard trap to avoid.

Re: Heroes of the Storm Game Director Apologizes for Comments

I agree, and in the MOBA department in particular.  I have a few friends who like playing MOBA titles but the "variety" (and I use that term VERY loosely) of female character and body types is so meager that trying to play a character they can connect with is virtually impossible.

Sadly I'm not certain if this argument will ever go anywhere as far as the average gamer is concerned if the comments on Kotaku are anything to go by.

Re: Heroes of the Storm Game Director Apologizes for Comments

Yeah, you usually get a non-apology in these circumstances. The old "We apologise if you were offended" deal.

It's especially nice considering that I don't think their original comments were offensive per se, but they were quite dismissive of the issue and clearly intended to shove it under the rug rather than address it.

Re: Heroes of the Storm Game Director Apologizes for Comments

*nods* I can agree with that.  

When one just wants to sit and make games it can be easy to be dismissive of things that seem to detract from that goal.  It is one of the reasons I think it is important for people to differentiate between someone being aggressively offensive and someone who does not seem to have thought about or noticed the issue before.  One is a lot easier to convince and change then the other, as long as they do not feel overly attacked.

 
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