Saints Row team 'didn't appreciate' THQ's marketing focus on porn actresses

The use of porn actresses in the marketing of Saints Row was not "appreciated" by developer Volition, associate producer Kate Nelson told Edge, pointing to a particular occasion when marketing executives at publisher THQ suggested porn star Tera Patrick had been a "special producer" for the project.

"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 humour in that angle of promotion but for me that's the line where it gets into reality," said Nelson.

A number of porn actress were hired for the promotion of Saints Row 2, including Patrick who later voiced a character in the game's Ultor Exposed expansion. Former pornographic actress Sasha Grey was hired for the next title in the series to play Viola DeWynter in Saints Row: The Third.

"In Saints Row 2 and Saints Row 3 there was an emphasis on the penthouse girls, and earlier Tera Patrick," Nelson continued. "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."

Nelson emphasized that the Saints Row series was in fact inclusive for the female market because of its character customization controls that allowed you to design women of all shapes and sizes.

"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."

Saints Row 4 is now being published by Deep Silver.

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