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Crytek: Warface's 'sexualized' female skins were designed from regional feedback

The physically revealing female character skins in Crytek's free-to-play first-person shooter Warface were designed based on regional feedback, lead producer Joshua Howard told Wired in a recent interview.

According to Howard, the skins — which show women in revealing clothing with waists and chests exposed and have earned criticism that their proportions are anatomically exaggerated — were created from feedback provided by Russian and Chinese players. The designs for these skins will change based on feedback from each territory of Warface players, he said.

"The female skins [are] a good example of how we see how culturally the different regions approach the same game in different ways," Howard said, "The skins we're showing right now are the skins that basically came out of our Russian region. They're not what our players at first requested in the Russian region. They tended to be considerably more extreme that what we ended up shipping with."

Howard added that while the Warface team are committed to male avatars in more realistic full combat gear, they were okay with dressing female avatars in "not what we would think of as realistic" gear. He added that for the Chinese market they are creating another set of "unrealistic" skins for the territory's female avatars.

"It's our job to maintain that Warface has an authenticity to it that makes sense for us," he said. "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. Up to and including running round in high heels which is just silly, right?"

In response to a question as to whether Crytek has or would ever disregard community feedback in regards to wanting sexualized female avatars, Howard replied that "there's a tension both ways."

"Early on we said we want to make this game appropriate for the different regions while maintaining a cohesiveness that's still Warface," he said. "Coca Cola is Coca Cola all over the world even though honestly speaking that mix is different in many different countries. There are some products that are 100 percent identical in every region of the world and that was not something we wanted to do with a shooter because people around the world play shooters very differently."