Saints Row dev "didn't appreciate" THQ's focus on porn actresses

Promoted porn star as "special producer".

Some staff at Saints Row studio Volition were uncomfortable with former publisher THQ's emphasis on porn actresses when promoting the series, a producer has revealed.

Saints Row 4's associate producer Kate Nelson has criticised the porn-heavy focus of THQ in an interview with Edge, and highlighted a particular occasion when THQ marketing types suggested porn star Tera Patrick had been a "special producer" on the project.

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Tera Patrick (right) as she appears in Saints Row 2: Ultor Exposed.

Volition staff members "didn't appreciate" the move, Nelson said.

"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."

Porn actress Patrick was hired to help promote Saints Row 2, and then voiced a character in its Ultor Exposed expansion. Former porn actress Sasha Grey was then hired 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 went on to suggest that the series was actually very inclusive for female players due to the game's extensive character customisation controls.

"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 published by new series owner Deep Silver - but it is debatable whether much has changed. A recent preview event for the game was populated by a number of scantily clad models.

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