Female players of fantasy MMO Prime World will be eligible for discounts on in-game purchases, Russian developer Nival has revealed.
Nival will check players' gender via a mandatory Facebook log-in, creative producer Larisa Nuretdinova told Penny Arcade.
"The idea is to introduce the MOBA genre not only to hardcore players who already love it, but to their friends who might be more casual, and of course to their sisters and girlfriends who may not be as hardcore," Nuretdivona explained.
Prime World features male and female-exclusive classes which buff each other when playing with someone of the opposite sex.
Nival plans to offer discounts on extra female characters to try and address the male-female ratio imbalance, and thus allow more in-game male-female teams.
"To do the very best, you'll want a female player on your team," Nuretdinova continued. "You don't need to have male and female players on the same team to win, but it will certainly help. The game will be connected to your Facebook account, so it will actually be able to check that your real-life gender, and the bonus is only available when a team is made of mixture of male and female players who are playing as characters of the required gender."
Nuretdinova also hopes the game's gender-focused mechanics will spawn greater social interaction between players.
"When boys gather around to play games just with each other, it's not really social. When girls gather around just to chat, it's not very social. The social starts when they hang out together and play games together."