Saints Row is known for its over-the-top and sometimes sexual humor. But it went a bit over the line, according to Saints Row 4 associate producer Kate Nelson. THQ's focus on porn stars like Tera Patrick in Saints Row 2 and Penthouse Pets in Saints Row 3 missed the point of the humorous tone.
"I did not always love how much THQ put an emphasis on porn stars," Nelson told Edge. "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."
More pointedly, she said that some at Volition "didn't appreciate" THQ calling Tera Patrick a "special producer" on Saints Row 2.
Nelson does point out that Saints Row is progressive, in a sense, because the character creator is so versatile. "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. Because I hear women talk on panels and they're like 'there are no people that look like me in games.' Well, actually in my game [the main character] can look like you as our customization system is so extensive. We don't get that across in our marketing or in the press because it’s difficult--we only have 30 seconds to explain."