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Riot Admits It Unnecessarily Sexualized League Of Legends' Kai’Sa

by Kimberley Wallace on Apr 05, 2018 at 07:01 PM

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Riot Games got candid and answered some fan questions in its "Ask Riot" section today. Questions focused on gameplay elements like why marksman are getting shorter ranges and why assassins have so many AoE abilities, but Riot also took the time to address a question about new character Kai'Sa's design. 

The fan pointed to how Riot said it'd no longer add "unnecessarily hyper-sexualized champions" if it didn't make sense for the character, and asked what happened to this initiative with the character Kai'Sa and her deep neckline.

Lead producer of champions Ryan Mireles was forthright about this oversight. "We’ll be the first to admit that Kai’Sa’s neckline didn’t land well with players and that it made her look unnecessarily sexualized, even if it that wasn’t the intention." He discussed how the team wanted to give the character a unique look that showcased she was "a human wearing a Void-suit, rather than not a monstrosity created by the Void." Her plunging neckline wasn't in her initial design but was changed as a way to make her look more human. He notes that playtesters were more likely to interpret her as a human wearing a suit instead of a human that was corrupted once they made this change.

"In retrospect, we recognize we should’ve prioritized searching for other ways to solve this problem, especially because the end result didn’t land well for many players," Mireles confessed. "Even though we had good intentions, we could’ve done better, and in the future, we will be even more conscious of these decisions."

To learn more about Kai'Sa design and other gameplay tweaks, you can check out the full Q&A here. 

[Source: Riot Games]


Our Take
We all make oversights in the pressure of deadlines, but it's always good to recognize where you went wrong and could do better. Riot could have just avoided this question, but it chose to spotlight it and explain their decision and why they need to do better. I always find this admirable. Also, the key here is making sure the design matches up with the character. In this case, it left players feeling a dissonance between her design and personality. Hopefully, this was a learning experience about finding better solutions for these issues.