It's been one of the hottest subjects in games media in recent weeks, and now the direct consequences of the violence against women debate are being felt.
God of War is a series famed for – and arguably defined by – it's use of violence. But in these financially tough times, bad press is more dangerous than ever. And who wants their new game to be the next in line for headlines accusing it of sexism?
As a result of this, Sony Santa Monica's game design manager David Hewitt admitted the IGN that his studio is being more careful with God of War: Ascension's content than it otherwise would have been.
The core of the God of War series is Greek mythology, and that's blood and guts, vengeful gods, horrific things being enacted on mortals,” he explained. Kratos was tricked into killing his wife and family. He's literally covered in their ashes during every moment. His motivation is violent, bloody revenge, and the milieu of mythology puts us in this distant, exaggerated world.
We do revel in it somewhat but the violence is there to show Kratos dealing with his demons and enacting that revenge in a very physical, hands-on way.
There are some things we've pulled back from. I think where this has been an issue is with violence against women – the team's pulled back from some of that and assessed that a little more carefully. There are certain things that carry has a different kind of resonance that we don't want to get into. This isn't about statement-making in that regard. It's about fleshing out this character.”