Players asked, and SOE is delivering. DC Universe Online players are getting new gear in a future update that will allow their characters to show more skin.
"We've got some new player gear coming in. Some of it's going to be based on Star Sapphire. Our players have been asking us to show more skin, especially on our female characters, and we're doing that here with this armor," said creative director Jens Andersen, showing off a rather bare Star Sapphire model.
Now I'll be the first to admit, I was a bit surprised when Andersen announced this — not because I doubt that DCUO players want it, but because I believe it's a risky move for SOE to address such a sensitive topic of late. I'm sure you've all seen the stories of sexism in our industry, coupled with complaints over female characters serving as no more then sexual icons for male players.
Despite the fact that plenty of DC Comics' characters showing off skin, it's always a sensitive topic among games. Asked if they were worried over the scrutiny they may face a result of baring more skin, executive producer Larry Liberty didn't seem too concerned.
"I'd be surprised honestly. We're a T-rated game, we've been relatively conservative so it's not like you're going to see anything too provocative. More skin for us is not the same as more skin for many other games," he said, adding that the costumes will be more in line with the DC Comics' brand.
"Keep in mind, we're T-rated and we have to run everything through DC, so it's not going to be crazy. But people do want to be able to be like their favorite characters and we get requests for that, and all other kinds of things. The giant popped-collar cape has been a long-standing request and we finally got that into the game, so we try to give players what they want as long as DC lets us. Sometimes people want really, really iconic styles and that's been harder," he said.
It's easy to assume this gear will be directed towards female characters, but hey, I enjoy a muscular, bare-skinned Thor as much as the next guy. So maybe the gear won't be too focused on females. Either way, SOE didn't spend too much time on the topic, as there was plenty more to show off (pardon the pun) including three new super powers and PvE Legends.
SOE has clarified that they are working on armor styles for both male and female characters that are "a bit more minimalistic to better highlight the musculature of their characters and chosen skin," including human, robotic, astral and leopard. Yes, so this means muscular leopard Thor can be a thing! I'm totally in.
You can follow Senior News Editor Matt Liebl on Twitter @Matt_GZ. He likes games, sports, musicals, and his adorable dog, Wrigely. And his wife.