Fighting game 'Prime World' attracting female players with new incentive

Prime World's aim is to take an underground genre and make it mainstream, by leveraging social gaming trends and making it clear that women are welcome.

As with other games in the Multiplayer Online Battle Arena genre, two small teams attempt to overthrow each other.

Players choose characters that have distinct strengths and weaknesses, and need to communicate with, anticipate, and compensate for team members in order to succeed.

The genre sprung into life ten years ago, with a custom level for PC game Warcraft III called Defense of the Ancients enjoying regular slots at e-sports tournaments ever since.

More recently, League of Legends and Heroes of Newerth have launched their own commercial versions, while two competing developers are readying spiritual sequels: Blizzard's DotA and DOTA 2.

Prime World's innovation is to offer a discount to players who try out characters of the same gender -- using Facebook for verification as well as social perks -- and then bakes in advantages for teams that are mixed.

"Teams are thus more effective if they are composed of both male and female players," instructs the Prime World website. "In addition, this [gender] bonus helps encourage beginning female players, who feel more helpful when fighting in a mixed group."

It's a clever move, playing off against the reputation of established MOBA communities that can appear hostile to newcomers, and guarding against the inevitable migration of more experienced players towards Blizzard's DotA and DOTA 2.

The game is already available to download in Russian, and is expected to be localized in English and other languages this year.

Prime World's official website: playpw.com
The Penny Arcade Report's feature on Prime World: penny-arcade.com/report/editorial-article/prime-world-will-charge-women-less-for-their-heroes-and-give-mixed-gender-p

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