Throughout the gaming industry, sexist advertising has been seemingly commonplace. However, recently, Game of Sultans has taken it from bad to worse by promoting the game with ideas of arranged marriage, body shaming and torture.
Game of Sultans' current marketing campaign is seemingly centered around the very basis of female objectification, with female game characters being portrayed as wanting to “attend” to you, having young characters go through “diet control” to make them more physically attractive and, in one of the more horrific YouTube-based advertisements, showing options to "slap," "flog" and "imprison" three random female characters.
These sorts of advertisements are sadly nothing new to the video game industry, and, lately, the advertisements have devolved further with clickbait thumbnails normally featuring scantily clad women who wear completely impractical armors or are asking for you to save her. These advertisements have seemingly gotten worse over the years, with Game of Sultans being the most recent offender.
Advertisements like these are predatory in their nature. Preying on the idea of being the “white knight” and saving a poor helpless girl in the game so she would fall in love with you, making sure a princess is not ugly so you can marry her off or, most shockingly, the idea of both abuse and torture as a marketing ploy. Normalizing these ideas in any sort of media is far from alright.
Perhaps what is most concerning is the advertisements that prey on such ideas are not only seemingly uncriticized, it is that they seemingly work, with Game of Sultans being #12 in the Role Play tag on the app store and having over 100,000 downloads on Google Play.
As for the actual role of the consorts in the game itself, it hasn’t been as grim as some of the advertisements make them out to be. However, it still appears that they are nothing more than an objectified resource in the game, offering nothing more than a brief paragraph about their personality. Then again, it feels as though the game has about as much overall character depth as a puddle of water.