Riot say that they “unnecessarily sexualized” League of Legends’ most recent new champion. In an Ask Riot post, the studio’s lead developer of champions, Riot Reav3, said that the team “could’ve done better” with Kai’Sa’s character design.
Stay up to date with the League of Legends patch 8.8 notes.
Riot had previously said they would avoid adding unncessarily hyper-sexualised champions unless to the game it fit the character’s central theme. That means that while characters like Ahri and Evelynn, who are designed around myths of kitsunes or succubi, would retain their designs, but warriors like Irelia or Leona wouldn’t be over-sexualized.
However, when Kai’Sa was released, some players felt that her plunging neckline went against what Riot had previously said. Reav3 said that the intention behind her design wasn’t to make her desirable, but the result of an attempt to avoid making her seem “corrupted” by her time in the Void - a theme that Riot had explored previously. Reav3 says that “early on, Kai’Sa didn’t have a deep neckline. When we got her in game, we realized her dark hair combined with the suit” made her look more corrupted than intended. Reav3 goes on to explain that “our artists tried a few things to try and address this, and the one that worked well was redesigning her neckline so you could see her human skin more clearly.”
Reav3 ends by saying “in retrospect, we recognize we should’ve prioritized searching for other ways to solve this problem,” and that “even though we had good intentions, we could’ve done better.”