Penny Arcade is reporting that upcoming MOBA Prime World is going to offer female gamers cheaper micro-transactions, and give bonuses to teams that feature both male and female players.
First. the game will check your real gender via facebook interpretation, (exactly what is stopping you from setting up a second, fake facebook account to reap the discounts is unknown), then players will get a unique buff based on their real gender, to encouraged mixed grouping. Unfortunately this buff only applies if players use characters of their gender.
The idea is to open up MOBAs to a more casual audience, with producer Larisa Nuretdinova suggesting players might recruit their "sisters and girlfriends" to play with them. But while trying to expand gaming's female audience is a laudable goal, I'm not sure this is the way to go about it. One of the great strengths of gaming is to put people in the shoes of another person, the more games demand that your avatar resemble you, the less effective this is. MOBA games in particular rely on having a wide variety of characters with different abilities, restricting those choices seems contrary to the idea of the genre. And I haven't even mentioned the potential awkwardness of transgender gamers in such a system.
Nevertheless, it'll be fascinating to see how the social experiment works out. If you're interested in knowing more about the game, try reading our preview of Prime World's heroes .