Team Ninja game director Yohei Shimbori recently explained that the reason so many of the features are changing in Dead or Alive 6 is because they’re trying to attract casual audiences. This includes the removal of the Soft Engine, and shrinking the female breast sizes because they felt smaller breasts made the women more human. He also clarified that it wasn’t because of e-sports that they decided to remove and tone down a lot of the sexual elements for the female characters, but because of a “world trend”.
In an article Kotaku published on August 4th, 2018, Shimbori stated…
“Toning down the sexual expression doesn’t relate to esports. It’s more of a world trend. We’re considering how to make this franchise well-received everywhere.”
The trend Shimbori is talking about is how in the West feminists and SJWs have been pressuring media organizations to make women more masculine, to make women less sexy, and to reduce the feminine sex appeal in fictional characters.
The thing is, only a niche market like fighting games and the violent niche is occupied by Mortal Kombat; the 3D technical niche is occupied by Tekken and soon Soul Calibur VI; the 2D niche is occupied by Street Fighter V and Dragon Ball FighterZ; the casual fantasy niche is occupied by Super Smash Bros.; and the realistic niche is occupied by EA Sports UFC. Where exactly does this leave Dead or Alive 6? I doubt Soul Calibur VI or Tekken 7 mains are going to leave for Dead or Alive 6, and since the game no longer occupies the fan-service niche, it seems like a horse without a home.
But Team Ninja’s ability to misread the market don’t end there. Team Ninja’s creative director, Tom Lee, explained that they want people to see Dead or Alive 6 for its “deep” game mechanics and not just for the “pretty” fighters, telling Kotaku…
“The game, we feel, has always been very deep. We want to emphasize those areas. That doesn’t necessarily mean we’re going to change, that all these beautiful figures will be changed completely. I think the attention will also be placed on a lot of the fighting game mechanics. People that have never considered Dead or Alive to be a ‘true fighter’ will see that.”
But it doesn’t end there, Lee and Shimbori have been desperately trying to appeal to the West, so much so that the new character Diego – who was hinted at possibly being gay by Koei Tecmo’s social media manager – is supposed to appeal to American sensibilities.
He’s from the streets, so he can also give it!
— KOEI TECMO EUROPE (@koeitecmoeurope) August 1, 2018
glad to know we finally got a gay DOA character
— Love, Jakob (@sugoibro) August 1, 2018
I have no idea how they came to the conclusion that a homoerotic Hispanic street fighter represents American sensibilities, but that’s one of the farthest archetypes from what most American men are looking for from an iconic character right now.
“We were looking for a character that would really appeal to the West. We realized as a team that we were under-representing the Hispanic community, and we felt that was something that was needed in the Dead or Alive roster. From there, [we picked] the region of New York City and [made] this cool street fighter-type guy who kind of figured things out on his own. I thought that would be really appealing to the casual audience as well as the audience in the West.”
The feedback for Diego has been lukewarm at best, mostly because people see Diego as a cheap knockoff of Miguel from Tekken 7.
When one side keeps calling your game a generic rip-off of Tekken 7 and the other side keeps saying that they aren’t buying it due to the removal of fan-service, it sounds like you’re building up an identity for a game that will be little more than a blackhole of hype.
(Thanks for the news tip Ebicentre)