Back in August of 2018, producer Yohei Shimbori explained in an interview that Dead or Alive 6 was only 20% complete at the time. They had to redo all the physics, build all of the character assets from the ground-up, and completely fill out all new animation sets for the roster. Most gamers suspected that there was no way they could finish all of that in time for an early 2019 launch, and it turns out that they were right. Koei Tecmo announced that Dead or Alive 6 for Xbox One, PS4, and PC is being delayed by an extra month to March 1st in order to polish up the game.
The news came courtesy of a tweet from the official Koei Tecmo Twitter account.
— KOEI TECMO AMERICA (@KoeiTecmoUS) January 8, 2019
The delay also came with a message, which many interpreted as them making sure that Dead or Alive 6 fit Sony’s new censorship policy. If you’re unable to view the statement from Yohei Shimbori in the image, it reads…
“The title’s development is already near complete; however, we would like to take more time to further polish its balance, gameplay, and expressivity. In return for your patience, we commit to bringing you the best Dead or Alive gaming experience.
“I am truly sorry for the inconvenience caused by the release delay of Dead or Alive 6.”
The responses in the thread instantly jump to blaming Sony for possibly enforcing some forms of censorship on the ‘M’ rated fighting game.
However, Shimbori nor Koei explained what it meant for the team to have to balance out the “expressivity”. Usually that’s an English translation for the Japanese phrase that relates to “content”. SIE Japan president, Atsushi Morita, mentioned something similar when he stated that the censorship policies were part of the “global standards” (even though there are no global standards) and that it was a matter of assessing how games express their content. This was revealed back during a “Fun” meeting on December 1st, 2018, where he stated…
“Regarding the regulation of the depiction of content, it’s simply a matter of matching global standards.
“As for the freedom of expression… we have to think about what might be unpleasant for children and shield them from those things while also thinking and assessing ways to find a balance [for that expression].”
So likely what it means is that Shimbori and the crew are looking over the content and seeing what complies (and likely what doesn’t) with Sony’s censorship policies. This is in addition to the toning down that the team already did, including shrinking the female fighters’ breast to make them appear more “human”, and removing features like the OMG mode because Shimbori felt that the OMG mode and the fan-service from Dead or Alive Xtreme 3 was too over-exaggerated.
Now March 1st doesn’t seem like much of a difference between the original February 15th release, but it’s still a couple of weeks’ worth of time to patch some things in or patch some things out.
Ahead of the release, gamers will be able to play-test Dead or Alive 6 on January 11th this weekend. It was revealed over on the PlayStation Blog that an online beta test would commence for all the major regions save for Russia, Turkey, and the Middle East.
For gamers curious to see how the latest build of Dead or Alive 6 plays, you can check out the beta build and report back.
(Thanks for the news tip zac za)