Dead or Alive 6’s media tour since June of 2018 has been a textbook example of how not to promote your game. Producer and director Yohei Shimbori spent the last seven months telling one set of journalists one thing and another set of journalists another. He attempted to play both sides of the field by placating the interests of the SJWs by repeatedly proclaiming that Dead or Alive 6 would be “toned down”. When core fans would push back against this concept, Shimbori would quickly retort saying that the game getting toned down was just a “misunderstanding”.
Well, now that Shimbori and Team Ninja are at the end of the media tour for Dead or Alive 6, Shimbori has finally come out and said what he should have said from the start: that there will be a boob physics toggle switch and that the media needs to focus on what Dead or Alive 6 is as a game instead of constantly stoking the fires of sociopolitical activism.
Apparently this change in behavior came after Koei Tecmo brought the heat down on Shimbori about constantly teasing the reduction of the sexy-time in Dead or Alive 6, to which Eurogamer wrote…
“Shimbori told me Koei Tecmo understood Dead or Alive 6 had to make existing fans happy by providing the heavily sexualised female characters and breast physics they’re used to, or they’d simply leave the series behind.”
Shimbori also acknowledged that they had to keep the sexiness in order to retain the core fans, especially since many non-fans have been pestering the developers and Koei Tecmo to basically get rid of the sex appeal from Dead or Alive as a whole.
Shimbori, however, finally addressed the SJW crowd by saying that there is a toggle for the boob physics so if they don’t want to see sexiness they can just disable it in the options menu…
“If you’re really embarrassed by it, you can switch it off, and then you basically have 1990s Lara Croft. For me, as someone who built the game and wanted to make it realistic, this is not realistic. This is just stiff. It doesn’t look quite right to me. But, if you have concerns about this, there is always the option of switching it off.”
Unfortunately the game still doesn’t have the OMG Mode, even as an option because Shimbori stated that it was “too exaggerated”.
Nevertheless, having some sort of option for the boob physics is still better than not having the option at all, which is what happened with Nexon and Cwavesoft’s Hyper Universe, where the developers decided to censor their game to court the phantom audience, claiming that adding an SJW toggle switch would defeat the purpose of censorship. To no one’s surprise they ended up losing their playerbase and having to shut the game down. This netted Hyper Universe an unceremonious spot on the Get Woke; Go Broke master list.
There’s now a last ditch effort to turn the marketing around for the game, and it appears Shimbori’s final interviews consist of him attempting to cajole the original Dead or Alive fans by avoiding talking about toning down, removing, reducing, or limiting the game’s sex appeal. In fact, some of the latest footage to come out of the preview events for the 3D fighter contained some of the sexy clothing and gameplay features that most media outlets despise. You can check out some of those outfits in the gameplay preview below from PlayStation Taiwan.
As Eurogamer’s Wesley Yin-Poole began to chip away at the facade that Dead or Alive 6 was only pretending to be “woke” (something that Polygon’s Colin Campbell came to realize as well) Shimbori finally fired up and fired back at the media for unfairly characterizing the game around the topic of sexism and jiggle physics, saying…
“[…] blame it on DOA Extreme. But the fact is, we are trying to build a good fighting game with a challenging system. We put a lot of effort into tutorials and the quest mode to make it accessible for beginners. We are honouring the long-term fans and making sure they also get what they expect. We would really appreciate it if the media would focus more on the topic of we are building a good game here and not only focusing on this juggle talk.”
That’s what Shimbori should have said from the start, instead of trying to win over the perpetually offended by going on and on about trying to make the girls “appear more human” by shrinking their boobs, or trying to appeal to female gamers by reducing the clothes damage (which Shimbori later walked back by saying he was misundertood), or trying to play up the Leftist-rags pushing the #MeToo nonsense by saying that the game had to change due to the times. It’s all been an oscillating cycle of back-and-forth antinomy.
Sadly, Shimbori ballsing up and showing his teeth to the game journalists during the twilight of the press tour doesn’t erase the seven months of piss-poor messaging that defined Dead or Alive 6‘s rocky road towards its March release.
The game also still lacks a lot of the classic characters, still doesn’t have the tag-team mode, still lacks OMG Mode, the clothing damage is still reduced compared to the latest iteration of Dead or Alive 5: Last Round, and the overall gameplay is just a buff up of what was in the last game with only casual features implemented to make combos and specials easier to pull off. And that’s not to mention the current physics in the game lacks the soft-body dynamics and realism found in games like Dead or Alive Xtreme 3 or Dead or Alive Xtreme Venus Vacation, both which utilize the latest iteration of the Soft Engine.
Even with this slight step back onto the right side of the marketing line for the game’s promotion, I doubt it will be enough to wash away all of the negative impressions some onlookers have picked up for the title.
In hindsight, Shimbori should have approached promotion of Dead or Alive 6 in a similar manner as Motohiro Okubo, who didn’t fall for the media’s lies nor the tricks of the journalists when promoting Soul Calibur VI.
It’s important to be firm and resolute in the creative direction of a game, and perhaps with this lesson learned, Shimbori will – if there is a next time – not kowtow to pursuing the favorable auspices of parasites.
(Thanks for the news tip zac za)