Dead or Alive 6 producer and director Yohei Shimbori recently had an interview with Kayane. In the interview he discusses a number of topics, including the recent controversy over the reason why the clothing damage was supposedly reduced.
Kayane asked about the interview where Shimbori claims people misunderstood what he was trying to say. Shimbori replied saying…
“ Oh, I see. In an interview that was published, they said that I say the game would be less sexy in consideration of the female players, which is totally wrong, because we know that female players in the DOA fanbase like to play strong and sexy women.”
This response came after a number of female gamers took to Twitter to reproach the original statements that were made during the GNN interview, where it was stated that the clothing damage to the characters would be reduced to appeal to female gamers.
Shimbori claims that that was a misinterpretation, even though outlets like Siliconera also reported the same thing.
I did ask Shimbori if the GNN interview was a mistranslation but he said that it was not, and that he couldn’t go into detail at the moment about the feature.
He later said that they’re trying to juggle between what the players want and what they’re restricted to doing. Shimbori stated…
“I already mentioned in various interviews that it’s about fierce fighting entertainment, and the destruction mechanism was necessary to consider. As I’ve said so far, the customers’ and the world’s collective opinion are being used to properly improve upon the game’s expression.
“Undertaking a matter and trying to do a good thing is not always the same as what you’re restricted or limited to doing.”
This was in response to being asked if the restrictions or reduction of the clothing damage was in lieu of the “global standards”. Some assumed this also meant that this would apply to Sony’s recent censorship policies, but Shimbori told Kayane that this was not the case and that all versions of the game would be the same, saying…
“So yeah, there was a clear misunderstanding about any form of censorship or whatnot. It was also mentioned that Sony imposed some form of censorship on the PS4 version, which is totally untrue. All versions will be the same and it was a huge misunderstanding.
“Coming back to the sexiness of the game, it’s on the same level as DOA 5, and there are some adjustments possible. We’ll take the community’s feedback to patch the game and making it more or less… Excessive, if need be. Like the extent of the deterioration of the clothes, that we can adjust fairly easily. What I’m saying is that we didn’t censor ourselves and stuck to DOA 5’s level, but the door’s open to adjustments if the community dislikes something. Please trust us !”
What’s odd is that he says that the sexiness will be on Dead or Alive 5’s level, but in the comparison videos it was quite clear that the clothing destruction was not on Dead or Alive 5’s level, as demonstrated by YouTuber Todo 1996.
But maybe Shimbori is referring to the final version of Dead or Alive 6 and not the current version that people have seen and played where the armor breaks are limited?
Also, this seems to contradict what was mentioned in the GNN interview, where it was noted that there would be different specs and content for the different versions of the game, but it wasn’t clarified which versions of the game were being discussed.
To quote the translation from the Siliconera article…
“Regarding how the different versions on the game will differ in terms of presentation, Shimbori stated that there will be official announcements soon, including differences in specs and content.”
It’s still unclear what different “specs” and “content” refers to, or what needs to be clarified regarding the different versions of the game having different kinds of presentation.
When Shimbori was asked about the platform differences or possible censorship he said that players will need to be patient and he couldn’t answer at the moment.
— しんぼり (@shimbori_x) January 13, 2019
However, it could have been in reference to his interview with Kayane going up where he addresses the matter.
This isn’t the first time this has happened, though.
It started back on June 9th, 2018 with an interview that Shimbori had with Famitsu. In the interview Shimbori claimed that they took inspiration from American comic books, like the ones Marvel makes, to focus more on “cool” instead of “sexy”. DualShockers translated the interview, where Shimbori stated…
“The images of the characters will focus on “cool” as the team heard from the fans at EVO 2017 the opinion that the girls were a bit too sexy and it was embarrassing to play, the request was to make a game that look cooler. Team Ninja wants everyone to be proud of playing Dead or Alive.”
During this time Shimbori maintained the team’s stance on toning down the sexy appeal. On July 10th, 2018 in an interview with Gamespot, Shimbori gave the infamous quote about reducing the boob size on some of the girls to make them appear more human, saying…
“The boobs are smaller as opposed to before because we wanted the girls to appear more human. We don’t want to reshape them smaller or larger just on a whim,”
There was a further contradiction in a piece published on August 4th, 2018, where Kotaku noted that Shimbori stated that they weren’t just reducing the sexiness due to e-sports but more-so to match world trends, saying….
“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.”
Later, in an interview with Anime News Network, back on September 4th, 2018, Shimbori claimed that there was a “misunderstanding” regarding the reduction of the sexiness even after he stated in multiple interviews that they were toning down the sexiness and focusing on “intense” fighting entertainment to match “world trends“, saying…
“There’s a fair bit of negative feedback, but I also think there’s some misunderstanding. Keep in mind, we haven’t revealed everything about DoA6 yet. Don’t be so down, fans!”
However, Shimbori was also cited as saying that they were removing the OMG Mode for the physics because they didn’t want that kind of exaggerated feature in the game because it was taken too far. In fact, he told DualShockers on October 10th, 2018…
“[…] Elements like violence and sexiness are perceived differently by different people, so we plan to include some options they can select. In terms of the OMG mode, that was a little bit too exaggerated in DEAD OR ALIVE 5, so we don’t think it’s fitting and we don’t plan on including that in DEAD OR ALIVE 6.”
And he also mentioned that the overt fan-service was being toned down because it caused them trouble in the past, and it was better suited for Dead or Alive Xtreme 3, which is why they were toning it down for Dead or Alive 6. In fact, in an interview published on September 6th, 2018, Shimbori told WCCF Tech…
“[…] One of the major aims was to tone down the features of the women which caused some trouble in the past. Our aim is to show this as a real fighting game. To do this, we are using a new engine for the game. This has helped the push on the visuals, the engine letting the game look more realistic.”
This was in contradiction to an interview with Game Informer that was published on October 4th, 2018, where Shimbori stated that there was a misunderstanding about the sexiness in the game, and that they weren’t removing it or toning it down, and that it was only 70% complete at the time, but that fan-service was still very much a part of the series, saying….
“Depending on the outfit itself and the material, whether it’s solid material or soft cloth, it will be different. We look at the way the body moves, not just the breasts, but other elements, too. We are really looking to show more natural body movement. With this current build now, it’s probably only 70 percent implemented into the way it’s going to be in the end. It’s not something that we’re trying to put in people’s faces, ‘Oh, look at the breast movements!’ or anything. However, it is an element of the game that fans of the series do tend to be geared toward. We’re working within our fan expectations, and we do want to dispel any rumors that there is no movement whatsoever. That’s been a misunderstanding.
“We also hope people don’t just focus on a specific body part because we are putting a lot of effort into the entire character, right down to facial animations, bruises, scratches, and sweat.”
There’s been a deluge of information about Dead or Alive 6 since last summer, but not all of it has been consistent.
We also have multiple interviews from different outlets where Shimbori says they’re toning down the sexiness or that the sexiness isn’t being toned down. Quite naturally some people are confused.
(Thanks for the news tip Richard Pell)