Having a non-sexualised Dead or Alive game would be about as odd as a R3 note. The series has always been the domain of overly-sexualised characters and chest-related physics that were gleaned from an issue of Hustler. Dead or Alive 5 was actually going to step away from that design, but those plans were put on hold when the fans heard about them, and threw a prompt hissy fit, most likely chanting in unison, “MOAR BEWBS!”.
“We were getting feedback from the overseas offices to tone down the sexuality – to tone down the sexiness of the game, and of the characters,” director Yohei Shimbori said to Gamasutra.
We actually got a lot of feedback from people who were playing it, saying, ‘We want bigger breasts. Make the characters more like that.’ That was kind of surprising.
There’s definitely still room for having sexualized aspects. If you have a solid fighting game system there, there’s nothing wrong with having beautiful characters as a layer on top of that – that’s another layer of entertainment that there’s a need for. If there wasn’t a need for it, people wouldn’t have responded to the alpha demo like they did, and send us feedback.
So, in order to appease the fans, Team Ninja then decided to ditch the more realistic designs, and inject a ton more silicone into their female characters, thanks also in part to the negative backlash that Ninja Gaiden 3 received upon release.
“One of the things that I learned was the power of having a series behind you, and what it means to be part of a series. There are existing fans out there, and you have to think about the people who have supported the series for so long, and you want to make sure that the game that you make appeals to them first, and satisfies those fans first,” Shimbori said, regarding the dismal performance of the legendary franchise, which traded in challenge for auto-pilot hack and slash gameplay .
As a director, I really try to take fan feedback into account. I really try to keep an open mind.
Dead or Alive 5 is out today, on PS3 and Xbox 360. And it’s eyes are up here.