Dead or Alive 6 Tones Down The Sexy, Director Explains Why

dead or alive 6
(Photo: Koei Tecmo)

Last week, Koei Tecmo and Team Ninja announced a brand-new installment in the latter's 22-year-old fighting game series Dead or Alive.

The sixth mainline entry, Dead or Alive 6 was revealed in the build-up prior to E3, and has had its fair share of controversy since.

If you didn't notice said controversy, you're not alone. And that's because we aren't dealing with mainstream controversy, but rather controversy within the game's hardcore fan base.

So what are people upset about? Well, Dead or Alive 6 will tone back the series' "sexiness." And some people aren't very happy about it.

As you may remember, when Dead or Alive 5 launched back in 2012, it did so with a similar pitch of less sexy, and more focus on fighting. In an attempt to change the game's reputation, female fighters were depicted first and foremost as warriors, not as templates for fan-service.

However, with each subsequent DLC release the image of the game drifted more and more back towards the "fighting game with the revealing costumes." This was met with its own bit of controversy within the game's community, but for the most part Dead or Alive 5 had a very successful stint of DLC releases.

And now Dead or Alive 6 is coming, and once again Team Ninja is toning down the sexy. Speaking to Game Informer, Dead or Alive 6's director Yohei Shimbori elaborated on why the developer is making the change, and whether or not the game's inevitable DLC will just walk things back again.

"This is a work in progress, a prototype, so we might change in the future," said Shimbori. "For this version, we still have Kasumi with her previous costumes, and there are some parts that are going to jiggle or move, but we want to make it a lot more natural. That is one goal, to make movement very natural. Also, each character has a very strong personality and we want to emphasize that.

"Of course we're going to tone down at this point, but for downloadable content, we have to see what gamers really want, what their response is. Not all the gamers want the same thing, but we want to ask their opinions, all of them, and get feedback on it. Having said that, Dead or Alive 5: Last Round, we put [sexuality] on the front line and used the soft engine [an engine that was used in DOA5 for "advanced" butt and breast jiggling] for that. And actually, we're reflecting on that… maybe we did a little too much. Of course, we will have some jiggling and some movement, but as a whole we're going to tone down.

"To sum it up, this is going to be going for a very cool, mature look compared to the other games. Also, very natural, not just for the characters, but for the stages, backgrounds, renderings, and everything that we want to make very consistent with a mature, natural look."

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Jiggle confirmed, but a little less jiggle than we've previously seen in other words. Shimbori notes that nothing is leaving from the game, it's just being toned down. As for whether it will be toned back up in the future for DLC, the director doesn't say definitively one way or another. It will be up to the fans, he says. If it's the same fans that gobbled up previous DLC, I reckon a toning up is in the cards.

Dead or Alive 6 is poised to release in 2019 via PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC. You can read our positive hands-on impression of the game here.