Koei Tecmo Plants Their Foot Clean In It
Posted by Rory
Dead Or Alive as a franchise has copped a lot of flak over the past few years for its reliance on tittilation. Whether it’s as innovators of accurate breast physics in fighting games, or as purveyors of similarly bouncy beach volleyball spinoff franchise DOA Xtreme, the franchise is a very easy target for the games press of today’s focus on gender equality and social justice.
In an admirable move, the management at Koei Tecmo has responded to such criticism, with a major graphical overhaul in DOA5 aimed at eliminating the ‘Barbie doll’ look of its female fighters, partnered with the “I’m A Fighter” marketing campaign, repackaging their game as a more serious contender in the FGC. In step with that, the latest edition of the aforementioned volleyball game was announced to be sold only throughout Asia, skipping the English speaking markets. That, if you ask me, is a good move; like I’m A Fighter it draws attention more tightly to the core aspect of the franchise, and makes it easier for tournament organisers to promote the game as part of their line up.
That changed a few hours ago, when the franchise’s official Facebook page broke the official silence on why it wasn’t going to happen:
There’s very little other way to read this: the game isn’t coming to the West because the company knows it will get torn to shreds for it. While we’re waiting for this steaming load of shit to hit the proverbial fan, let me run through why this is such a bad move.
Up until now Koei Tecmo refused to comment on exactly why the game wouldn’t see a Western release, and frankly that was fine. It gave the impression that KT owned the decision, that they made the move of their own volition. Most importantly, it gave its upset fans no other target for their anger but them; in a sense, KT were taking responsibility for the call. Now that’s all out the window, and KT looks like just another company that has capitulated to the evil fun-hating social justice body police.
Let’s be clear here, everyone knew the reason it wouldn’t see the light of day in the West. From a business and cultural standpoint, not releasing the game here is a smart move. But so long as the reasoning behind it wasn’t officially confirmed, the reactionary crowd eager to blame social justice were kept comparatively quiet. This Facebook post has effectively unleashed the hounds, which in the long run just makes everyone involved look bad.
Moreover, it’s pinning the blame on a group of people that, surprise surprise, includes fans of Dead Or Alive, who can’t help but feel a little betrayed.
— Sophia Eris (@HiddenTara) November 25, 2015
Hey @KoeiTecmoUS – I’m a feminist and I’ve actually advocated the DOA series. Thanks for throwing me under the bus there.
— Elizabeth DeLoria (@elizabethdanger) November 25, 2015
As someone engaged in trying to get people playing fighting games, it’s incidents like this that make my job just that little bit harder. To one half of a disturbingly black-and-white cultural divide, DOA may always be ‘that game with bouncing boobies’. Now to the other side of that equation DOA is going to be the franchise that laid down to those opposite.
The whole matter has unfortunately damaged the franchise even further, and frankly there’s no easy way out of it. The most we can hope for is for a screenshot of that post being saved to a PowerPoint presentation awaiting the new social media guy at KT, with a bold red headline reading “What Not To Do”.