Team Ninja has Eyes on eSports
Dead or Alive has always been, first and foremost, a fighting game franchise. I think. So, in order to take things to the next level, Team Ninja thought it might be necessary to tone down the sexual imagery.
In an interview with Polygon, designer Yohei Shimbori talked about Dead or Alive 6’s transition away from jiggly boob physics. The devs had eSports in mind when designing the new installment and decided that the raunchy visuals of previous games made marketing difficult. That said, large busts and thunder thighs are still prevalent in the roster. Team Ninja had to reconcile the mainstream with their fandom, one way or another.
“There have been a lot of changes in the world in recent years, and I decided that we should reflect those changes by resetting our approach to sexual imagery, after Dead or Alive 5,” Shimbori said. “It’s given us an opportunity to focus on other aspects of the characters’ design, which helps us to think clearly about what we want to do to attract new players while keeping our fans happy.”
When Dead or Alive 6 was announced, last year, the devs also revealed a new engine. Sure the physics have changed, but the team may have earned some extra grace with their updated graphics. When the beta went live on the PlayStation Network, its received quite a few positive ratings.
“We had a lot of meetings to talk about these changes,” Shimbori said. “Sexual imagery has been a part of the series’ image and its marketing, but things change. That kind of imagery is less acceptable than it was, and can even mean that some media outlets don’t want to show those images. So we changed.”
Shimbori also alluded to the insane gore visible in Mortal Kombat 11. While exaggerated in a different visual realm, he believes NetherRealm would adapt to the market if forced. “If that sort of imagery became unfashionable, they would change too,” he told Polygon.
Do you believe Dead or Alive 5’s jiggle physics and imagery were out of whack? What are your thoughts on Shimbori’s interview and Dead or Alive 6? Comment down below.