I'm skeptical Dead or Alive 6 will stick with scaling back sexual content, because of history and bikini wedgies

Wasn't joking about the bikini wedgies part, the footage was just released days ago

Posted by Jonathan 'Catalyst' Grey • June 23, 2018 at 7:04 p.m. PDT

Ever since the Dead or Alive 6 team said "we made a conscious decision to make the characters less sexualized," I've been pretty skeptical of their claims, mostly due to how DoA5 turned out.

It has less to do with the sheer amount of sexual content in Dead or Alive 5, but the statements that Team Ninja made before that game was released, and then later started walking back.

I'll say flat out, up front, there's nothing wrong with sexual content. There's a time and place for it, and one of those places has typically been the Dead or Alive franchise. It's often what the series is well known for, and what longtime fans expect.

Even though people may not own up to that being a reason they play these games, like when gamers asked for more male costumes, but instead bought the bathing suits, the bottom line is sexual content is a pretty established norm for the franchise.

There's also no issue with toning down the sexual content of your games — if that's truly your intention.

My problem here is that I think Team Ninja is being a bit deceptive with their statements, based on remarks they made a few years back. Before we get into those though, I just want to remind everyone of what Dead or Alive 5's costumes looked like, a game which was still being supported up until December 2017.

Sexy outfits in Dead or Alive 5 image #1 Sexy outfits in Dead or Alive 5 image #2 Sexy outfits in Dead or Alive 5 image #3
Click images for larger versions

History is not on their side

"The old team was known for making games that just had two primary elements: Sex and violence. It was very obvious. The new team, we want to take it to a new level -- to a direction that contains emotional experiences that can move players," Team Ninja's Yosuke Hayashi told Gamasutra back in February 2012.

"We've always had the sex factor in the game; in the past, the female characters had to have big breasts, they had to have scanty dress," he added. "In DoA5 especially, we're trying to focus on the real women that surround us; the voice of a female, the mannerisms. We are being realistic about it."

"We want to show something that's more high class, that adult males of our generation could look at a woman [character] and be impressed with her as a woman, not just as a pin-up. That's what we wanted to tell our fans," concluded Hayashi.

Clearly, some things changed during Dead or Alive 5's lifespan...

Some seven months later, still in 2012, Team Ninja was humming a different tune.

"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," Team Ninja's Shimbori told Gamasutra.

But once fans of the series got to play the DoA5 demo included with Ninja Gaiden 3, things shifted.

"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," said Shimbori. "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," he added.

NSFW: Oh yeah, this just came out...

While I fully understand that Dead or Alive Xtreme Beach Volleyball is not an entry in their fighting game series — this is the same franchise.

This video was published on June 21, 2018, a few days ago, on the official Koei Tecmo YouTube channel.

The content here is pretty NSFW. It includes bikini wedgies and other sorts of proactive clothing play.

While I don't think it's completely impossible that Team Ninja stays the course they've laid out for toning down Dead or Alive 6's sexy content, history shows us we should be very skeptical of these claims.

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