The Dead or Alive franchise, Team Ninja and Koei Tecmo’s flagship fighting franchise, while an excellent fighting game, mind you, has always gotten a bad rap because, as the saying goes, it’s easy to judge a book by its cover. Once gamers see the unrealistic proportions of the female fighters, they immediately dismiss it. They see all the bouncing boobies and the skimpy outfits and they immediately don’t take it seriously.
Rather than try to convince gamers that its a really serious and deep fighter, Team Ninja decided to take the opposite approach… and make a game featuring their buxom bombshells (and none of the males) and have them take a vacation in a lush tropical island paradise so they can freely frolic in their teeny little bikinis… while gamers can ogle them to their hearts content. This is the Dead or Alive Xtreme series. Right now, the 3rd installment, aptly titled Dead or Alive Xtreme 3, is slated for release in Japan and Asian territories this February… but not in any Western locations.
When this news was made public, there was a minor uproar. Some gamers went on social media claiming censorship or that Koei Tecmo should be “brave” enough to publish Dead or Alive Xtreme 3 (abbreviated into DOAX3) in Western territories. According to Team Ninja’s Facebook page, they’re not bringing the game to the United States and Europe because, basically, they’re afraid of a backlash of being called sexist. And, honestly, while I may not like their decision, I understand their point of view.
The depiction of sexy female video game characters have become a hot button topic within the gaming community thanks to the Gamergate controversy. Sure, the entire topic has died down but there are still a lot of supporters on both sides of the Gamergate issue. People have become rather sensitive of the topic of “sexy video games” due to the abundance of “social justice warriors” who are going to jump at the chance by stating DOAX3 is what’s wrong with gaming today.
Would this outcry from these so-called SWJ community hurt sales in Western territories? I’m no market analyst but I don’t think so. In fact, I think all the commotion it would bring about may actually improve sales of DOAX3 in the United States and Europe. They would want to see what the game’s all about! Koei Tecmo may run into a problem with getting a Teen rating from the ESRB because of it but I don’t think even giving DOAX3 a Mature rating will slow sales if there was enough press about it. After all, there’s no such thing as bad publicity. However, the risk is still there that some retailers may refuse to sell the game if public outcry becomes too loud.
If you really think about it, there’s no real need for Koei Tecmo to take the risk, even if you consider how small a risk it is. DOAX3 already has a fanbase and gamers who love the game will go ahead and get the game no matter what. With practically all games being region free nowadays, importing a game is incredibly simple and hassle free. There’s no need to mod your console to play a Asian/Japanese regoin game on a US/EU console. And I think Koei Tecmo are going to be betting on the import market to ensure DOAX3 is going to be a success around the world, despite not getting a Western release
I, for one, am actually looking forward to getting Dead or Alive Xtreme 3 for the PS4. Yes, it may seem like a totally sexist game and you can make all the perv jokes you want. But the series is so damn fun to play that I will proudly proclaim that I love the series. And I’m guessing there are a lot more people willing to proclaim their love for it by going online and importing the game themselves.
Thankfully, I live in Asia. I won’t have to go through the hassle.
Are you getting Dead or Alive Xtreme 3 despite it not getting a Western release? Let me know in the comments section below.