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Dead or Alive Xtreme 3 Still Not Releasing in US, Koei Tecmo Makes Excuses [Updated]

Koei Tecmo would rather you get angry at someone else for Dead or Alive Xtreme 3's lack of North American release.

Analysis by Mike Williams, .

Update: Koei Tecmo has released an official statement tackling the comments made by a KT community manager that set off social media firestorm. The statement was released via Koei Tecmo America's official Twitter account.

The statement says that the previous comments made were incorrect, but doesn't clarify the situation much beyond that. Probably, because saying "We don't think the game will sell well in the West" or "We have a Western release planned far after the Japan and Asian release" would probably ignite their fanbase in angry cries.

We've known for some time that Dead or Alive Xtreme 3, the gravure idol on vacation spinoff title for the Dead or Alive fighting series, was not heading to the West. The game is coming to Asia in two versions, Dead or Alive Xtreme 3: Fortune for PlayStation 4 and Dead or Alive Xtreme 3: Venus for PS Vita. Koei Tecmo said they had no plans to release in the game in the United States, unless they saw significant fan demand for the series.

Last week, in response to a fan asking if DOAX3 would be heading West, the official Dead or Alive community channel on Facebook replied that the company was not releasing the game due to potential criticism.

"We do not bring DOAX3 to the west and won't have any plan change in the future. Thank you for asking," said the community channel. "Do you know many issues happening in video game industry with regard to how to treat female in video game industry? We do not want to talk those things here. But certainly we have gone through in last year or two to come to our decision. Thank you."

Here's the thing though. That reasoning doesn't pass the smell test. It's bullshit, pure and simple.

It's not much.

See, this is a spinoff of the main Dead or Alive series, which saw the release of Dead or Alive 5: Last Round earlier in the year. That title was the culmination of everything DOA5, featuring a ton of risque DLC costumes and the Private Paradise mode, which allowed you to simply watch your chosen female character in any available costume. It's damn near the same as DOAX3's primary selling point.

So obviously any backlash aimed at Koei Tecmo would've been similar? Unless you're arguing that there's been a huge shift in the industry in the past months? So let's see what that backlash entails. Here's a quick Google search for "dead or alive 5 last round sexist".

Number three is a personal blog that attempts to paint this huge backlash by pointing out reviews from Metro UK, The Independent, and Gamer.nl. That's all we really got.

Some have surmised that Koei Temco is worried primarily about Marie Rose being one of the headlining characters in Dead or Alive Xtreme 3. Again, the gothic lolita character already factored into DOA5's Private Paradise mode and shares ages with Honoka (both are 18-year old high schoolers), who gets far more sexualized costumes since we're being honest. Perhaps they're worried because Marie Rose is presented as a more childlike character, but her presentation in the early DOAX3 screenshots isn't much different from some of her costumes for Last Round. Her second default outfit and the Hot Summer, New Challengers, Tamiki Wakaki DLC outfits all tread the same ground. Koei Tecmo weathered the intense storm and furor surrounding those costumes (there wasn't one), so what's the problem now?

So it's not a backlash to DOA in particular. What else did Koei Tecmo release this year? How about Ar NoSurge Plus for PlayStation Vita? Deception IV for PlayStation 4 and Vita? The company released Yoru no Nai Kuni in Japan last month and they later announced that the PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4, and PlayStation Vita title was heading West in the beginning of 2016, under the title Nights of Azure. So it can't just be content that's giving Koei Tecmo pause, because they've shown via releases surrounding DOAX3 that they really don't care.

Perhaps it's sales? That was my original guess. Dead or Alive 5: Last Round didn't set the charts on fire and Koei Tecmo probably assumes that DOAX3's userbase will comprised mostly of DOA fans. Scaling the sales down from DOA5, they perhaps realized the game wouldn't sell all that much. But look at those games above. Ar No Surge, Deception IV, and Nights of Azure aren't setting the world on fire. Neither is Nobunaga's Ambition: Sphere of Influence going to become a sales blockbuster. I'd surmise that DOAX3 might sell more than most of those titles, but I could be wrong.

That leaves two different options. The first is Koei Tecmo doesn't care. They've assumed it's not even worth offering as a digital release in North America. The Asian version of Dead or Alive Xtreme 3 will have English as an option and the PlayStation 4 is region-free. Import the game and you'll have no issues playing it. Perhaps the company thinks that's enough for the appreciable user base.

The second option is this is a marketing ploy. The story gets out and Koei Temco gets a bit of heat for a title that otherwise would've been missed by anyone other than DOA's most fervent fans. People will make purchases in anger or to make a point that they wouldn't otherwise. Since they don't have to point to a specific person or campaign that somehow scared them off, no harm, no foul.

If a worry about criticism is Koei Tecmo's problem, I have a newsflash for them. We're a global community now, folks. If someone is going to criticize Dead or Alive Xtreme 3 for its handling of women, they really don't need a North American release to make an argument. Most of the content in the game will be up on YouTube in short order and they could import it regardless. Criticism will happen because people are allowed to say they don't like a thing. Using that as a reason to not release a game merely shows that you have no faith in that product. It's an out for the company, to deflect backlash they'd get from their fans towards another target.

Dead or Alive Xtreme 3 is not coming West because Koei Tecmo decided that it didn't make business sense to release it here. That's on them. If you want it, the pressure should remain on them, where it belongs, not on some vague boogeyman they're trying to sell you.

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Comments 63

  • Avatar for gordallott #1 gordallott A year ago
    I don't think I can get behind the reasoning of this piece, it seems to want to put words in koei's metaphorical mouth with out the substance to back it up.

    If the game is already in English why not do a digital only release? That wouldn't incur significant costs and would cover the sales even if they are poor. It's almost certainly not a marketing ploy if they aren't even releasing here and they have more clout than that.

    Maybe they are just being honest, there have been a fair few games go through the wringers on twitter and the blogosphere as it were that are far less blatantly sexual and objectifying than this particular game. Maybe they see the potential outcry and don't want to bring their brand and company into that.

    This seems like a more plausible reasoning than the logic outlined in this piece
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  • Avatar for MHWilliams #2 MHWilliams A year ago
    @gordallott Then how does that square with the other games outlined in the article, that are also released by Koei Tecmo? What potential outcry could there be that was somehow missing with DOA5?
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  • Avatar for MetManMas #3 MetManMas A year ago
    Personally I don't really care one way or another if DOAX3 comes stateside. Who needs some game with sleazy CERO-compliant borderline porn when the Internet has lots of ACTUAL PORN for free?

    But I agree, Koei-Tecmo's excuse for not bringing it over is full of crap, especially given the other games they release. It's more likely that DOA Xtreme is just not as reliable a money printer in western territories as its DOA fighters are.

    Speaking of other games they release, I'm still very disappointed by how Deception was revived as some sleazy fetish dungeon game with ladies in stupid outfits. I liked the series better when it was comparatively more grounded macabre medieval fantasy in the PSone days. I thought Trapt was just an awkward juvenile phase, but no, that's what they used as inspiration for reviving the series after its long hiatus.
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  • Avatar for Damman #4 Damman A year ago
    I would rule out a marketing ploy, given that this sounds like an offhand response in the facebook community. It rather depends on who is replying there. Is it a developer that is hearing this reasoning down the line from Koei Tecmo execs? Is it a community manager speaking candidly after having been on the community side of previous releases.

    I'm sure meager sales predictions play a significant part in the decision not to do the work to put the game on sale over here. Regardless that an english translation is done, there is some amount of work and cost still required to prepare the game for a Western release.

    To offer my own speculation, I would guess that the expected reception/backlash is something on the minds of the production team. Perhaps no one within the company has decided to champion a Western release because of the history of scrutiny this series in particular has received, combined with the fact that it's not likely to light up any sales charts. I rather doubt a simple release would raise much of a stink, barring some poorly thought out marketing (like the Onechanbara boob demo at TGS) or especially unpleasant developer quotes taking off. Either way it's a business decision not to bring it over, so I'm already planning to ignore any cries of censorship on the issue.
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  • Avatar for mr-faramir #5 mr-faramir A year ago
    @MetManMas I need it, is that a problem :(
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  • Avatar for gordallott #6 gordallott A year ago
    @MHWilliams I think in my mind and maybe koei's there is a distinct difference between the games they make that are games first and titillation second and the beach volleyball series that firmly sits in the titillation first camp.

    If they were and seemingly are worried about this series in particular I would be understanding.

    More to the point, why would they bring it up at all if it wasn't a concern?

    I just don't like the idea of saying it's nonsense when it's more likely one of many reasons, the reason given included. Assuming this reasoning speaks for the developer and isn't just the opinion of one employee
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  • Avatar for BlazeHedgehog #7 BlazeHedgehog A year ago
    If Koei Tecmo wants to start paying attention to this kind of stuff right here, right now, with Dead or Alive Extreme 3, then I have no problem with that.

    It's not even like they're especially good games. It's a minigame collection peppered with bits of a dating sim, and all of that takes a back seat to being able to stare at women. Like, the Youtube embed of the trailer alone lingers considerably on butts and chests.

    If this is their line in the sand on this kind of content, I will gladly respect that.
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  • Avatar for Roto13 #8 Roto13 A year ago
    @MHWilliams DOA5 is a fighting game with a bunch of tits in it. Those other games are RPGs (I assume) with a bunch of tits in them. DOAX3 is just tits. They don't even bother to put the word "Volleyball" in the title any more. They're not even pretending. DOAX3 is about one thing and one thing only.
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  • Avatar for docexe #9 docexe A year ago
    @MHWilliams Yeah, like other commenters here have stated, you could argue that DOAX3 is way more… well, “sleazier” I suppose, than DOA5 or the other games mentioned in this piece.

    Even with the amount of titillation included in DOA5, it’s still a solid fighting game with great production values and it has its share of fans that don’t play it only for the female cast and the revealing outfits.

    With the DOAX subseries on the other hand, the central point genuinely is to ogle the female characters in the revealing outfits. In that sense, I think it would genuinely experience bigger backlash from certain sectors of the internet than the other games mentioned in this piece.

    Mind you, I still don’t think the possibility of that backlash is reason enough to not release it here in the West, and Koei-Tecmo would actually look quite… well, cowardly if they refused to release it merely out of fear of some controversy.

    I think it’s more likely that they just don’t genuinely expect it to sell that much, even for a niche game.
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  • Avatar for thewonps #10 thewonps A year ago
    I'll cop to it and say I enjoy the DOA series as much for its arcade action as for its titilation. It's a guilty pleasure, it's entertainment, I'm an adult, it's not warping my brain, period. I can almost say for certain that Mike's point about Marie Rose is factoring heavily into KT's decision not to release this game in the west. As a fan of the series, I'd like to point out that the characters represented in DOAX3 were chosen via a Japan-only fan poll. Most of DOA5's DLC characters catered specifically to niche Japanese tastes, namely Marie Rose, Honoka, and Nyotengu, and they are all in Xtreme 3. In fact, Helena is the only identifiably non-Japanese character who made it into DOAX3. Since Team Ninja is just porting these characters over from the "Soft Engine" used in Last Round, I think an easy way around the controversy they foresee is to simply take Marie Rose out of the game and rejigger the cast to include some of the more identifably "western" mainstay characters like Tina, Lisa, and Christie, who are already familiar to people who played the previous Xbox-exclusive entries but were effectively demoted in order to chase the almighty loli dollar. Marie Rose placed a clear #1 in the fan poll but I'm inclined to believe a character like that has much more limited appeal in the west and those in the west who are fans of that type of character will have already imported it anyway. Not trying to make broad generalizations about preferences about what are ultimately polygonal models, but I absolutely find characters like Tina and Lisa attractive and their appeal is a big reason why I've been a fan of this series. Marie Rose makes me uncomfortable and her loss would be a negligible one to most of the Western market.
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  • Avatar for Darji #11 Darji A year ago
    Let us not forget that the games you just named are very niche games. You can not really speak of niche here anymore. And this is the difference. A game like Deception will never cause he interest of common folks. Dead or Alive on the other hand is a total different beast. The moment it would be released here the press and some famous blogger will jump on this game like it is the devil. They will write petitions so target and co will not sell it anymore and so on.

    No it is really not that easy. Lets go for Polygon for example. Which is clearly a site which will give a very negative review. And Polygon is sadly on Metacritic. Metacritic is a very important measure for the industry. These days contracts are depending on Metacritic as well.

    And then let us not forget the recent censorship regarding several Games like Xenoblade, Fatal frame, Bravely default etc. The current atmosphere in the West regarding video games is just too toxic for Tecmo to even try it. It would be image suicide for the west to try it. Especially with a character which many uninformed people call a child because she has small boobs.

    Play Asia also agrees with this.
    Edited 3 times. Last edited November 2015 by Darji
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  • Avatar for Rosewood #12 Rosewood A year ago
    Mike says above when he looked for controversy surrounding DOA5, he didn't find very much. I think people's fear of backlash is far greater than the reality would ever be.

    DOAX in particular has a reputation for (1) not being all that good as games (2) having only one intent in mind. As targets for backlash or critique goes, this is the lowest of low-hanging fruit.

    For me--and I speak for no one but myself, and why must this kind of statement be prefaced in this way?--the games that are much more worthy of critique in this regard are ones that are otherwise good or excellent, but in passing kind of cuff you on the face a little bit, not very hard, mind you, just gently reminding you of your proper place in the world.
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  • Avatar for Darji #13 Darji A year ago
    @Rosewood You also do not see much backlash about Japanese video games released in Japan because A. They totally understand that they can do jackshit about it and B. Most of these Journalists (Gies for example) or blogger have outside of the mainstream very little understanding of released video games.

    The scene in Japan is a totally different one and these people do not even know exists in the adult scene category for example. Because this is where it gets really ugly.Edited November 2015 by Darji
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  • Avatar for MHWilliams #14 MHWilliams A year ago
    @Darji Once again, DOA5 literally released earlier this year. No major issues.

    Here's Polygon on DOA 5 (https://www.google.com/webhp?sourceid=chrome-instant&ion=1&espv=2&es_th=1&ie=UTF-8#q=polygon%20dead%20or%20alive%205&es_th=1). Whole bunch of nothing other than news.Edited November 2015 by MHWilliams
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  • Avatar for Darji #15 Darji A year ago
    @MHWilliams DOA5 does not feature only sexualized women but also men. Also Does DOA5 for example feature a photo mode which basically makes it look like you are stalking them? I do not think so.

    Tecmos comment about why they are not releasing the game fits perfectly. They are even afraid of talking about it.

    Do you know many issues happening in video game industry with regard to how to treat female in video game industry? We do not want to talk those things here. But certainly we have gone through in last year or two to come to our decision. Thank you.Edited 2 times. Last edited November 2015 by Darji
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  • Avatar for MHWilliams #16 MHWilliams A year ago
    @Darji Yes. I pointed that out in the article and my review of the game. It's called Private Paradise mode. It's for female fighters only.
    Edited November 2015 by MHWilliams
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  • Avatar for sophita #17 sophita A year ago
    Speaking as a female gamer who has played the Dead or Alive series and even enjoyed it, I have to say it's awfully discouraging to see Toei basically blame feminists for their game not being released.

    (And, frankly, to act like there's some kind of feminist milita that will bar any game where they're not the target audience is...Insane. We're not the target gaming audience, we never have been. Some of us are still here anyway.)

    The game just doesn't make a lot of business sense to release in the west -- where gravure idol games don't sell particularly well, and are, at best, niche releases. Koei probably doesn't think it's worth the money to advertise the game, especially since it doesn't seem to have much western appeal -- the last DoAX sold extremely poorly. The audience who is interested in a product that is mainly about ogling Japanese babes is certainly not going to hesitate at importing it, so...who else would possibly buy this if it came out in America?Edited November 2015 by sophita
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  • Avatar for Kuni-Nino #18 Kuni-Nino A year ago
    Frankly, I'm struggling with the tone of the article. All the comparisons to DOA5 are problematic seeing as how that game is bordering on being like four years old. The skeevy DLC was something for the fans who wanted it. Nobody was going to pay attention to swimsuit DLC in a fighting game that is not Street Fighter and was releasing in the winter with all the other mega blockbusters.

    Also, think of what DOA5 was and how it was marketed. It was originally marketed as back to basics for the series that de-emphasized the sexuality by a good amount. You want proof? Look at the launch costumes. Look at the story mode. It was pretty straight forward.

    I bring this up because it's evidence that Koei-Tecmo thinks about how the series is being seen. DOA5 was a fighting game first and was marketed as such. What is DOAX3?

    How would you market it Mike? Honestly. Personally, I can see where it could run into issues. I can see it being fodder for click bait on gaming websites and I can see it becoming the lynchpin of many jokes about content in this industry. It's soooo easy to get this wrong. I mean, look at what Street Fighter V did with Mika and Cammy as soon as people started complaining about cleavage and asses. Capcom dialed it back.

    The controversy is real. The blogosphere holds real power and those people have voices that can shift perception. It's not something to be taken lightly so I can believe that, yes, Tecmo and Team Ninja don't want to deal with it right now. DOAX3 is a hard sell in this climate.

    I like your even-handed approach to these topics, Mike. However, I think you're reaching here. You're calling bullshit and you're speculating on motives when there isn't enough information. All we have to go on is a Facebook post in broken English that may or not be by a developer. We don't have Tecmo's financial reports. We don't have information on possible sell-through. We don't even have information on what the game is going to offer at this point.

    It's possible we get an international version with expanded content sometime down the road; perhaps a version of the game with all the females instead of just the nine selected. Who knows? There's really nothing to go on.
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  • Avatar for Darji #19 Darji A year ago
    @sophita that is the case with many games. And a game like DOAX sold pretty ok in the West. We have much smaller games from Japan which sell even less. GAmes which have not really any publicity. However DOAX is on a whole other level since it is a spin off of a also well known fight game. The fear of social justice backlash is pretty real these days That is why games like Xenoblade, Fatal Frame 5 and Bravely second and Street Fighter V has been censored in the last weeks as well.

    DOAX in general is a great target for people like Anita because it is a well established series. This is the writer of fem freq who has to say this.



    Yes we are global but people like Anita only care about games released here because they know exactly that no one cares about her Opinion in Japan.
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  • Avatar for Tetragrammaton #20 Tetragrammaton A year ago
    @captainN2 Worth thinking about: Playboy is stopping the cheesecake. They haven't put nude photos on their website since August, and are going to stop printing them by like March '16 or something. Their web traffic has apparently jumped to 16 million/month since then, so it seems that people really do want to read Playboy for the articles.

    (by the way, love the name. Kevin Keene 4 Smash!)
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  • Avatar for MHWilliams #21 MHWilliams A year ago
    @Kuni-Nino The comparison to DOA5 Last Round is apt. You attempt to paint this as an old game, but Last Round was intended as a major release for Koei Tecmo. It was every bit as important as any other title in their slate. From their 2014 annual report:

    Their marketing for the title did not shy away from what Last Round is: equal parts fighting, costume extravaganza, and shapely simulator.

    How would I market DOAX3? I wouldn't. I'd release some trailers for the fans and release it digitally. It's not an outreach title. It's a niche game, like Nights of Azure, Atelier Escha and Logy Plus, Samurai Warriors 4, Nobunaga's Ambition; most of Koei Tecmo's slate.

    The truth is, we're not their focus. Koei Tecmo brings over these titles, but the overseas market is 22% of their overall revenue at best. That's across North America, Europe, and Asia. We're a fraction of Japanese sales and that's not even completely attributable to DLC sales.

    Here's Koei Tecmo's earnings by region for the first half of this year.

    Here's their plan for the full year.


    While they care about our territory, their global expansion plans are aimed largely at China, Taiwan, and Korea. Actually, looking at their presentation materials released last week, DOA Xtreme 3 isn't even mentioned, which seems rather odd. Last Round was mentioned in last year's 1H 2014 report.

    On the Capcom stuff, you mentioned, if "dialing back" in the face of "controversy" is amounted to changing some camera angles, I think we're fine. Mika and Cammy's designs are unchanged and again, where was the backlash? Search "Street Fighter R. Mika". This is pages 1 and 2.




    Most were news articles. One article is about the character really... our positive article. Then the rest is flailing because Capcom chose to change the camera angles itself. Add "sexist" to the search and you get FemHype, Odyssey Online, and The Mary Sue. This is the criticism that Capcom apparently twinged on and ran screaming from? (Note: Our article is still on the front page in that search.)

    And when I talk controversy, I mean actual controversies: Arkham Knight's launch of PC or Assassin's Creed Unity's lack of female character models. Even the Dragon's Crown furor actually had the taste of real controversy. Large ongoing discussions on a consistent topic, potentially with a negative tone. That's what gets things changed in a hurry. That's what scares publishers. There's been none of that here. Koei Tecmo has been blessedly untouched because no one really cares.

    This is a year that's had Ar No Surge+, Akiba's Trip, Onechanbara Z2, Senran Kagura: Deep Crimson, Senran Kagura: Estival Versus, Dungeon Travelers 2, Criminal Girls: Invite Only, Operation Abyss, Hyperdimension Neptunia Re;Birth1,2 and 3, Hyperdevotion Noire, and Omega Quintet with nary an issue and somehow this is one that's going to call down the fires of hell?

    If anything, Koei Tecmo has the opposite problem. DOA Xtreme 3 would likely come and go with little fanfare. Either way, if the specter of articles that don't like the game is really preventing them from releasing in the US, then again, they have no faith in the product or its sales potential.

    And I've reached out to Koei Tecmo for confirmation of the CM's post, but it honestly behooves them to simply stay quiet about it and reap the sales.Edited 2 times. Last edited November 2015 by MHWilliams
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  • Avatar for VotesForCows #22 VotesForCows A year ago
    @MHWilliams Great article Mike, I think you're absolutely right that Koei's response is disingenuous.
    Its kind of a shame the direction DoA has taken - I really enjoyed the earlier entries in the series. But its too embarassing to play them nowadays, especially sharing a house with my wife and daughter.
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  • Avatar for Darji #23 Darji A year ago
    @MHWilliams R. Mika was already censored in the latest build. They moved the camera up so you can only hear the Butt slap for example. And DOAX is on another level than a deception IV.

    Also have you looked at Twitter how "Journalists" already reacting though the Play Asia Tweets?

    http://blogjob.com/oneangrygamer/2015/11/former-ign-and-gamespot-journalists-threaten-play-asia-for-supporting-dead-or-alive-xtreme-3/

    Meanwhile the Hunipop Dev actually offers 1 Million for the publishing rights in the West.

    http://www.dualshockers.com/2015/11/25/dead-or-alive-xtreme-3-developer-offers-1000000-to-koei-tecmo-for-u-s-publishing-license/

    Also another method would be kickstarter. Especially Japanese focused games can make a ton of money there.Edited November 2015 by Darji
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  • Avatar for StevieWhite #24 StevieWhite A year ago
    I don't know if I'd call the excuse "bullshit." It's definitely not the ONLY factor they considered (as you noted, potential sales was DEFINITELY number one). I could very easily see anticipated audience reaction tipping one way or the other.

    DOA (in any of its forms) is a series that's bound to attract more eyeballs than Ar No Surge, Deception IV, and Nights of Azure.
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  • Avatar for JamesSwiftDay #25 JamesSwiftDay A year ago
    Great article Mike, you summed up a lot of my thoughts on the matter.

    DOAX3 seems a weird place for Koei Tecmo to draw a line on their faux-smut games, especially when it only concerns a Western release.
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  • Avatar for Spectreman #26 Spectreman A year ago
    Sorry, but this is press people totally in damage control mode. There is a lot of article putting pressure against games with sexualized women, including USGamer. Of course this causes problems to this kind of game not being released here.
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  • Avatar for mobilesworking #27 mobilesworking A year ago
    This is a tempest in a teapot. All this sturm und drang over meager details from a low-level employee. In fact, the GAF thread that launched this non-troversy was locked after a mod pointed out how thin the source material is. Calling bullshit on a community manager isn't much of a victory.
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  • Avatar for Kuni-Nino #28 Kuni-Nino A year ago
    @MHWilliams Illuminating post. Thanks for taking the time to write that.

    I still have questions about DOAX3 is going to be handled by KT. If it's not even showing up in their promotional material for the year, it's clear KT is having reservations about the game. I still think DOA will bring more eyeballs to KT than something like Neptunia and it's something you have to prepare for.

    Controversies don't only come in the form of articles. It's the conversations people have. If R-Mika's outfit wasn't a problem, then why did Nadia Oxford feel the need to write about it? The Mary Sue also expressed disappointment at it too. There was an entire thread on GAF about her reveal that had a real heated argument about her costume and how it made people uncomfortable. That's not something you can garner just from hitting the search button on Google. There was a real reaction to the tittilation on display and it was a conversation being had in the comments, forums, chatrooms. With games costing millions of dollars to make, developers can't afford to be turning people away. Everything has to be scrutinized and potential problems have to be discussed.

    To be clear, I'm not in disagreement when you say KT has no confidence in their product. I just buy into the fact that backlash is a potential limiting factor.

    Besides, what's alright in Japan isn't necessarily okay over here in the US and, trust me, I understand that. I wouldn't be mad at KT for choosing not to bring DOAX3 over here.
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  • Avatar for bobservo #29 bobservo A year ago
    @Darji You might want to add a thousand more scare quotes to "journalists" if you REALLY want to prove your point.
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  • Avatar for pdubb #30 pdubb A year ago
    Personally I think this is brilliant by Koei, and hear me out. They manage to get people to pay attention to the game, negative attention is still attention. From what I am understanding, there will be full English modes, with region locking and problems with buying DLC being the biggest issues for anyone wanting to import. They avoid real heavy duty criticism from major players because, "It's a game released only in Japan," and trying to get mainstream condemnation on a game thats "not even released in the states," is going to be a tough sell.

    The type of attention is the type to make sure the targeted users are energized enough to say, "I'm gonna buy this so the [insert your favorite pejorative term here] don't tell me what to do!" They avoid pissing off these users by having to censor or change anything from the Japanese version. No money needs to be spend on a localization team for a game that is likely to have a narrow margin of profitability to begin with.

    This move makes perfect sense.

    Of course the argument of major backlash against a game like this kinda falls apart when you realize that the biggest backlash over Criminal Girls for Vita, (which had both physical and digital releases in the states) was over censorship and not questionable content. So, yay?Edited November 2015 by pdubb
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  • Avatar for Darji #31 Darji A year ago
    @Kuni-Nino R. Mika's animations where censored in the recent patch as well. And there is only one reason for it since the "fix" looks really awkward as well.

    Also sales do not make any sense here as well. The Asia version will have full English support as well so they even have a perfect fine Version for the West as well.
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  • Avatar for docexe #32 docexe A year ago
    While I think it’s possible to make the case for the changes in Street Fighter V being a response to the feedback, I think it’s very disingenuous to state that the censoring applied to games like Xenoblade or Bravely Second is a response to “potential social justice backlash”.

    Because… well, seriously, those kind of changes made to games during the localization process are nothing new whatsoever, neither something that has only happened in the past few years. Japanese publishers have been toning down, changing content and “sanitizing” their games for Western release for decades already, because they are perfectly aware that the social mores in the West are very different from the social mores in Japan.

    Claiming that they are doing so now only because some sectors of the blogosphere and the gaming press are going to lambast them for including certain kinds of content seems incredibly revisionist, to be perfectly honest.
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  • Avatar for allanschumacher97 #33 allanschumacher97 A year ago
    @gordallott If the game needs to go through a regional certification through Sony America and whatnot, they'd save thousands of dollars by not giving an official release in North America. This is an upfront cost that is paid even if the game sells zero copies.

    It's not actually low cost to simply release in another region even if the localizations are already done.

    "More to the point, why would they bring it up at all if it wasn't a concern?"

    It deflects criticism away from them and onto a nebulous, non specific entity.

    Mike's article is pretty much perfectly in alignment with what I think too. If they felt they'd make money on it, they would.
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  • In this article, you try and act like there hasn't been backlash against "problematic" games by the social justice community. This past year has shown that one of the biggest things going on the gaming community is journalists taking firm sides on either their sjw or gg camp, and using whatever they can find as ammunition to shit on the other side. There's factions here in the west that think we shouldn't be allowed to have games for the sole purpose of titillation, due to being "problematic" or not having a cast that looks like they're off the cover of a community college pamphlet. Is it really so difficult for you to imagine that eastern devs would keep track of western media, and decide that they just don't want to fuck with dealing with cry bullies? This is not a very good article.
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  • Avatar for nickn #35 nickn A year ago
    @Darji Your post doesn't make any sense. What are you kickstarting exactly? The game is already being made with English text.

    Kickstarting just the western release? No.
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  • Avatar for shilalox54 #36 shilalox54 A year ago
    *Post Content Deleted*

    You seem to be new to USgamer. We don't appreciate that kind of talk here. Here's our Code of Conduct. Read it, use it. Thanks.Edited November 2015 by MHWilliams
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  • Avatar for shilalox54 #37 shilalox54 A year ago
    @MetManMas Go sleaze your mom or something. art isn't ''sleazy''.
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  • Avatar for TernBird #38 TernBird A year ago
    It almost feels like Koei is trying to drum up support from people who just plain-old hate whatever the heck they claim a "SJW" to be. It's immature of them to hide behind the excuse "We won't release this game because feminists might say mean things."

    The sad thing is, feminists would get blamed for this, when it's on Koei for making a mountain out of their own business decision.

    You can't control how people react to your products. Poor show, Koei. (And poor show on PlayAsia--their reaction is nothing short of immature as well.)
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  • Avatar for sophita #39 sophita A year ago
    @darji: We've seen a huge reduction in niche games in the west over the last two generations. The cost of development and translation is just too high for a lot of them -- which is why even popular niche series are getting left in Japan (Valkyria Chronicles 3, Suikoden: Tsumugareshi Hyakunen no Toki, Tales of Innocence just off the top of my head).

    DoA Xtreme sold around .36 million in North America, according to this hardcore gamer article: http://www.hardcoregamer.com/2015/11/26/the-real-reason-dead-or-alive-xtreme-3-isnt-coming-west/179394/

    Those weren't bad numbers in the Xbox era, when games were much cheaper. However, the second game sold far worse, only .25m worldwide sales, and of that only. 14 million people returning to the North American release. That's over half the audience shrinking away.

    Given that the west has soundly turned away from Japanese releases since the Xbox era, given that videogames have gotten profoundly more expensive to produce, AND given that this series is part of an incredibly small niche, what is more likely: that there's a vast feminist conspiracy preventing the release of this game, or it's just not profitable to do so?

    (Disclaimer: The numbers are from vgchartz. But even if you inflate the count to a full million --about what a Wii game had to do to make a profit, according to Reggie -- that's still not enough to recoup the losses in the HD era. And yes, it sold more in America than in Japan, but the game market is MUCH bigger in the US than in Japan, as it would be in a nation with 318.9 million people in it vs a nation with 127.3 million.)

    As far as games being censored: Xenoblade, Fatal Frame 5 and Bravely Second were all Nintendo platform releases and Ninty is notoriously censorhappy.

    Also, all of them were changes to make the game more palatable to American audiences: For example, Xenoblade's moe character is covered up a bit because we think a 13 year old girl should be wearing more than a bikini in the west; Fatal Frame 5 took out another teenage character in lingerie and subbed it in with another kind of fanservice; Braverly Second took a character that was basically the videogame equivalent of the Washington Redskins and made her a bit less distasteful to western audiences. All of these characters are still wearing skin-tight, highly sexualized outfits, even "covered up." They're still sexualized, but Nintendo/Koei/Squeenix toned down teenage sexuality and racial stereotypes to be more in line with western tastes. That's not so much censorship to curry favor with a feminist mob as it is trying to redefine elements of the game to western tastes.

    As far as Street Fighter V—Honestly, Capcom went with one animation in the beta, and another in the full-scale release. The lack of a slapped ass is HARDLY censorship, and could have been changed for any number of gameplay reasons: animation running too long, not fitting the aesthetic of the game, focus group testing, etc.

    And as much as I do feel Anita is doing valuable work by questioning how the games industry has treated women, I do think the commercial appeal of her message is rather limited. It feels like most gamers would rather critique her or try to find holes in her argument rather than listen to what she says. I wouldn't count her as a powerful factor in most gamer's buying decisions, unfortunately.

    Honestly, I don't think the fact that everyone is in bikini's is Techmo's problem. Namco-Bandai (a larger company) released Tekken Tag Tournament (a much bigger game in the fighting game community) with swimsuit DLC and no one in that community or in the wider gaming press really wrote it up in anti-feminist screed. I'm a huge Tekken fan and I really liked the swimsuit DLC.

    (But then, Namco went the extra step of putting the men in fundoshis and speedos too...)Edited 2 times. Last edited November 2015 by sophita
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  • Avatar for theresacatalano27 #40 theresacatalano27 A year ago
    @TernBird How are they hiding behind an excuse? Worrying that a vocal minority is going to get your game negative press is a legitimate concern. Perhaps it's not something they realistically need to worry about, but I think it is legitimate regardless. After all, it doesn't take much for a game to be labeled as "problematic." Who would have ever thought that Witcher 3 would be attacked for racism, of all things.
    @sophita No one is saying that there is a vast feminist conspiracy. But there does seem to be a movement against these kinds of games in the US by certain groups of people. Perhaps this game is an example of the reprocussions of that. But even if it's not, the anti-sex / anti-male movement that is happening right now, unfortunately because of thoughtless people like Anita, is likely to have some negative reprocussions for gaming, one way or another. This just happens to be a good time to bring that up.
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  • Avatar for sophita #41 sophita A year ago
    @theresacatalano27: My point is that the reason Koei isn't sending this over is because it's just not a profitable type of game in the west. Koei are a business and their decisions are based on money, not some SJW crusade. They'll release what's profitable, and this isn't. As the article says, this isn't a corporation refusing to release a popular game. This is a corporation not releasing an extremely niche title because it's not profitable and giving an excuse so as not to alienate their fanbase. They're throwing women under a bus as a convenient excuse, nothing more.

    There are fair criticisms of Anita Sarkeesian but I wouldn't say thoughtless was one of them. Whether you agree with her or not, it's obvious she puts a lot of thought into her criticism.Edited November 2015 by sophita
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  • Avatar for MHWilliams #42 MHWilliams A year ago
    @theresacatalano27 Did that prevent the Witcher III from making money here, or even it's successful follow-up DLC? No.

    It's a non-issue. Especially for a company that has released such content in the past, like Koei Tecmo.
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  • Avatar for theresacatalano27 #43 theresacatalano27 A year ago
    @sophita: So you just assume you know what Koei is thinking? That's a bold (and convenient) assumption on your part. Granted, profit is most definitely part of the equation... you are correct that if the game were profitable enough, it's very likely they'd release it anyway. But that doesn't mean there aren't other factors influence the game's release, and concern over a backlash could easily be one of those factors. And if it was a close call as to whether the game would be released, that type of concern could quite possibly tip the scales. Can you honestly tell me that you know for a fact that's impossible? Because I know for a fact that you're not a mind reader.

    I also don't agree that Anita Sarkessian puts a lot of thought into the things she says, in my opinion she is the Glenn Beck of feminism. She is not the kind of person I want representing my gender. I think she is at the forefront of a movement that is steering feminism in a negative direction, and causing a lot of (warranted) backlash that ultimately hurts the cause. It's very important that feminism, as a movement, be sex positive, and pro-equality for both genders. Spreading sex shame, and hatred/fear of men is actually very bad for the movement and only holds back women, although the short sighted don't see that. I am not at all happy with the direction feminism has taken in the last decade or so, it feels like we're regressing back into the anti-pornography movement of the 70s, and that is a very bad thing.

    @MHWilliams I think it's a bit strange how insistent you're being on this point. You do make some good points, and it's very possible that your analysis is dead on, but I think it's also possible that a potential backlash was enough of a factor to tip the scales in favor of not releasing the game.

    But even if you're right about this game, there's the larger point that this fear of a backlash can easily have an effect on publishers, and will likely do so in the future. So even if you're right about this particular situation, it doesn't mean that the vocal minority aren't influencing other games and other decisions. And that IS worth talking about, and in my opinion it's something to be very concerned about.Edited November 2015 by theresacatalano27
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  • Avatar for sophita #44 sophita A year ago
    Deleted November 2015 by sophita
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  • Avatar for sophita #45 sophita A year ago
    Deleted November 2015 by sophita
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  • Avatar for sophita #46 sophita A year ago
    @theresacatalano27: I'm basing it entirely on the content of this article. Quoting@Mike_Williams: "Dead or Alive Xtreme 3 is not coming West because Koei Tecmo decided that it didn't make business sense to release it here. That's on them. If you want it, the pressure should remain on them, where it belongs, not on some vague boogeyman they're trying to sell you."

    Koei is a corporation. A corporation's goal is to make money. That's it. The only thing a corporation "thinks" about is making money. They decided not to release this game because they were not going to make enough money to justify the cost. That's really all there is to it; no mind reading required. Anything else is just a tempest in a teacup.

    Re: Sarkessian

    I would not agree with calling her the "Glen Beck" of feminism at all. Anita is actually closer to a literary critic (like Joseph Campbell) than she is a social critic (ala Beck or Ann Coulter). She presents a trope, then discussed how it is used in various videogames whether for good or ill. In her conclusion, she then discusses different ideas about how this idea can be used. This is how most literary criticism is written.

    There are valid criticism of her videos -- she's not perfect, not by any means -- but this is a very traditional model of criticism (and criticism does not equal censorship). It's not thoughtless, and her videos usually cover a wide variety of different games across time and genre. You can disagree with her points, but I think she puts as much if not more thought into her videos than many popular male youtubers, who don't face nearly the same amount of criticism.

    As far as feminism goes, I'm very puzzled as to where you think this big push back against sexuality is coming from in gaming. What big games this year have been so feminist as to alienate the menfolk? Doing so would be suicide in gaming; games are mostly made for men and mainly advertised toward men.

    I don't want to take this topic off-topic so I'm not going to comment on your thoughts on feminism except to say that no one, prior to Play-Asia's tweets, was railing against this game and sex-shaming it.
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  • Avatar for MHWilliams #47 MHWilliams A year ago
    @theresacatalano27 Since you believe it's a problem, I have two questions:

    1. How do you know it's a vocal minority?
    2. How do you propose you deal with the issue? You want free, creative expression, but you don't want free speech? That seems at odds, doesn't it?

    And I'm reasonably sure because again, they are very few corporations that will turn away money due to potential moral backlash. Nintendo, sure, but they're more likely to simply edit the content for US release, as are most companies. Koei Tecmo as of this year, was not among the companies that even edits their content. If they think DOAX3 would sell enough, they'd release it. When and if they decide to release it in the West, it'll be because they think it'll draw worthwhile revenue.

    Hell, even Operation Rainfall noted that the decision, if true, is nonsensical. (Not the links I added.)

    "This is absolutely nonsensical. You mean to tell me, with your release of Dead or Alive 5 Last Round back in February, that we aren’t ready for this game? Even though you continue to give us costume DLC content for that game, which, I’ll be blunt, does get pretty racy with the designs? Now you’re concerned? I don’t buy it. You promote Dead or Alive 5 Last Round on every social media platform you can. (Love the schoolgirl costumes you just came out with, by the way.) What is the difference between that and this game, other than the fact that we see the girls in bikinis more often?"

    Do you honestly believe Koei Tecmo executives got where they were by being nonsensical?Edited 4 times. Last edited November 2015 by MHWilliams
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  • Avatar for theresacatalano27 #48 theresacatalano27 A year ago
    @sophita: Well, keep in mind that this article is only speculation. You're right that Koei's main goal is probably to make money, but PR does affect the amount of money they make as well. I don't think anything Mike said that proves negative PR couldn't have been a tipping point in this case, far from it.

    I think you're wrong about Anita. Here's why Glenn Beck is an apt comparison: Anita may be operating like a literary critic, but in spirit she is a propagandist. Like Beck who pretends to be delivering a positive message, her real message is fear and hate. Her "tropes vs women" is very much like Beck's crazy chalk board graphs: she is not afraid to abuse logical fallacies in order to bolster a point. For example, she lists many examples in order to make a point through sheer numbers, but the quality of many of those examples is suspect. This is intellectually dishonest. Like Beck, her real motivations seem to stem from an uglier place of her own sexism. For a recent example, when she tweeted about the Mad Max movie, she basically said that it doesn't count as feminist because violence is inherently male.

    So, I don't like her. Thoughtless is the kindest thing I can say about her, because if she is doing some of these things knowing full well how wrong they are, that would make her much worse than thoughtless.

    The push back is not in terms of games that are so "feminist," it's more in the way we talk about games and sexuality, specifically male sexual desires. It's the way we use words like "objectification" in order to demonize sexual desires, and how we put games that are aimed at men in a negative light. Notice that games that have sexuality aimed at women are very rarely called "sleazy." Well, that could be because Otome games are rarely talked about over here, but when they are it's usually always positive. And that's a GOOD thing! But games that aim sexuality at men should be treated the same way. This is a vital part of what being sex positive means.

    I think you're also wrong that games are mostly aimed at men... that is kind of a big exaggeration. There's definitely games aimed at women, there always have been, and especially now they are much more prevalent. Just as an example, Pokemon has always been a series that taps into what women like; it's popular with the boys too, but it's always been very popular with women. Just from my own experience, it's rare to talk to a female gamer who doesn't love Pokemon. Then you have the recent surge of dating and relationships in games, like Persona and Mass Effect, both games which are very popular with women.

    Granted, this is stereotyping what women like. But it's hard to talk about what "games aimed at women" means without generalizing. Women are different than men, and I don't think that women necessarily want for games to start having naked, scantily clad guys all over the place. To a certain extent they do... (I certainly enjoy it...) and there is certainly a niche for that, but I think that the most popular games with women tend to be games with cute characters, pets, and relationship simulation. And there is lots of that stuff in the current gaming landscape.

    So I'm puzzled as to why you think "games are mostly made for men." This is just blatantly not true anymore, and yet I see this myth brought up a lot. I can only assume that bloggers like Anita are a partial cause for that misinformation.

    Sorry for the long reply, but I don't even want to argue with you so much as just share where I'm coming from.Edited 2 times. Last edited November 2015 by theresacatalano27
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  • Avatar for theresacatalano27 #49 theresacatalano27 A year ago
    @MHWilliams 1. I want to believe it's a vocal minority, because if it's a majority that scares me. But based on what I've seen, I don't think that's the case. Either way, this is an issue I will keep arguing passionately about whenever I have the chance.

    2. I never said anything about censorship. The way we deal with the issue is the way we always deal with hate speech: by fighting it with more speech. We speak out against the things we believe are wrong. That's the right way to handle it in a free country.

    "And I'm reasonably sure because again, they are very few corporations that will turn away money due to potential moral backlash."

    That statement right there is the problem. It has some truth, but it's not quite correct. A moral backlash will have a monetary impact on the company. That impact could be positive, negative, or negligible. It can also imnpact the company in two ways: one, the sales of the game itself, and two, the overall profit of the company. Negative PR could have an effect on both.

    Now, as to what effect it has, that is up to guesswork. I assume your guess would be that it would have a negligible or positive impact, right? Well, what if Koei decided that it would have a negative impact. That's certainly plausible. Then it's just a question of how much impact it will have. They will think about it, and try to assign a numerical value to that impact. Of course, they also have a prediction for how much profit the game will make. If the game is profitable *without* the negative PR, but not profitable *with* the negative PR, then you could say that the fear of negative PR lead to the decision to not release the game in the US.

    We aren't mind-readers, so we don't know what the actual thought process is. But if it was something like I outlined, then it is a perfectly rational decision. Even if you disagree with the predictions they've made for how these things effect bottom line profits, it doesn't mean the logic of how those decisions work isn't sound.Edited November 2015 by theresacatalano27
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  • Avatar for MHWilliams #50 MHWilliams A year ago
    @theresacatalano27 Even in the situation you outlined, the profits ultimately determine the release. When has there ever been negative PR about content that has led to less sales? Performance, sure, but content? If anything, the Streisand Effect takes over and causes more sales. That's how little faith Koei Tecmo have in the sales potential of the game on our shores. (If they don't already have a release planned.)

    And again, you're telling me the company who gleefully promoted and released this content earlier this month is worried about a moral backlash?



    They know their audience and the effects of some negative articles more than that. Because that content has been with the company for a very, very long time.

    Oh, and the original post that kicked off this discussion has been deleted.
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  • Avatar for theresacatalano27 #51 theresacatalano27 A year ago
    @MHWilliams Yes, exactly my point as well. Projection of profits is generally what you'd expect would determine the release of a game (although not necessarily 100% true because companies are run by human beings which can sometimes use their own logic.) And it's honestly difficult to say if PR leads to negative sales. Conentional wisdom is that any press is good press, but that's not necessarily always true. And it's certainly possible that Koei could have a different outlook on this than you do.

    "And again, you're telling me the company who gleefully promoted and released this content earlier this month is worried about a moral backlash?"

    Where's the contradiction, Mike? If a moral backlash is projected to cost a certain amount of money, and that amount is enough to turn a profitable game into a loss, then they won't publish it, right? Maybe Koei believes that the potential for backlash is higher with this game, or maybe the potential profits are lower than the other games you mentioned. Maybe a combination of both those things. Can you honestly claim to know, for sure, that isn't how they see it?

    I don't see a valid justificaton for your certainty.Edited November 2015 by theresacatalano27
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  • Avatar for MHWilliams #52 MHWilliams A year ago
    @theresacatalano27 As I stated in the article, judging by past and future Koei Tecmo releases, current promotional efforts, current releases from other companies with similar content in the same space, and a number of years spent talking to executives and developers - two of those years being solely on the business side - the idea that the publisher would skip a profitable release due to potential negative articles is highly unlikely. If there's a moral backlash, it has no negative affect on sales and in fact, may have a positive influence, given the performance of a wide variety of titles actually out on store shelves. DOAX3's announcement had no issues and there's little reason to think it's release would be much worse. And from the beginning, the lack of Western release has been readily apparent.

    So you have a garbled Facebook post, that's since been deleted, a tweet from Koei Tecmo Europe that people took as gospel that's since been clarified, and simple business logic.

    Original Tweet:
    Kudos to the TN's CM for being honest. But if you really want it, you can import EN ver.

    Follow-up:
    We said the CM was honest to confirm that isn't coming to the west. We don't approve that he put the blame on anyone.

    To get to the point that you believe "negative commentary" is the reason for a lack of release, you have to ignore the things listed above. You have to ignore them because you want it to be a problem beyond "DOAX3 isn't profitable enough to release in the US". And worse, by attempting to aim at critics, you're ignoring the real issue: Koei Tecmo.

    You want the game in English with a domestic release, you have the power to make it happen. Tell Koei Tecmo that they're wrong. Show them there's more than enough people to justify a US release.

    Perhaps they'll listen. Perhaps Koei Tecmo will release an official statement on the matter; again, I've reached out for comment. But looking at all the facts? It's sales, pure and simple, and criticism as a reason is little more than a deflection at best.Edited November 2015 by MHWilliams
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  • Avatar for sophita #53 sophita A year ago
    @theresacatalano27: What PR has been again the Dead or Alive series? Even the Extreme Beach Volleyball version? DOA5 is at a respectable 74%. This falls in line with most fighting games these days -- Tekken Revolution is at 70, SFxT at 79, Ulra Street Fighter IV has a metacritic score of around 71~83 depending on console). Dead or Alive Xtreme Beach Volleyball 1 sits at 73 percent; Dead or ALive Xtreme 2 sits at 53 -- but you'll note all the criticisms in the most negative reviews are on the gameplay, not the eye candy.

    See for yourself here: http://www.metacritic.com/game/xbox-360/dead-or-alive-xtreme-2

    So what outcry, exactly, was there? The previous entries were hardly decried from the bastions of gaming journalism.

    As far as Anita: Have you ever seen the videos? Her criticism of gaming is quite mild and far more academic in comparison to Beck's.

    Here's Anita: "We must remember that games don’t just entertain. Intentional or not, they always express a set of values, and present us with concepts of normalcy. So what do games that casually rely on depictions of female victimhood tell us about women vis-a-vis their place in society?"

    Here's Glen Beck: "I'm thinking about killing Michael Moore, and I'm wondering if I could kill him myself, or if I would need to hire somebody to do it. ... No, I think I could. I think he could be looking me in the eye, you know, and I could just be choking the life out. Is this wrong?"

    You might notice there's a wide difference in both the targets and the actions suggested there.

    You're free not to like her or agree with her: I don't agree with her on every point myself. For example, I don't think that Tekken Tag Tournament's bikini bundle is inherently sexist (particularly when they did, as I note, give swimswear to every single character in the game) yet Anita finds it so. But I don't see what she's doing as something that's hurting gaming, or something even remotely thoughtless.

    As far as being targeted toward men, well, they are. And there are several ways to see ways in which games are targeted (or not) toward women.

    For starters, you can look at magazines/websites/television shows pointed toward women and see where the videogame advertising dollars go: rarely, if ever, do you see an ad for any videogames in Cosmopolitan/Grey's Anatomy/etc. On the other hand, seeing a video game ad in something like GQ/Sunday Night Football/etc is very common -- and those things tend to have primarily male audiences.

    Another way might be to look at how many games have female protagonists.

    Here's a quote from Prof Jeffrey Brand on research he has done regarding female protagonists in gaming:

    "I studied over 200 popular game titles at the time, and of those in which a character existed, that character was more than 70 percent likely to be male, 20 percent likely to be unidentified with respect to gender, and then 10 percent likely to be female."

    (From here: http://www.cnet.com/news/the-risk-of-the-female-protagonist/)

    Here's another quote from the Daily Beast:
    " In a survey by The Guardian, out of 669 current game titles in which the gender of the protagonist was obvious, only 24 were women."

    (From here: http://www.thedailybeast.com/witw/articles/2013/06/14/why-aren-t-there-more-female-protagonists-in-video-games.html)

    So as we can see, traditionally, you were more likely to be no gender than you were to be a woman. While the industry has improved a bit on this front (and it couldn't get much worse), it is mostly in allowing you the option to play as a female. Rarely do games allow you to play as a purely female experience. But even most of those games (Mass Effect, etc.) usually spend most of their promotional budgets advertising the male experience.

    Just look at the dust ups that Mass Effect using Female Shepard instead of Male Shepard as their main voice in the newest ad for Andromeda, or the men who moaned emphatically that they would never buy FIFA again now that the (optional!) ladies soccer leagues are included.

    Another way to look at it might be in the budgets given to female games. Also taken from the Daily Beast article -- Games featuring women have smaller budgets:

    "Video games with female protagonists are given half the budget of male games. If programmers have less money to work with, they have less power to make a great game that people will actually buy—making it a vicious cycle."

    Finally, you can consider how many women work on making games. But most fields in the industry have only between 5-20% female representation, so even in the best case scenario you are getting a game that is primarily developed by men.

    Under all those standards, gaming is primarily a by-men for-men experience, despite recent studies showing women and men both play around the same amount of games.

    That's not to say women don't enjoy it -- I have enjoyed games for a long time -- but that we are certainly not the target audience.

    And again, you seem very sure that an outcry prevented this from being released, but what outcry was there?

    Thrill Kill didn't get released because people thought it was to violent. But before they canned it, there sure were a lot of outcry about how violent it was.

    Finally, I wanted to say that I appreciate how civil this conversation has been. We might not agree on everything but it's nice to be able to talk about it like adults.
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  • Avatar for theresacatalano27 #54 theresacatalano27 A year ago
    @MHWilliams "the idea that the publisher would skip a profitable release due to potential negative articles is highly unlikely."

    That's not what I said. I said that the cost of a backlash could factor into the equation of what's profitable.

    "If there's a moral backlash, it has no negative affect on sales"

    I grant you that's conventional wisdom, but it's not necessarily always true, and more importantly it's an assumption on your part that they see it that way. You're the one being adamant about your assuptions, I'm simply pointing out that your assumptions are in fact assumptions.

    "To get to the point that you believe "negative commentary" is the reason for a lack of release, you have to ignore the things listed above. You have to ignore them because you want it to be a problem beyond "DOAX3 isn't profitable enough to release in the US". And worse, by attempting to aim at critics, you're ignoring the real issue: Koei Tecmo."

    No, that's YOUR issue. The actual game being released is not a bone of contention with me. My issue is with a culture of negativity that can cause things like this to happen, and I think that's generally to the detriment of our culture. It may or may not be a factor in this case, but even if it's not, I think it easily can be with other games. That is a valid concern, and this is a perfectly valid time to talk about that. You seem to be well aware of that, and in that sense your article does come across as damage control, because otherwise your insistence in your mind reading abilities is a bit inexplicable.
    @sophita: For the Anita stuff, I don't want to get off on too much of a tangent on that. It's probably better if we take any further discussion of her to PM.

    Regarding games being targeted towards men... of course, some games are. But not ALL games are targeted towards men specifically, many are targeted to a general audience, and there are definitely mainstream games that are targeted towards women. Mass Effect, Pokemon, Animal Crossing, and Persona are all mainstream games with elements that seem specifically designed to appeal to women (and all with big female fanbases.) Then there's visual novels and Otome games, Christine Love's games, plenty of other indie games specificially designed for women.

    I'm glad you brought up female protagonists, because IMO gaming does pretty well in that regard. Perhaps there are not as many as male protagonists, but it's not that disparate either. In gaming history, female protagonists have never been particularly rare. There's so many sword wielding cute anime girls in gaming history it's pretty much a trope. There's a long list of female characters in popular games: Metroid, Monster World IV, Valis, Shantae, Parasite Eve, Final Fantasy, Bayonetta, Tales games.

    And recently there's a growing trend in games to let people choose the gender of their character, which is a way of letting both genders be represented. That's actually very common now. A bunch of the big releases of this year allow you to choose your gender: Bloodborne, Fallout IV, Splatoon. That's a very good thing for feminism, because feminism is egalitarianism, it's about equality for everyone. Giving people a choice is the perfect symbol of that.

    With the Shepard thing, I think that people just get attached to whatever their version of Shepard is, both the male and female side, so there would have been moaning either way. Everyone I know prefers female shepard. For the FIFA thing, that's a bit different... that's not an argument against women in games, it was an argument for realism in a sports simulation. I could care less about sports games, but some people value realism in those things and that's a fair point, not at all sexist.

    As far as budgets go, that's probably very true, but I think a large part of that is the popularity of modern shooters, and shooters have always have very male audiences, moreso than other genres. I know I don't play shooters at all (or didn't until Splatoon came out!) Of course, having a big budget doesn't always mean quality, or popularity. Look at Undertale, a breakout hit which seems to star a female lead. The fact that it has a much smaller budget doesn't invalidate it in any way.

    Let me ask you a question... supposing the games industry was staffed by 50% women. How do you think it would change? If the games were aimed more at women, what exactly would change about them? What does "being aimed at women" mean to you? Because from my point of view, I see tons of games that offer things that are pleasing to the female perspective. I don't play a lot of modern AAA games with sweaty dudes and guns, I don't like that kind of thing, but there's a lot more gaming has to offer. So when people talk about representation and act like it's all by men for men, it sounds like they only have a surface knowledge of what gaming is, like they only see the popular games and have no awareness of vast amount of other content out there. I mean there's entire consoles, Wii-U and 3DS, that sometimes feel like consoles made for women, to me.

    "And again, you seem very sure that an outcry prevented this from being released, but what outcry was there?"

    No, that's never what I said. What I said was that fear of an outcry could have been a motivating factor, and that Mike was being strangely adamant about something he couldn't possibly know.

    "Finally, I wanted to say that I appreciate how civil this conversation has been."

    Of course. I appreciate it as well. I'll say it again: I don't know what Koei is really thinking, and I don't care. Mike could easily be right. But that wouldn't invalidate my point, that the anti-sex/anti-male movement that is building up right now can be damaging to our culture in all sorts of ways. Maybe this is one of them, maybe not. Regardless, it's a good time to talk about it.
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  • Avatar for MHWilliams #55 MHWilliams A year ago
    @theresacatalano27 There's no need for damage control, because there's nothing damaged. Again, you note your own assumptions, given that something is conventional wisdom, but assuming that Koei Tecmo is sailing away from that wisdom for this game. Why? There's no reasoning to back that up other "They might make poor business decisions." Why would they fear that which has to this point been proven to not exist, or not matter? The difference is I have faith that Koei Tecmo's executive team and their ability to make logical decisions.

    Hayashi covered, from the very beginning, why we weren't getting the game.

    “The fighting games are overwhelmingly more popular internationally, but in the case of Xtreme, the fans are very numerous domestically. We’ve been perplexed by this as of late, so we decided to release Xtreme 3 in the Japanese and Asian regions. But, if demand is high, we might develop a version adjusted for North America and Europe.”

    You are perfectly welcome to talk about a culture of negativity if you perceive one. In this case, it doesn't read like a valid concern. If you honestly think there will be less of these games released in the West, you seemingly have missed the great strides publishers and developers - including Koei Tecmo - have made with similar content over the past few years. Hatred took a different tack and practically spit into the wind... Nothing happened but good sales. And even when face with a the mountain of evidence that the backlash is next to nothing, the content has been fine on our shores, and the fact that controversy of this kind has in no way hurt a game or brand in our current global community, there's an insistence and desire to say "See, this is our smoking gun. they're coming to take our games."

    And again, even if the nebulous "they" were... it wouldn't matter. Publishers are there to make money. If they feel there's a solid audience for content, they'll release it. As Toonami exec Jason DeMacro said in response to the situation:

    "Ha what "power?" Who cares about any of this? Nobody is stopping you from playing the games you want, least of all *^&%ing JOURNALISTS. You think they have any power? Laughable. Publishers have all the power in the world of games, and consumers. If there is a demand for DOA XTreme 3, it will be available."

    Journalists or critics provide information or context, but things only happen if the consumer gets involved as well. We are only a facet of that larger group.

    I understand where you're coming from, but again, given all the actual evidence, it's highly unlikely that this release came down to potential controversy. And that will probably be my last reply directly, because while I enjoy conversation, I feel we're sort of circling around, because we fundamentally disagree in certain areas.Edited 3 times. Last edited November 2015 by MHWilliams
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  • Avatar for bruceleroy12 #56 bruceleroy12 A year ago
    Me & my wife don’t get it ! So many great memories playing DOA xtreme beach volleyball.
    Is it sexual…ya ! A bit juvenile…sure ! But that’s what guilty pleasures are for. I don’t ever think I considered any of the girls of this game hotter than my wife. They all just look like plastic dolls to me, and the recent “upgrade” actually adds fuller figures, more realistic waist lines, and variety to the representation of female forms. And I don’t beholden their polygonal bodies as any “standard” of beauty anyway. Besides…who cares what a bunch of so called “nerds” think a woman should look like ?

    No, I think this is about control. People don’t want to see things they don’t like, but that life hu ? I love great, well thought movies…but I hate cheap thrasher films. Should I petition them out of existence based on that? Better yet, does that mean I cant look at a film with cheap laughs or thrills, like a Robert Rodriguez flick? Desperado was full of brilliant, brilliant machismo moments !
    So long as they use that rating system, warn people of the content, and keep this out of young impressionable young hands, I personally see no problem.

    Not everyone can look at a Quentin Tarantino flick; so not everyone can play a DOA game! And yet there are games that have a truly modest female protagonist; the current Tomb Raider comes to mind. Still doesn’t mean the two can’t exist in the same genre or medium. Besides…does it really matter what the public at large thinks of such a niche game, or a niche series, enjoyed by a niche audience anyway?

    Atleast, that’s what I think. Nuff said !
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  • Avatar for jihon83 #57 jihon83 A year ago
    Censorship! I bet this is all Bob Mackey's fault, that social justice warrior has ruined "Willy's time" for the last time!

    Silliness aside, I expected better from Koei-Tecmo than to throw the ghost of progression under the bus. To blame a phantom threat, or simply an ignored threat if you look at their creepy moe output, is low and doesn't help with the matter.
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  • Avatar for Spectreman #58 Spectreman A year ago
    Interesting how every commentary here who disagree with the article was made in a polite way, while Jeremy name calling as a "shitshow" on twitter and Mike just assumes what are the real Koei motives and the game fans are just crying. Zero balance. And is that lack of balance who lead people to extremists positions. Things are so crazy now that if Mario was created today, people would start complaining he is an italian cultural stereotype. Good job!
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  • Avatar for cldmstrsn #59 cldmstrsn A year ago
    I am going to bypass all this hubaloo with something simple. I liked the first two. Yes the visuals are titillating but the volleyball part is legit and fun and me and my wife enjoy this together so I will be importing this.Edited December 2015 by cldmstrsn
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  • Avatar for MHWilliams #60 MHWilliams A year ago
    @Spectreman I'm not seeing your point? Darji and christopherstewart weren't polite. Shilalox, I had to actually moderate their post since it was completely derogatory and against our code of conduct. Theresacatalano on the other hand, is an excellent poster, even if we don't see eye-to-eye. It's why I enjoy our regular community.

    And of course I assume Koei Tecmo's motives. The entire article is all educated guesses and speculation. That's what you have in the absence of actual commentary from the publisher.Edited December 2015 by MHWilliams
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  • Avatar for himuradrew #61 himuradrew A year ago
    Well honestly, I'm not really interested in the game. It's pretty much a mini-game collection filled with T&A. Do I find the ladies sexy? Hell, yeah! But the gameplay doesn't isn't really my cup of tea.

    One thing though - why isn't Tecmo doing a PS4/XB1 Ninja Gaiden game? :(
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  • Avatar for UnknownJones #62 UnknownJones A year ago
    Aside from GG sympathizers vote-brigading, this has been a delightful conversation about a silly nontroversy. Poor@MHWilliams had to do more research and writing for the responses than the original post.

    Carry on, you beautiful bastards.Edited 2 times. Last edited December 2015 by UnknownJones
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  • Avatar for halil4143 #63 halil4143 A year ago
    DOAX3 seems a weird place for Koei Tecmo to draw a line on their faux-smut games, especially when it only concerns a Western release.http://k7x.info/
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  • Avatar for seanmitchell #64 seanmitchell A year ago
    " Using that as a reason to not release a game merely shows that you have no faith in that product"

    How? Are you saying journalists and reviews have no bearing on a games sales and success? Journalists have way more power in this industry than they should. In fact they shouldn't have any. It should all be consumer driven.

    edit: i mainly hate the metocritic culture,i think if that was gone gamers would be better offEdited January 2016 by seanmitchell
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  • Avatar for lauras.arseid56 #65 lauras.arseid56 A year ago
    THESE GAMES ARE NOT PORNOGRAPHIC, YOU ASSHOLES!
    AND THEY AREN'T CHAUVINISTIC.
    THEY ARE JUST SEXY, BUT THERE AREN'T ANY NAKED CHARACTERS IN IT.
    USA MAKES 90% OF THE WORLD'S PORNOGRAPHIC MOVIES.
    FOR EXAMPLE, GAME OF THRONES IS A REAL PORNOGRAPHY, BUT YOU DON'T HAVE PROBLEMS WITH THAT, BECAUSE THATS AN AMERICAN SHIT. GAME OF THRONES IS THE MOST MALE CHAUVINISTIC, AND EROTIC SERIES I EVER SAW.

    MOST WESTERN PEOPLE WOULD LIKE THESE JAPANESE GAMES, JUST YOU HANDICCAPED USA PEOPLE HAVE JEWISH-NIGGER MEDIA AND THEY ARE AFFECTING YOUR MINDS!
    YOU AMERICANS ARE RACIST AGAINST JAPAN, BUT YOU LOVE JEWS & NIGGERS, SO GO AND FUCK YOUR DISGUSTING NIGGER-JEW ANIMALS.
    THESE JAPANESE GAMES ARE BETTER THAN ANY AMERICAN SHIT!!!
    AND FUCK DIGITAL RELEASES! BLU-RAY IS THE BEST!Edited August 2016 by lauras.arseid56
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