Dead Or Alive Dev Wants To Focus On “Real Women”

Dead Or Alive Dev Wants To Focus On “Real Women”

The Dead or Alive series is well known for its portrayal of scantily-clad characters who defy certain laws of physics with their body parts, but this may soon be a thing of the past according to Team Ninja boss, Yosuke Hayashi.

Hayashi took leadership of Team Ninja three years ago and Dead or Alive 5 will be his first opportunity to show the new direction he is taking the studio. Speaking to Gamasutra, the developer of Dead or Alive said that the game’s fanbase has grown past the sex and violence and wants something more meaningful.

“The old team was known for making games that just had two primary elements: Sex and violence,” Hayashi said.

“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.

“Rather than just having violence for the sake of violence and cheap thrill, we wanted to give meaning to violence: Why does this happen? We want to link emotion to violence.”

Hayashi also told Gamasutra that in Dead or Alive 5 the developers want to focus on “real women”, signalling a shift away from the comically buxom fighters in previous games.

“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. In DoA 5 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.

“In the series up to now we focused on some kind of… Sports Illustrated [aesthetic], like a magazine for high school kids, with women portrayed in that sense. But that’s not what we want. 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.”

What do you think of Dead or Alive’s new direction? Is this a welcome change? Or should the series be left alone? Left us know!



    • I always enjoyed the combat system in DOA games and found it just a lot of fun to play. However it’s hard to seriously tell someone you like playing DOA without thoughts going straight to the jigglies. From the changes i’ve seen to Hitomi’s character I can say already I like it so far 🙂

      I love boobies and sexy outfits but this is a welcome change indeed, bring it on 🙂

  • It’s a tough decision this one, to decide if it is for the good or for the bad.

    On a negative, I see people will raise an eyebrow on their new direction, especially the ones that do seek the cheap thrills and the eye candy. Especially from the fans of the series who have grown up with some of the characters.

    However bringing in a new direction (I see) may be rather interesting, especially how they aim and describe it. I see it will definitely put the series in a new light and not just about all the ‘jiggles’ and the clothes (lack of). May even make it more interesting to play by putting more emotion / story behind it.

    It’s hard to put words behind it at this stage however, without seeing images or design approaches behind their new direction.

    • Well if they take the Sex and violence and add a proper story, then yay.

      If they take away the sex and violence and replace with a proper story, then I’ll be cautiously waiting to see how it turns out.

  • But Sex and Violence is a winning combo! Everyone knows that!

    On a side note, good on them. I might start looking at the DoA games nowadays.

  • Every visual medium exploits sex to gain attention and sell copies. I imagine this appeals to a lot of DOA players. If they remove it, they might lose sales.

      • I like DOA because it’s a decent technical fighter, and it’s highly visual – not just for the jigglyness etc., but some of the grapple/throw moves look quite cool.

        I’m a bit over fighting games in my old age, but I might give a new DOA a look-in, scantily clad ladies or not.

  • This is the same guy that did Metroid: Other M so his definition of ‘realistic women’ might not be what you’d expect…

    Personally I don’t really care either way, but it seems like a bit of a shame that they want to be ‘realistic’ like everyone else. The games industry needs people who do things differently, where everything is crazy and over the top. We’re already awash in a sea of banal brown ‘realism’ as it is. Though that said, I’d be happier if we never got another beach volleyball game.

  • I’ve always found that the DOA girls have always had too much plastic skin and weird uncanny valley going to really be sexy.

  • From a personal level I don’t see this being a bad move, the games up until this point have always circled around a grey area with the prominent sexuality of many of the female characters, especially those of which could be deemed ‘underage’ (think Kasumi, Ayane and Kokoro) which was the main reason the game got banned in Sweden and was temporary restricted goods here. A change in direction from pandering to (what I consider) the lowest form of fandom, and a new strive to be a overall better game for it would be a welcome change to the series.

    On the other hand from a business perspective, I’ve got to ask: who is their major purchasing demographic? What are the majority of people that buy the game buying it for?

    It’s hard to say but I would have to say they buy it for the fanservice. The success of titles such as Xtreme Beach Volleyball and DoA Paradise (essentially the same game I know) were basically designed for that demographic in mind, and while to a lesser extent the same could be said for the DoA games themselves.

    I don’t want to say this is a bad idea, I personally like the series, I’ve thoroughly enjoyed DoA Dimensions and when it hasn’t been beating me into a livid rage I’ve enjoyed DoA 4, but the fanservice pandering is a part of its history now, almost more well known than the actual fighting element at the core of the game itself, and even if they are successful at making this new direction work, those they manage to entice into the franchise will most likely want to have a look back into its history, especially if they call it DoA 5. A solution to that though could be just rebooting the franchise. . .

    While I like the idea and everything, would those people who bought the series prior still buy a DoA game without the fanservice, I know i would but. . .

  • Next developer to say “emotional experiences” is getting kicked in the face.

    Whatever happened to gameplay?

    Its a fighter FFS! Develop a great fight engine, and rock solid net code, and the people will flock to it.

    Next they will want to inject their hokey sentimentality into Tetris.


  • Well, looking at a couple of screenshots from the DOA5 demo, I don’t think the fans have much to worry about. Hopefully, though, we can avoid the insane breast physics of DOAX2 this time.

    NEGATIVEZERO – The story and dialog for that Metroid game came from Nintendo, not Team Ninja.

    • That’s true, but they were complicit. They could have changed the delivery or at least put up some resistance. I’m worried that they agreed with those decisions. It’s the only original game the guy’s been in charge of, everything else has been essentially ports of games made by his predecessor, so it’s the only example we’ve got to go on and it’s not a particularly positive one.

      Happy for him to prove me wrong!

    • Also maybe they can use some of the computing power they save by not calculating jiggle physics for each boob independently to fix up the hair rendering so that it doesn’t clip through clothing and look like a sheet of paper all the time.


    let’s make every game beige! Boring fighters fighting for boring reasons in boring outfits.

    Pretty soon we’ll only have Suda 51 left to put the silly fun stuff into games.

  • Why not gameplay, story and boobs? (in that order) Now there is a killer combo…

    or are women with big boobs not real women? =/

    • No, how could you not know – they’re not real women but actually robots, didn’t you get the memo?

      Weird being told by guys what a real woman is.

  • Don’t really care about the sex, but what do you have left if you take the violence out of a fighting game franchise?

    I like the DOA fighting games. They’re fast, fluid and good fun. The counters and multi-area stages are neat.

    If they want to try telling me a story while retaining all of that I’ll be pretty happy.

  • What a joke. There is a sexual side to every artistic medium every created and always will be.
    Seriously? Pandering to the boring vocal minority anyone?

  • While I’m generally all for less pandering character design in games, this does seem like kind a of weird direction for a fighting game to take. It’s such a fundamentally silly genre it would seem they’d be far better to be pushing in the other direction. Or not exactly in the opposite direction towards even more gratuitous sexualisation, but further into a more stylised design that lends itself well to the cartoonish action.

    • I guess another alternative is to push the sexualisation so far as to turn it into self parody, ala Bayonetta. I wonder whether they’ve been doing that for years and people just haven’t caught on. They did have a game where you could control the protagonists breasts after all.

  • While I think that things could probably be toned down a little, the outright silliness of the costumes is part of what makes DOA what it is. DOA is a fun and mostly well designed fighter than inept button mashers can enjoy, as well as having a bit of depth that more dedicated and skilled players can explore.

    The art design of the fighting game itself (excluding the volleyball titles) is just part of the style. All the ruckus over the ability of players to look up the skirts of the purportedly under 18 characters is a bit ridiculous. They’re fictional characters. Are censors seriously saying that provided that the creators changed a date of birth/age number in the game, it would be fine? I don’t know, but that seems a little barbaric to me.

    In short, I’m not sure I particularly care about how much they make the women “realistic”, but DOA shouldn’t forget what it’s about. It’s about players unlocking those ridiculous costumes (for both male and female characters) – can anyone deny the amusement of having Zack dressed like Dennis Rodman or Leifang fighting in a “after eight” dress? Not every game has to go the “realistic” route. To use an FPS analogy, how about a little more Serious Sam and a little less Operation Flashpoint? Heck, how about even a little more Serious Sam graphics and a little less Call of Duty/Battlefield graphics? Games can be fun and enjoyable without being “realistic” – or have game designers/developers forgotten that?

  • Am I the only one who realises that Yosukes mouth is moving, but his version of “realistic” women will probably just mean a very slight reduction in the boobies next game. It will still be sexualisation-business as usual, mark my words.

  • So according to Yosuke only women with small boobs are high-class. Well thankyou for clarifying that, now my D-cups and I know our place as low-class trash. 😛

    And seriously, if you’re playing DoA for character development and complex emotional dynamics then I hate to tell you this, but you might looking in the wrong place…

  • This is the consequence of the departure of Itagaki. The game will not be the same if it so perverted that they have to censor the girl’s real ages in Australia.

  • I see nothing wrong with more realistic breasts.

    After all, not that many 16-year-old ninja princesses have DDD-cup boobs.

  • As a 30 year old man living in an all female household I respectfuly ask that they ditch this ‘real women’ plan.

  • Well the problem is that DoA generally isn’t taken very seriously in fighting gamer circles, pretty much half its market is fanservice. Taking that away and replacing it with “emotional experiences” probably isn’t going to go down well with their current fans, and unless the gameplay undergoes some pretty radical changes its still unlikely to be taken very seriously.

    In fact, as a long standing Tekken player myself, I get suspicious of fighting game developers throwing around phrases like “linking emotion to violence” and “look at a woman [character] and be impressed with her as a woman”. It sounds like he’s in entirely the wrong genre.

    I don’t want to say “crash and burn” but that’s the overall impression I’m getting here.

  • DOA4 is my favourite fighting game. lots of speedy, crazy action and counters. i hope they don’t change too much.

  • As long as “real life” women continue to wear skimpy clothing and still retains their boob bounces and possibly with bigger boobs. I don’t really mind XD

  • I love DOA, and truly “for the article” itself. It’s a great fighting game series. Very accessible but smartly designed and highly competitive; those that say otherwise generally haven’t played it to a high level.

    This move is absolutely the right thing to do. I look forward to DOA articles that don’t focus on the look of the women and talk about the amazing environments and combat.

  • I was unaware the characters in DOA extended beyond “boob lady #1, boob lady #2.”

    Seriously, I can’t name any of the characters. At least Tekken has crazy shit like bears in it. If this aims to fix that, it’s honestly a good idea. Using the DoA franchise to do it seems counterintuitive, though. They’re going to risk damaging their brand identity (most of which consists of women with wildly gyrating mammaries).

    If they don’t want to sell to the guys buying booblady games, don’t use the booblady franchise.

  • Dead or Alive is known for one thing, that’s why people played it. It’s not like it had the greatest combat mechanics ever. Changing the direction is going to result in a horrible failure.

    Focusing on real women? Please, since when was the DOA franchise ever about “reality”? Sounds like some sort of “Womanazi” got a hold of the franchise. Good job vagina, you and your tits just killed a franchise.

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