Koei Tecmo Finally Responds To Dead Or Alive Xtreme 3 Controversy

Koei Tecmo Finally Responds to Dead or Alive Xtreme 3 Controversy

It's been nearly two weeks since a single Facebook comment on the official Dead or Alive page sent people into a tizzy over whether Dead or Alive Xtreme 3 wasn't coming to the West because of "issues happening in video game industry with regard to how to treat female[s]." Now, publisher Koei Tecmo has responded.

If you're unfamiliar with this particular blowup, I wrote up a long explainer last week that sums it up. In short, Koei Tecmo's confusingly phrased comment set off a firestorm of debate on whether criticism of how women are depicted in media was directly responsible for Dead or Alive Xtreme 3 not leaving Japan and Asia. Some saw this as "social justice warriors" successfully enacting the censorship of video games, a common refrain in circles like GamerGate, despite there being no evidence of a deliberate campaign debating the game's content.

Koei Tecmo's statement came from multiple official Twitter accounts today:

There are a couple of things to unpack here.

One, it's saying the Facebook comment wasn't a "statement" from the company but the sole opinion of whoever runs and maintains that particular page. It's possible they were expressing the opinion of developer Team Ninja or Koei Tecmo, but given what happened after it was said, they have decided to back off.

Two, they haven't yet changed their mind on the game coming West, citing "consciously respecting and strategising to support the different global audiences the Dead or Alive franchise lends itself to." While vague, there's a way to read that line a few ways, including one that supports the arguments of folks wondering if Western sensibilities are holding back the release.

It's curious that Koei Tecmo would include that line at all, honestly -- it will only incite further debate without resolution.

Whether or not Dead or Alive Xtreme 3 never, ever comes to the West remains to be seen, but it's unlikely to be the last conversation on a topic like this. As we've seen time and time again, there's always another one around the corner.


Comments

    The 24/7/365 news cycle - especially with games - makes it very hard for things like this.

    You say something like 'companies can't be expected to be as nimble as regular joe blow on social media to react to something' and everybody loses their mind and calls you a corporate stooge or fanboy or whatever.

    Play-Asia's actions were the most frightening, and I'm dismayed that that organisation has seemingly not been widely reported on since.

    Was it co-opting Koei-Tecmo's name and product for its own end?

    Was it endangering customers new and old by directing abusers towards them?

    Was it aided in any way by other parties to 'signal boost' its social media posts to other channels?

    Video game developers and publishers flog their games and products in a myriad of weird and wonderful ways since time immemorial.

    Sites like this owe it to their readers to be responsible and speak truth to marketing power. We've just seen the Aussie contingent do so with EB Games (I sure haven't shopped there in a while), so why should video game retailers like Play-Asia be any different?

      Just went to paly-Asia's website, and it is covered with DOA:X stuff. From the games description page:

      By using the upgraded Soft Engine 2.0 for the PS4 Version (an improved breast engine based off Dead Or Alive 5 Last Round) and the Soft Engine Lite (PS Vita Version), 4 main changes have been made to the character models. New skin shaders give off a realistic and healthy vibrancy, and breast physics have been fine tuned for maximum voluptuousness. As well, game changing booty physics have been fleshed out, along with the fact that no other game contains such realistic tanning. The main stay Camera Mode also returns and will be compatible with the upcoming PlayStation VR.

      I'm not familiar with this product myself, so I find it all quite fascinating.

        I think Play-asia is only doing a bit of opportunistic marketing. They're selling a collector's edition which comes with some of those '3-d' mousepads and other stuff. The game doesn't even use a mouse.

          Is that like the mousepad from prison school with two boobs to wrest ur wrist on?

    I'm really unsure as to the point of this article. Does the journalist WANT the game to be released, or does he want it to be censored???

    I have no problem with these games. They're light fluff with lots of eye candy. There's much MUCH worse stuff out there. And the outfits that the girls wear? You can see more explicit stuff in ANY issue of New Idea or Woman's Weekly that proliferate in every waiting room in the land.

      This may surprise you but most people just don't care about DOAX. As far as I can tell, he's just reporting on what's going on.

        In other words, its a manufactured non-controversy noone gives a shit about.

          Like Trjn said. It's journalism, reporting on an event without bias.

            Kotaku without bias, yeah that's a good one.

              Prob right, even though the article doesn't state bias in its contents, maybe just making an article about it shows bias.

        But there's nothing going on. It's a non-event.

          Sex. Sex is going on. And Kotaku's gonna stop it.

            Hahahaha. I call it art. But it IS sexy art. Boobyloobies...

      First: There is no suggestion that the game is going to be censored, anywhere, by anyone. A game publisher declining to release a game in a particular region is not censorship.

      Second: Why does the journalist need to want anything, except to update his audience on an ongoing story?

        Because he's looking for controversy where there is none. No wonder the developer has their head down. It's even written in the article title.

        And in good journalism there's always an angle. There has to be something to interest people. If you don't think they want that, then I recommend you take a closer look at the media you're ingesting because you probably aren't aware of how it's influencing you.

        As one of my lecturers often says "if it bleeds, it leads" meaning that if someone was hurt, it's the nr 1 story of the day. No matter what the situation was. Because it's an angle that will interest people and that will get it read.

        The censorship angle is because originally Tecmo Koei were talking about having to 'adjust' the game if they released it in the west.

        Last edited 03/12/15 6:44 am

    That response seems suspiciously like them saying "While the opinion was the employee's, it's actually the company's opinion but it wouldn't be diplomatic to say it is."

      WHAT is said is sometimes less important than HOW it's said.

    Cant wait till the feminists go off at VR porn and rendered girls

    gonna be epic

    especially when they go off at a guy who landed a rocket on an asteroids T-shirt

      Once we get VR porn they can have meatspace.

      Pun only mildly intended.

    People can talk, it doesn't necessarily mean you have to listen because this implies every perspective is valid and they aren't - some are factually inaccurate and full of hyperbole, such as the cultural impact of this video game about bikinis. We're always worried about what "message" a particular representation sends but it's a pretty dubious assumption to make, since the people who make these statements are capable of healthily engaging the product themselves, yet assume others cannot. It's a sad perspective fueled by assumption and lack of education but it's up to people to engage, integrate and challenge these views holistically and empathetically. They aren't really doing that, you can't stop people talking and no one seemingly asked for this, specifically, so the onus is on Koei Tecmo. I'm sure people would love to blame the generalised representation of a "SJW" but all they've done is exist, people are looking for a villain like they always do when it was just a decision.

      Pretty much every time someone brings up SJWs out of the blue, I imagine this.

    when gamergate scandal was at its peak publicity i actually thought anita sarkeesian and gamergate were the same thing so i avoided clicking anything ever related to any of it, so it was confusing for a year or so. Just like i avoided clicking anything justin bieber related so i would never know what it sounds like. Hopefully it all goes away like myspace or something.

      Same. Add to the list Taylor Swift, Miley Cyrus, Gaga, anything involving TV reality game shows about dancing, singing, getting married etc.
      The world becomes a more interesting place.

        absolutely i don't even have public television connected. News reporters are insane i see the news at other locations sometimes. They all have this nagging mother demeanor like they're programmed to be "serious" in this typical manufactured way. Recently john safran pointed out Australia has a serious obsession with true crime. Look at the immense coverage regarding rapes, murders, crime and terrorism. We're a nation of sadists.

    So they throw the unnamed employee under the bus, and then make a statement that doesn't contradict what that employee said. Classy.

      Eh, I have experience managing social media like that- Sometimes you get carried away and say something based on your own opinion rather than the company line... the temptation is so strong. And you take a lot of heat for it.

    I'm not really sure what people are getting excited about with this statement. It's a boilerplate "One of our employees said something controversial" statement. It doesn't judge anyone, because it doesn't want to alienate, but it absolves the company of association with it. I've read so many of these from all sorts of industries.

      What causes this in the first place was the social media employee thinks they have the right to speak as the company in the social media site. They never had the authority to speak on behalf of the company unless it is an official statement.

      Seems to have an increase of these type of people managing various company's social media. Maybe they are trying to sound quirky for some publicity. God knows what is happening to social media now.

      Last edited 02/12/15 3:16 pm

        Well, I mean, that's literally their job. It's not even kind of their job, their job is to literally log in as the company, post things as the company and respond to people as the company.

        Seems to have an increase of these type of people managing various company's social media. Maybe they are trying to sound quirky for some publicity. God knows what is happening to social media now.

        Social Media has been a new way to reach customers, and word of mouth has always been the driving force of advertisements, so it's no wonder companies are trying to get their employees to generate word of mouth by interacting directly to customers

        It's pretty easy man. You have a few people who all have access to the same social media account and sometimes they say things out of turn. They may have just been talking trash on their private account 2 minutes before, then they switch over and deal with something on the company account and respond in a similar way. It's very hard to get rid of you ego and be a blank "face of the company".

    I don't even understand what was so controversial about what that employee said. He was simply like 'it's not coming out and it shouldn't surprise you considering the current discussions about the kind of content our games provide.'

    Nobody from KT aimed this attitude at any particular 'group', only audiences of this news and some opportunistic marketing by PlayAsia said anything of the sort.

      Exactly. That's what I'm wondering too. It's silly that the site is so keen to find the controversy here.

      And on a broader level, how many great works of art have been destroyed over the centuries because of censorship? It's just pretty women in bikinis, it's not that bad.

    I voted with my wallet! I pre-ordered the game on play-asia, then I went to JB hifi today to get a PS4 to play it on! I could never make up my mind between PS4 and Xbox1. Halo master-chief collection was a big plus for the XB1, but I thought maybe Destiny could make up for that. In the end, Xtreme 3 sealed the deal! It's actually better ordering it online. I don't want to be seen buying it in a store!

    Basically they know that it won't sell here because even our repressed 13 year olds have more class than this.

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