A Dead or Alive tournament organiser has imposed a new set of suggested restrictions on the character costumes it will permit to be used at its events.
Free Step Dodge says the move is designed to stop the over-sexualised design of many of the series' characters detract from the gameplay design.
This is a movement that was discussed by several members of the community to try and help turn around the image that has plagued the franchise,” the organisation said. DOA has always been known for its over-sexualized females and just that alone has pushed people away from even trying the game.
Sex Appeal in the DOA franchise will never go away but we, the community, want people to take it seriously and started the costume ban at offline tournaments to force people to focus more on the gameplay aspect of the game. This is a soft ban and is at the discretion of the TO running the game at the event. However we HIGHLY encourage people to not use the suggested costumes on stream for something like Top 8.”
The reaction from fans has been negative, to say the least.
"In essence they are trying to evangelise the game by demonstrating their shame for it," one community member told Eurogamer. "The sexual aspect to DOA is part of what makes the game DOA. It has always been this way, and now certain community members are trying to deny the nature of the game, a game which they have no hand in developing.
"This is alienating those who actually play the game, and I feel not making it any more attractive to those who don't. In fact, quite the reverse, it looks to outsiders as though the DOA community is made up of puritanical children who endorse the censorship of the very thing they purport to support."
Team Ninja's Yosuke Hayashi told MCV last month that critics of the game's overt sexualisation need to be mindful of the cultural differences that divide the East and West.
What is important to remember here is that Dead or Alive is a series developed in Japan, where the interpretation of beauty is very different to that of Europe or the US,” he explained. There is a cultural barrier between what appeals to our fans in the East and what to those in the West so, of course, we are taking that under consideration in our development and marketing.
As far as Dead or Alive is concerned, our philosophy is to try and make a game that our fans can enjoy, in both the East and the West, and regardless of gender.”