The Dead or Alive franchise of fighting games offers a unique take on the genre focused on counters and holds, but has long struggled with a public perception of being the genre’s “boobie fighter.” However, the creative design team is planning on making the newest entry in the series “less sexualized,” one of various changes to help bring the series back into the esports spotlight.
In an interview with IGN, Dead or Alive 6 director/producer Yohei Shimbori spoke about wanting to give the game a more mature image and more accessible approach to its gameplay. The article, written by Ersa Krabbe, describes how the female characters look:
In Dead or Alive 6, female characters’ breasts no longer jiggle and bounce in the exaggerated fashion the series became increasingly known for, and the costumes we have seen so far are less revealing. Female characters are depicted in a more natural way, which makes them feel more human and believable than before.
The Dead or Alive 6 team has also been looking to appeal to newcomers. Among the changes they’ve added a one-button auto-combo system, similar to the kind other fighting games use. This philosophy of appealing to a wider audience of players also played into the development of Diego, a new character that was revealed and playable at Evo 2018. Shimbori asked Tom Lee, the Team Ninja creative director, about creating a new 25-year-old male character, and Lee saw this as an opportunity to add some more diversity to the character roster. When speaking to Kotaku, he said:
We were looking for a character that would really appeal to the West. We realized as a team that we were under-representing the Hispanic community, and we felt that was something that was needed in the Dead or Alive roster. From there, [we picked] the region of New York City and [made] this cool street fighter-type guy who kind of figured things out on his own. I thought that would be really appealing to the casual audience as well as the audience in the West.
Dead or Alive 6 will release sometime in 2019 for the PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC via Steam.