If you saw the trailer for Dead or Alive 6, odds are you noticed something was missing: bouncing breasts. The game’s trademark revealing dresses and overblown breast physics are being swapped out, or at the very least toned down, in favor of what can be best described as realism.
In an interview with Eurogamer, game director Yohei Shimbori explained that, this time around, he wanted “to show how sweaty the fighters get as they fight, either female or male, it doesn’t matter.” The changes are no more apparent than in the game’s mascot kunoichi (female ninja) Kasumi. Here’s what she looks like in previous Dead or Alive games:
As you can plainly see, not only is her costume completely impracticable for a ninja, it only exists to titillate gamers. Why else would anyone wear a…I honestly have no idea what to even call this…that exposes her ample cleavage and an equally ample rear that’s barely covered by what might be a thong. But here’s what Kasumi looks like in the new Dead or Alive game:
This new default costume for Kasumi is far more in-line with what a ninja would wear. Well, a ninja with access to modern technology and materials, anyway. Her new outfit looks like a cross between Naruto’s jumpsuit, the colorful spandex of the various ninja-themed Power Ranger teams, and the batsuit from the Batman Arkham games. Sure, the costume’s got an obvious armor-plated combat bra, but at least Kasumi’s breasts don’t look ready to fall out of her clothes . Plus, Shimbori’s got a sound reason for this radical departure in design.
“The reason I chose that costume is because I’m a fan of American comic books,” explained Shimbori. “When you look at American comics, they’re abandoning those classical costumes and becoming more functional, becoming more like fighters. They have certain materials they use for the costumes. I thought that was a wonderful idea and I wanted to follow that.” He also went on to explain that there is a “global trend” of toning down sexualization as a whole.
Kasumi isn’t the only character hit by the de-sexualization, though. Apparently all of the female characters will feature more realistic clothes and toned-down breast physics. While one could argue the sexualization has given the franchise a unique identity that lets it stand out from other fighting games, Shimbori is set on creating a new Dead or Alive game that will emphasize “intense fighting entertainment” and let all gamers play “without being embarrassed.” Plus, odds are Kasumi’s traditional outfit will make its way into the game either as an unlockable costume or DLC, anyway.
Dead or Alive 6 is scheduled to release in 2019 for the PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC via Steam.