Dead or Alive 5 Fans Wanted Bigger Chests, Says Director

By Ishaan . September 27, 2012 . 12:30pm

Back in February, Team Ninja said something to the effect of wanting to do away with sexualized female characters in Dead or Alive 5, and instead, focus on more realistic looking characters. Then, those plans changed. What happened? Fan feedback, that’s what.


Speaking with Gamasutra, Dead or Alive 5 director, Yohei Shimbori, says that Team Ninja received feedback from western fans who played the Dead or Alive 5 demo, asking that the game not be toned down in “sexiness”.


“We were getting feedback from the overseas offices to tone down the sexuality—to tone down the sexiness of the game, and of the characters,” Shimbori recalls. However, once feedback came direct from fans, Team Ninja decided to alter course slightly.


“We actually got a lot of feedback from people who were playing it, saying, ‘We want bigger breasts. Make the characters more like that.’ That was kind of surprising,” Shimbori reveals.


“There’s definitely still room for having sexualized aspects,” Shimbori concludes. “If you have a solid fighting game system there, there’s nothing wrong with having beautiful characters as a layer on top of that—that’s another layer of entertainment that there’s a need for. If there wasn’t a need for it, people wouldn’t have responded to the alpha demo like they did, and sent us feedback.”

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  • tofoomeister

    Duh, says commenters

  • Ugh. This is why we can’t have nice things. As long as they similarly compensated on the male characters somehow, I wouldn’t mind.

    • Mecha_the_Hedgehog

      They already are compensated they just dont focus on it all that much as they do the ladies. The guys are shirtless with flawless bodies and Elliot lets face facts he wasn’t created to appeal to those who like big boobies. What more could be done other then giving Ryu and Hayate (The only two guy characters who are overly covered up) swimsuits not much.

  • Brimfyre

    Irritating that our idiot marketing directors in the west asked them to tone it down in the first place.

  • Paradox me

    Ugh, no. I’m so tired of hyper sexualized or overly cute characters in Japanese video games. This is not why I buy video games, movies or watch TV. 

    It doesn’t bother me quite as much in fighting games, but in just about everything else.. I just don’t want it. Not everything has to be sexy. How about focusing on making a good character instead of ensuring that your audience is in a state of perpetual arousal.

    This is coming from someone that loves boobies.

    • MrRobbyM

      Booby burnout

    • FFmax

      Couldn’t have said it better myself. I getting sick of how just about everything  is over sexualized. I feels unnecessary and feels like a cheap way to appeal to the horny crowd. I don’t mind if it’s optional but if it’s getting shoehorned in every game like this that’s when I have a problem.

      • Herok♞

         The thing is this is DoA so its not really shoehorned because it was a prior element that would have been taken out and everyone knows fans don’t like change.

    • CirnoLakes

      >hyper sexualized
      I’m with you there.
      >overly cute

  • I’d rather have more costumes rather than chests.

  • Suicunesol

    I don’t know about what to say about this. I haven’t played Dead or Alive 5 yet so I don’t know to what extent they’ve taken it. I don’t know if it’s possible to completely shake off the sexual image that the DoA series has made for itself over the last decade, despite the fact that I find DoA’s fighting system a lot of fun. I guess the reduced breast bouncing “shook the fans up”. :P

    I think it may have been better to take the policy of “if you don’t want to emphasize it, don’t do it at all. But if you do it at all, go all out.” Acceptable middleground is hard to find if you want to appeal to both the perverted and non-perverted audience.

    • CirnoLakes

      I don’t know about you, but I’d like a variety of body types.

      Who says people can’t be “perverts” over other than large boobs?

      I don’t like the implication here that ‘bigger’ equals “sexier”.

  • Learii

    bigger chest will ruin the chars duh those fan are crazy can they never think if the chest so big how the char look like? i guess all they thnk about is boobs

  • Zonic505

    Fans wanting a game that 1/2 the reason is popular due to fanservice to keep the fanservice? What gave them THAT idea?

    But in all seriousness, I don’t mind attractive female video game characters, but not ALL of them have to be designed that way. I was hoping they’d stick with the whole “make characters more realistic” thing. Wanted to see how that turned out.

    • ronin4life

      This is something I really don’t get. This is a series full of superhuman monsters capable of shooting energy blasts and surviving multi story falls… how the Hell is any of that realistic, and why should anything else be made to fit a loose, narrow minded view of reality?

      Strong characterisation isn’t wholly indicative of depth or reality… especially if you actually understand real life people who can tend to be even more shallow and “ridiculous” than even video game characters.


      • Zonic505

        They were just going to make the woman look more realistic, trying to tone down the sexual content/boobs bouncing at the slightest step. You can still make someone look realistic but give them unrealistic powers & such. Look at Frank West from Dead Rising. He looks pretty human/realistic (in comparison to other Capcom/video game characters), but he can take on THOUSANDS of zombies just by using things he finds around the mall.

        Just because a character looks realistic doesn’t mean the world around them has to.

      • Alexander Marquis Starkey

        This games has characters with unrealistic powers? I thought everyone just fought with the martial arts that practiced. Never seen anyone using hadokens. 

        • ronin4life

          The ninjas have teleporting powers in combat(though they are ninjas… )and shoot energy blasts in some cutscenes, especially in DOA Dimensions. One of Ryus attacks in the same game has him doing a palm thrust with an energy ball… kind of like narutos rasengen. And then there were the weird Bosses… but they don’t really count I guess.

          Then there is the level in doa4 with the cars that can hit your character, the series staple multistory falls…

  • XiaomuArisu

    Arent the DOA5 boobs fine?
    Make them bigger and they will look ridicolus.

  • PreyMantis

    I have a feeling that those “fans” were just being sarcastic and the devs took it as literal. 

  • I wanted to see bigger chests too, and I’m not even a fan…

  • masaYT

    …….urghh, just when you though DOA fans were bad enough.

    • Brimfyre

      They are almost as bad as people who click on articles for games they have no interest just to make a troll post.

      • $30632660

        Don’tcha just hate when people do that? lol

      • masaYT

         I own the game and love it for one reason, its great fighting mechanics…so yeah, i guess that makes your comment irrelevant

        • Brimfyre

          Hmmm… That would mean you yourself are a DOA fan, and you said DOA fans are annoying… ergo… you are annoying….

          So perhaps it makes my comment irrelevant as you said, but getting someone to realize they just insulted themselves is just as enjoyable.

          • masaYT

            I wouldn’t say i’m a fan, i just picked it up because of the fast paced action.

            Annoyed that the fans instead of asking for imrovement’s on gameplay they asked for bigger breasts………it’s pathetic.

  • shion16

    Forget the boobs, the fighting mechanics are great , im loving this game.
    Its one of the greatest fighting games ive played this year.

  • But how would they pull off those fancy Ninja moves with those huge melons weighing them down?

    but seriously what?

  • Genjo

    bigger boobs means keep me glued to the game xD

  • Rirath

    I don’t have a problem with this, and I agree with his sentiments of “If you have a solid fighting game system, there’s nothing wrong with having beautiful characters”.

    I do feel that a team ought to make the game true to their creative vision, ignoring feedback from both sides of the fence – but, IF you’re going to listen to feedback, then listen to what the fans want rather than ignoring what they don’t want.

    It seems like that’s exactly what they did, so good for them.

  • GibbRS

    To be honest I wish it was an option in the game, kind of like bouncing breasts used to be an option in the older titles.  I don’t like unrealistically proportioned women, and the Jello™ish breasts are not my cup of tea.  I’d rather the women looked more natural.  If I could turn off the breast bouncing in DOA5, I would.

    I also hate how the breasts give so maybe people a different view of this game than it deserves. I told a friend of mine I was getting DOA5 and she gave me a bunch of grief saying “Oh the next game in the boobs series?” If you try to explain to people the game has decent fighting mechanics, they scoff at you and make fun of the characters. If Team Ninja toned the characters down a bit, they might have better grounds to stand on in the fighting game world.

    • Alexander Marquis Starkey

      Even still, DoA5 if compared to previous iterations has more toned down Jiggle physics, the girls had their breasts sizes reduced (compare Ayane in DoA5 to the DoA4 or even the model used in Warriors Orochi 3) so I personally think they got their job accomplished.

  • SirRichard

    More concerned that he seems to find “highly sexualised” to be interchangeable with “beautiful”, but that’s the Team Ninja way, isn’t it?

    Honestly, the game could’ve benefited from toning it down a good bit, because the series’ reputation no doubt puts more than a good few people off it. Say what you will about differing standards and all that, but it’s definitely quite a bit more awkward to play the fighter with a roster of skimpy outfits and bouncy tits with friends than it is to play the one with, amongst others, the Chinese Interpol agent who likes her traditions and the giant buff Russian wrestler (and the magical martial artists, the family man, Sagat, etc).

    I mean really, the title image says it all.

  • i know I do.

    That’s what separates DOA from the norm and makes it better!

  • Shadowman

    I want a new character from Virtual Fighter to crossover.

    Bigger chest could distract the player.

  • Rick R

    Personally I think it’s great as is, sexualized but not overly done. The new character models look fantastic and the game is great. I however would like more costumes. 

  • Seizui

     …Hahha… Hahaha…. Hahahahahahhahahaha.

    Though, in retrospect. I think it would do Team Ninja well, at this point, to do a Dead or Alive dating sim game. I think that would sell well.

    Just go through the whole 9 yards.

  • Tee Niitris

    I don’t mind fanservice in video games, but there is a point where it gets too far and to say that DoA has gotten to that point is an understatement.

    That said, why did they change their stance (I know why, but that’s for another discussion). I love to create things, stories, etc… The great thing about being a creator is that you get to create things in your image. If Team Ninja felt it was best to tone down the sex appeal, then they should have stuck by it.

    BTW, DoA 5 is even more sexualized than previous games not counting the Xtreme series (one piece stringy swimsuits? o_0  They don’t even look good). Also, I don’t think Team Ninja has a true understanding of fanservice. Fanserivce isn’t merely “boobs :)”

    DoA5’s music, in my opinion, is very underwhelming (and I’m mincing my words on this to be honest). What also suffices as fanservice is remixing/adding music from previous iterations of DoA. Fans of DoA’s music would surely appreciate that every bit as much as “Yay boobies :)”

    Team Ninja went on both sides of the extreme in consecutive games (listened to fans too little in NG3, too much in DoA5). There must be a balance in creating things and taking feedback from fans. Sure they’re the ones who buy the games, but they’re not the ones who make them.

    EDIT : To clarify, it’s not the sexiness I have a real problem with. It’s the fact that Team Ninja felt strongly against over-sexing the game, but went and did otherwise for already known reasons.

    • l777l

      “That said, why did they change their stance (I know why, but that’s for another discussion). I love to create things, stories, etc… The great thing about being a creator is that you get to create things in your image. If Team Ninja felt it was best to tone down the sex appeal, then they should have stuck by it.”

      Overseas offices told them to tone it down, fans told them to tone it back up. What precisely are you complaining about?

      “”We were getting feedback from the overseas offices to tone down the sexuality—to tone down the sexiness of the game, and of the characters,” Shimbori recalls. However, once feedback came direct from fans, Team Ninja decided to alter course slightly.”

      • Tee Niitris

        Wow, I’m complaining? Complaining about what exactly; I’d like for you to clarify. It’s very obvious that I’m emotionally venting about something.

        Read between the lines… this is not what Team Ninja wanted DoA5 to be. They were just too afraid to make something different from what everyone knows DoA to be. That’s all I’m saying.

        • l777l

          What then did they want it to be?

          • Tee Niitris

            Glad you asked.


            Hayashi :

            “In the series [Dead or Alive] 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. That’s what we wanted to tell our fans.”

            I’m not sure DoA5 gets the job done on that retrospect. I’m mean, it’s more the sexual themes overshadowing the women.

            P.S. : Sorry about eariler; that wasn’t mature of me.

          • l777l

            It’s difficult to say what they consider(ed) “more high class”. Traditionally, fighting games – the genre – has a low standard for character “depth” as well. At any rate, I’m not sure whether DoA5 does what they wanted it do to. (Re: “P.S.”, no problem.)

        • Repede91

          I get the impression that DOA5’s initial direction wasn’t what they wanted it to be.

          To me it came off as being reactionary to the games press and more “pretentious gamers”. Neither would have purchased DOA5 even if they kept with the de-sexualised direction.

          Seems to me they shifted focus to please the people who would actually buy the game.

          DOA5 is sort of a reaction to NG3. NG3 went out of it`s way to appeal to non-fans by reducing the difficulty, adding competitive multiplayer and COD style scripted events, a bigger focus on story and QTE`s. Almost everything that was changed or added to NG3 was viewed as a detractor.

          After all the effort to woo a broader audience to play their games (an audience that didn`t show up) and displeased the current audience with a new direction they didn`t want.

          DOA5 comes across to me as being a reaction to the reactions of NG3, to me anyway.

    • $3587643

      I don’t think their focus on fanservice is excessive, but you do bring up something very relevant to team ninja. When a game company is driven by a stronge image, they know what parts of the game they need to control and what parts they can change. Team ninja has lost any kind of strong image. They’re just producing sequels for a paycheck, instead of making the games they truly want to make.

      To me, that’s what’s to blame for NG3 and DoA5.

      • Tee Niitris

        That’s the strong image they had under Itagaki. He knew exactly what he wanted his games to be, and if you didn’t like it, then whatever.

        When DoA5 was first under development, Hayashi and Nu-Team Ninja had a vision for it. However, when they saw how poorly received NG3 was, they lost confidence in that image. Combine that with DoA5’s fan demand, and they quickly made a U-Turn on their initial statement to avoid another NG3 like letdown.

  • l777l

    ‘”We were getting feedback from the overseas offices to tone down the sexuality—to tone down the sexiness of the game, and of the characters,” Shimbori recalls. However, once feedback came direct from fans, Team Ninja decided to alter course slightly.’
    Overseas office: political correctness. Fans: sexiness.

    • Yerld_CK

       Political correctness? Perhaps, but I suspect their main concern was for gamers to take Dead or Alive seriously. There’s much respect for Tekken, Street Fighter, Virtua Fighter, and Soul Calibur (even the new Mortal Kombat to some degree). However, DoA has always been perceived as a fake……kinda like the Lingerie Football League next to the NFL.

      Perhaps the Virtua Fighter cameos were added for a similar reason.

      • ronin4life

        Which is hilarious as soul calibur has sucked worse and worse since 2 and I can’t stand any other 3d fighter.(never liked VF and tekken is just a plodding robotic doa… from what little I remember of 3.)

        They all also, unlike doa, have INCREASED their “sexy” output and have caught little to no flack for it; save for the sc5 promotional scandal. Which had nothing to do with the game proper.
        This has nothing to do with the actual content. it’s the name that catches peoples attention. Doa has that history and has stuck to it. Why is it only now that it is suddenly a problem?

        And this is as much objectification and disrespect of women as video game violence is actual combat and murder. Do you feel guilty for feeling attracted to real life women you don’t know? I wouldn’t think so.
        I’m good now-.-;

      • l777l

        That’s a good thought.

  • Wow lol. Apparently boobs make the world go round. Who knew? =P

  • if you don’t like what the game “stands” for don’t buy it. It’s great that the company listened to the fans and not their critics who would probably would never buy the game anyway.

  • I really hope they stick with the original plan. Fans must learn to take other things in consideration at the moment of picking a game/anime sides than just boobs and moe dumbf***.

    Sure there’s still real tight costumes (The game’s particular charm and it goes to the genre I guess lol) but that should teach them to have less demanding and realistic expectations on a lady’s figure!
    Also, personality!

  • SilverSven

    I’ll never understand why the west is so afraid of such a low level of “sexiness”. DoA5 is pretty tame, especially compared to some other games.

    Those who say it gets in the way of gameplay are nothing less than paranoid. I have yet to see a game where nudity detracts from another aspect.

  • This game is seriously gorgeous, all breasts aside. The graphics got a huge overhaul, the fights are fast and over the top and the music is actually pretty good for some of the stages. It’s good too see Team Ninja with a strong release after the past few less than desirable titles. DoA has always been like this, with the excessive sexuality in the characters, you either want it or you don’t. The series has never tried to “clean up” its act.
    Besides, Soul Calibur 5 gets the pervert of the year award for fighting games, just look up some of the customizations people have put up on youtube.

  • DemonicX

    ..So the fans were more concerned with how big the breasts should be, than actually giving advice on enhancing the gameplay? How sad.. Yes, I know the series was known for big breasted females, but seriously, come on. >_>

  • Darkrise

    I can see the sexiness but this is fairly tame so I don’t see what critics have to complain about, I mean I don’t see them complaining about “sex” in mass effect or the pure nudity in god of war. From what I can see, they’re just going after sexiness that doesn’t come from NA.

  • Hinataharem

    They are fine the way they are

  • Repede91

    I think Team Ninja made the correct decision here.

    I get the impression that the people who called for a reduction in bust size probably wouldn’t purchase the game either way.

  • Astrotrain

    The problem is not the sexiness of DOA, the problem is the stupid people that still think sex and everything related to it is bad, ugly, a sin, perverdted, etc.

    I applaud Team Ninja’s decision of hearing their fans.

  • Göran Isacson

    On the other hand, hardcore fans where what made SF3 so insular and they were upset at how simplified SF4 had gotten. And yet had they stayed on that path, SF4 would most likely not have sold as well.

    What I’m trying to say is that sometimes, fans don’t know what’s best for a franchise. And I think that at least TRYING to move away from the over the top bouncing boobies could have been a good first step to give DOA a reputation beyond just “that game with the fighting tits and some ninjas too”.

    • Astrotrain

      That should applay to Mortal Kombat as well, right?

      • Göran Isacson

        I readily admit, that was a good one. Didn’t even think about that connection until you mentioned it, though personally Mortal Kombat was ALWAYS just “the ninja game” to me while growing up.

  • Arizato

    I enjoy the female body as much as the next straight guy (Or lesbian). But this is actually sad in my opinion. Sure, I don’t mind fanservice at all, if anything it is “bonus” for the eyes.

    That being said though that people request bigger breasts and more “sexiness” is just… Sad… Use the opportunity to tell Team Ninja on how to improve the gameplay instead!

    • TheDarkEmpress

       But…boobies ARE gameplay…you’re missing the point.

      Instead of a controller you use a joystick to play this game…

    • Duo Maxwell

      But they improved it. Did you play the game?

  • Mrgrgr and Unacceptable World

    Well, i think this way is okay for the series lol. Even if one would to complain about how sexy the game is, it is still a game there and there many of its fans who actually loves how sexy the character is.

    What Team Ninja should focus next is how to make the gameplay better while maitaining the girls in the game and so that both of the fans will be happy.^_^

  • ShawnOtakuSomething

    Who plays for the gameplay in the game lol

    • Alexander Marquis Starkey

      Most of the real fans of the series…and those of us who just like fighters.

      • ShawnOtakuSomething

        funny I only use Ryu :3 and haven’t

  • Souji Tendou

    And once again, TN fails to know what the fans wanted.

    • I’d say they got it spot on. Everywhere I see, people want more busty babes. They gave it to them. 

  • CirnoLakes

    … I’m never going to get a flat chested female character in Dead or Alive, am I?

    • XiaomuArisu

       Be patient!
      One day there will be a flat chested girl,while you wait use Elliot…he is flat chested

  • Based Prince Vegeta #BADMAN

    How the fuck is “fans wanting bigger chests” surprising? Half the players of those games only play it for the, FUNBAGS. I haven’t owned a DOA game and thought this one looked good from that Ryu vs ??? on that building top crumbling in the background. That alone makes the game look awesome, but holding out on the breasts…that’s a no-no.

  • Go2hell66

    Lol i’m okay with this, honestly speaking boobs is the only thing that lets doa stick out from other games and their on their 5th game already, its a bit too late to change it up now, they’ll only diminish their current fan base

  • XypherCode

    IMO there’s nothing wrong with what they did. Making a very solid fighter game but still adding that “DOA sexiness” touch to it. For this franchise it has the best of both worlds. :)

  • I don’t want a simple bigger chest.
    I want a beautiful and propotional bouncy chest and ass too.

  • Syn

    Boobies!!!! Heck yeah!!!!

  • OatMatadoQuatro

    When I said I wanted girls with bigger breasts I wasn’t talking about DOA5 but well…

  • BringTheFate

    So where are the sexualized men for us female players? I enjoy playing the games with my boyfriend, and Mila is right up my alley, but a few swimsuits for the guys would be nice. Sure, a few have shirtless outfits, but I want a fundoshi or the Chinese equivalent for Brad, damn it. I want speedos for the men, if it’s fair enough that all the women get bikinis.

    • Oh I can understand, If I was a girl I would be offended too that the guys in the game would not be sexuaized.  Anyway, at least Team Ninja hasn’t lost their touch after Itagaki left when it comes to fanservice.

      • BringTheFate

        Honestly, I’m less offended about that and more about this self-perpetuating stereotype that we only play RPGs and sim games. If it wasn’t for that, things like this would be a lot more even. The sexualized women don’t bother me as much as they do most girls because I just don’t use those costumes and I just crack jokes with my guy friends when they do. Mila gets the grey sweats, Helena gets her main blue dress, and Eliot is just eye candy.

  • Leonard Norwood Jr.

    Well it is good that Team Ninja listen to their fanbase. However its far too late to change what’s already out on the shelves in the stores. Gamers got their DOA5 game, at least they can do is appreciate the work they’ve done. I have no doubt they would try to make some changes somehow or just focus putting ideas onto their next game.

    Sex appeal and all that stuff isn’t a bad thing, you can’t blame somebody for trying something different this time around while still keeping some of that stuff in there for the boys and girls playing DOA. They wanted to make sure that DOA is a capable fighting game series with everything that a fighting game should stand for and much more with a few more added goodies for the fans who appreiciate them.

    For me, I’m more concerned about the gameplay and such rather than the very thing that fans are focused on…in other words boobs. I know what they are all about, but I just want to have fun kicking a**. I give every guy who dealt with the physics causing to the breast to moves some credit but that’s about it. I just wanna play the game that’s all.

  • James Lansdowne

    Yeah, for this particular series this is the deal. Take it or leave it, don’t complain about it. Soul Calibur, for example, became way too hyper-sexualized over time and does need it to be toned down because it was a distracting CHANGE to the franchise.
    This franchise on the other hand has a spinoff series of beach volleyball games where all the female characters can run around in g-strings. Get over it.

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