Dead or Alive Creator Mourns Dead or Alive 5 Sales, Erotic Costumes

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Over the last few months, Dead or Alive creator Tomonobu Itagaki has made a few comments voicing his displeasure with the status of the Dead or Alive 5 series of games. At one point, Itagaki even said that once he was done developing Devil’s Third, his current project, he would “do something” for the game.


Certain fans took this to mean that Itagaki would attempt to return to direct the Dead or Alive games even though he famously parted ways with publisher Koei Tecmo years ago. Naturally, that isn’t what Itagaki meant at all. In a recent post to his Facebook, he attempted to clear the air by elaborating on how he feels about the current Dead or Alive. Here’s what he had to say:


< Important; Nobody can hide the FACT >


My fan told me, “There’s a rumor going around that once you’ve completed Devil’s 3rd, you’re returning to DOA.” Thank you for such info. But, I don’t know where the rumor is coming from.


Certainly, I wrote the prescriptions to save the DOA. That message wasn’t meant for me, but for the decent developers in current Team Ninja. I’m just grieving for decrease in the sales of DOA5. I can’t stand anymore to see DOA fans parting each other.


I don’t know whether you know that. 2,000,000+ people played respectively for DOA3 and DOA4. Compared to them, how many people on earth are playing DOA5? That’s why I wrote such prescriptions for the future of DOA. So, please don’t misunderstand what I was/am saying.


Please aware of the fact, and just support the Decent Developers still remaining at Team Ninja. Of course I will do everything what I can do for DOA. Plus, my primary mission is to construct the solid Devil’s Third franchise. My will never change until the day when I complete this mission.


Itagaki also appears displeased with the amount of erotic DLC being released for Dead or Alive 5. If you’ve kept up with the game, you likely know that there are dozens of erotic downloadable costumes available for its cast of female fighters. Some of these costumes have prompted the Dead or Alive 5 community’s more prominent representatives to soft ban them at tournaments, out of concern that they might convey a negative image to outsiders and take attention away from the game’s fighting system, which is what should be the most important aspect of any fighter.


It appears Itagaki shares this sentiment, at least to some extent. In a follow-up post on Facebook, he stated: “Thank you everyone. I’m so glad to hear your voices. Please support our DOA together. I have to say. DOA can’t survive with money earned by continuously selling too much sexual DLCs. DOA can live with respects from all of the DOA fans. So, please make them aware of what they have to do for the future of DOA.”


Food for thought:

It bears mentioning that complete sales data for Dead or Alive 5 is not available. We do know the first version of Dead or Alive 5 shipped 580,000 copies in its first month, but Itagaki’s point, judging by this comment, is that a single version of the game is no longer capable of pulling the same numbers as previous DOA games.

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Image of Ishaan Sahdev
Ishaan Sahdev
Ishaan specializes in game design/sales analysis. He's the former managing editor of Siliconera and wrote the book "The Legend of Zelda - A Complete Development History". He also used to moonlight as a professional manga editor. These days, his day job has nothing to do with games, but the two inform each other nonetheless.