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Koei Tecmo has finally broken their silence in more than a tweet (which may have been an non-representative statement now), on the Dead or Alive Xtreme 3 controversy that took over the gaming section of the internet recently (well the portions that weren’t controlled by Fallout 4 or Kotaku blacklisting talk). This is what was posted as their official response to the situation, both publicly and sent to various media outlets such as ourselves.

The comments recently made by an employee regarding DEAD OR ALIVE Xtreme 3 on the official DEAD OR ALIVE Facebook page only reflect that individual’s opinion and not the opinion or business strategy of Koei Tecmo Games.

We remain focused on delivering the best in fighting entertainment to our fans around the world, while consciously respecting and strategizing to support the different global audiences the DEAD OR ALIVE franchise lends itself to. 

DEAD OR ALIVE Xtreme 3 remains in development and is still planned for release in Japan and Asia only.

The statement is interesting on several levels, as it doesn’t address the tweet made on the Koei Tecmo Europe twitter that expressed support for the statement made on the Dead or Alive facebook page. It also doesn’t state that said reasoning was wrong, just that essentially it is that person’s opinion and not the business strategy Koei Tecmo supports and the statement on respecting would lend itself to the fact that it is a risk-reward business strategy decision made. 

Of course, Koei Tecmo was far from the only ones to respond to the controversy, in fact they may well have been the last in many ways. For a game concept as benign as one focused around women playing volleyball, Dead or Alive Xtreme 3 has become a hotbed of various opinions and feelings on the topic of women in video games and censorship.

HuniePop Developer HuniePot was one of the responders that we noted in our last article, offering $1 million for the rights to publish Dead Or Alive Xtreme 3 in the States on the twitter

They weren’t the only ones eager to make sure that the game reached western audiences, as PlayAsia took advantage of the situation to market their import work that they do on games, especially notable with Dead or Alive Xtreme 3 already having an English translation for China. PlayAsia’s social reach essentially doubled overnight on twitter, with many users flocking to them, although some noted they also were moving their import purchases elsewhere. The whole drama for them began when they tweeted this out:

With their most recent tweet being:

Reactions however were definitely far from one sided as mentioned and many sites wrote articles on it.

MCV’s article on it stated:

Now retailer Play Asia has used the #SJW hashtag in a string of tweets lambasting the decision. SJW stands for ‘Social Justice Warrior’ which astonishingly is used as an insult among GamerGate backers, as they do not believe in the notion of equality and have a hostile attitude towards females.

“#DOAX3 will not be coming to the US due to #SJW nonsense,” Play Asia said. “However, we will have the English Asia version available. This is literally the worst boycott we’ve ever seen.”

A later tweet added: “We don’t advocate harassing individuals. Keep it civil everyone, we’re talking about video games here.”


Yes, she's wagging that finger for you looking at this game

Yes, she’s wagging that finger for you looking at this game

Destructoid’s CJ Andriessen joined in writing strongly worded posts about the situation

Thank you, Koei Tecmo, for having the balls to say enough is enough when it comes to sexualization of women in the media, but also not having the balls to just not make the game in the first place. It’s nice to know you don’t want to subject people in the West to the horrors of pretty girls in bikinis playing terrible mini-games, but couldn’t give any less of a shit about subjecting people in the East to that kind of, oh let’s say, filth.

This whole story is getting bent out of shape

This whole story is getting bent out of shape

Gamespot’s Rob Crossley had an odd tying everything in together at the end approach

The publisher’s choice to scrap global launch plans for its game highlights conflicts between the issues of censorship and sexism in games.

Changes in attitudes towards the depiction of women in games has created a public debate between those who want a more noticeable gender equality, and those who feel such changes are detrimental or unnecessary.

Disagreements over the complex issue have sometimes become so envenomed that they have sparked instances of domestic terrorism. In September 2014, it was revealed that organisers for a games developer awards show were told a bomb would be detonated at the event if the divisive feminist Anita Sarkeesian would pick up her award.

Gamewatcher, who was the first to report on the statement from Koei Tecmo today, had a post on the issue previously, which included

There’s no question that Dead or Alive Xtreme 3 is poorly disguised softcore porn; the first DOAX tried to give the impression it wasn’t just about the females as there were a few men from the series in it. The question is that if it’s still a videogame and would making it tamer be worth a gamer’s purchase? it’s unlikely they’re looking for a volleyball sim.

Maybe they play it for the minigames?

Maybe they play it for the minigames?

VG247 mentioned that it was an odd change in messaging, and that Dead or Alive 5: Last Round had little backlash:

While the comment is open to some interpretation it does seem to suggest that Koei Tecmo – or at least, this representative – is citing the potential for criticism as the motivating factor behind the lack of English-language release. It’s a strange change in official messaging.

Responses to the comment have been mixed. While it has sparked anger amongst disappointed fans who feel they have someone besides Keoi Tecmo to blame for the decision, USGamer argues the publisher is dodging fan anger and shifting the blame for a (probably sensible) business decision regarding a niche title. The company is, after all, in the business of making money.

The last Dead or Alive release, Dead or Alive 5: Last Round, didn’t spark a furore; in fact, it kind of went under the radar except for disappointment over the iffy PC port.

All this fuss has really made me wonder what potential cultural criticism is preventing Koei Tecmo from bringing over the latest Romance of the Three Kingdoms.

These are only some of many responses and discussions that the post brought up, and it seems that this is a debate unlikely to end any time soon.

A little secret...

A little secret…

However, those who want to order Dead or Alive Xtreme 3 will have little issue if they are willing to import some. As mentioned the Asian release has English subtitles and menus making it easy to play, and none of this generation’s of PlayStation devices are region locked making it easy to do. It’s not as simple as just going to your local shop, but going to online stores like PlayAsia, Nin-Nin-Game, NCSX, or AmiAmi you can order it and have it mailed to you.

Don Parsons

News Editor

I've been a gamer for years of various types starting with the Sega Genesis and Shining Force when I was young. If I'm not playing video games, I'm often roleplaying, reading, writing, or pondering things brought up by speculative fiction.

  • Reptile

    Oh I say fuck Koei Tecmo pussies, HuniePot should make their own “Xtreme 3″ish game with blackjack and hookers (literally).

  • Doc Hammer

    I can’t believe that tired “gamers hate women” strawman keeps getting dragged back out time and again. They’re called social justice warriors because they’re a deeply indoctrinated and combative people who are obsessed with their social justice ideology. It has nothing to do with actual equality; it’s remarkable to me that they can constantly trot out this absurdist notion that gamers somehow hold this belief that no modern person realistically has. Pure hyperbole taken literally is what it is.

  • Typical

    astonishingly is used as an insult among GamerGate backers, as they do not believe in the notion of equality and have a hostile attitude towards females.

    Now that we’ve made that dig, let’s keep it civll everyone – what assholes.

  • Typical

    We don’t want to take away your games!!!! We just want people to stop making them available to you.

  • Psyramics

    ‘astonishingly’ like it hasn’t been a pejorative for the entirety of it’s existence.

  • wombat

    That’s a non-response… weak.

  • Typical

    to these fucktards, it’s only gamergate that is against them, the pushback is a relatively new and small thing, and the majority agrees with them. Oh, how disappointed they’re going to be.

  • mbits

    Still don’t get why there’s a controversy.

    A company makes a thing.
    Some people want to buy it.
    It is not illegal.

    Therefore, there is nothing to be concerned about.

  • Azure

    What a bunch of assholes that replied to that statement. It pretty much shows why they wont properly go global with this game.

  • NightmareNear

    I love Play Asia’s defiance. Time to show the SJWs that censorship is horrible.

  • Robert Grosso

    I find the VG 247 comment and the Rob Crossley comment to be very apt regarding this whole situation in the end. The vibe I got was part business decision/excuse, part kowtowing to probable bad press, part trying to avoid a debate on the issue.

    Also maybe part generating buzz so that it can increase sales. We can swing that pendulum the other way if we wanted to as well at this point.

  • Daryl Corey

    I lost all respect for KoeiTecmo but Play Asia has a customer in me now over this

  • scemar


    Look at the field day play asia had, they know the audience, the real one, the one that loves the hobbies, has been into them since forever and actually spends on them

    The SJW tried to spin it in every possible negative way but the end result is play asia got more followers, more fan, and more business

    All the responses of the mainstream media are hilarious because every single one of them is doing the same thing: treating virtual polygons as “real girls” and trying to pretend that polygons looking like girls in swimsuits=forcing all women to go to the pool and make a sandwich which is dumb but hey that’s SJW logic

    videogame companies take note once and for all, being loved by your fans means much more than being hated by ideologically motivated whiny websites ran by a closed circle of hipsters

  • scemar

    All right dude you know SJW are everywhere, if they decide they hate something they will fight to make it stop existing, they’ll want it toned down in content, limited in substance, restructured until it ceases to be itself and banished to never come to the west, and once one of them gets offended the rest rush to it, it’s hard for any individual or small group to put resistance since the SJW are willing to use dirty tactics like lies, deception and foul play to get their way. They’ll attack people, companies or groups for as much as not opposing the things the SJW demand everyone oppose and not saying the same things they want everyone to say.
    And having many of them as prominent editors or influential figures in many old mainstream big gaming sites means they can control what the big headlines will say about any game or company. They’ll control what the first google search says, and even if the informed individual can see the lies and the truth apart there’ll be a lot of people that cannot bother checking beyond the headline saying “THIS COMPANY/PERSON IS EVIL, THIS GAME SUCKED” and so on.
    Companies care about their PR.

    We’ve seen the SJW using dirty tactics before so if tecmo koei releases a game they do not approve think of all the possible retaliation.

    The SJW game sites will say the next tecmo koei game is bad, or will go quiet about it, and any time there’s news related to the company they’ll try to spin it in a negative way and nitpick as much as they can.

    Granted, a smart game company would have realized by now that people have already grown disenfranchised of most online reviews, and have grown cynical towards the propaganda coming out of those sites and ignore them but I guess it’s a big change for game companies to suddenly realize that the news sites that used to matter so much before have grown less relevant than personal opinions people share with each other through social medias now.

  • aw81

    The destructiod writer called it filth lol
    Its DOA not fucking brazzers, get a grip man.

  • StrongStyleFiction

    Apparently that Destructoid quote was meant to be sarcastic.

  • Cody

    A company being diplomatic and saying diplomatic things? I’m shocked.

  • sakusakusakura_nyo

    This game is way less suggestive than anything you’d see on a typical American prime time tv show. People are just acting like it’s bad as an excuse to bully gamers.

  • gazlene tak

    honestly how long can these fucking “game” sites keep insulting, defaming, and attacking gamers and developers before they stop getting traction? It’s ridiculous. I want to say it’s only a matter of time before loss of profits from appeasing to the minority of prudish sjw “gamers” before they stop listening to them, but with this occurrence of them just not releasing here it seems like that might just be the future, there wont be any games released in the west that don’t bow to the demands of SJWs despite all evidence showing that every time a developer appeases their demands, they still find more to complain about. Just like every time in history that people try to appease authoritarians

    I still can’t understand why so many people in the gaming industry are listening to people who obviously have nothing but contempt for video games and anybody that plays them. Why would you try to appease people who aren’t your customers. It’s not like they’re dying with a need to expand. it’s a multi billion dollar industry. There’s no reason to appease people who obviously hate video games.

  • scemar

    They’re the gate keepers of the news/reviews sites and what they say reflects upon games, companies and people out there.
    And they’re good at holding grudges and bringing them back later.
    You released a game I didn’t like last year right? Cool, now you’re releasing a different game, I’m going to say it sucks in the previews.
    And they do their job in an organized fashion, they can all agree to ruin a game and carry that out.
    Does this sound like it’s all kinds of wrong? It is.
    But it is the way things work.
    As much as it might be wrong there’s still a lot of people that check “those” websites for their news.
    The best we can do is let them know how bad they are and hope they find their way to good sites instead.

  • Sharkz
  • Joseph F

    I have a question. Maybe someone who knows more about game releases than I do can explain this to me. Since there is an English version of the game being made anyway, and since almost every game gets a digital release these days, why don’t they just release it digitally in North America? I understand why they wouldn’t want to manufacture a bunch of retail copies that they didn’t think would sell, because than they’d lose money, but what do they have to lose by just putting the English version of the game that they’re already making on the American PSN Store as a download only game?

  • BurntToShreds

    I’m mainly worried about how other Japanese game developers are going to react to this. If I recall, didn’t the devs working on the FF7 Remake say that they would keep all of the zany stuff in that game intact? I remember reading that somewhere. Hopefully that means that the crazy stuff at Don Corneo’s remains in there.

  • Elilla Shadowheart

    They can try to be the gatekeepers all they want, but they’re already dying. Niche sites will survive their death, but this is a replay of the gaming mags of the 90’s and the internet to a wider audience. These sites are being displaced by youtube/twitch/hitbox and so on let’s plays, and online reviews.

    The gaming magazines believed that the “internet is just a fad that will go away,” much like how gaming websites believe that people watching reviewers is just a fad and it will go away.

  • aw81

    I truly hope so…

  • SevTheBear

    Koei-Tecmo games like DOAX3 don’t sell that well here in the West. It costs money even to have it available in digital form and the series have not sold that well in the West + it would still piss of the PC people of in USA.

  • SevTheBear

    It’s simple…

  • SevTheBear

    Oh that will set shit on fire indeed ^_^

  • SevTheBear

    I have never played the series myself but if people wants to play it let them. All this PC attitude is gonna hurt REALLY BAD in the end.

    But I can’t shake off the feeling that this is a bit of a planed controversy. We don’t have a public outcry of people demanding this game NEVER to come to the west. We have a Japanese company saying it ain’t worth the trouble (money) to ship the game to the West and a few unimportant people beating the old “not for me then not for you” horse.

    PS. We all know they are kissing people like Anita’s ass because we live in a world where disagreeing with a cult feminist gets you into trouble.

  • “poorly disguised softcore porn”


  • Maciej Bącal

    “Thank you, Koei Tecmo, for having the balls to say enough is enough when it comes to sexualization of women in the media (…)”

    Don’t let the fact that they made the game in the first place fool you.

  • Mr.Towel

    A planned controversy is a possibility, however I find that very unlikely given how much previous DOA were criticized by liberal journalists and bloggers. It’s not something that came out of nowhere or is unprecedented.

  • Mr.Towel

    Keeping it short: Licensing.

    Sorting the licenses right for a new region is a complicated and costy mess. Many times, it just isn’t worth all the trouble to license a game for a new region because you need to invest a lot of manpower resources and weeks of bureaucratic headaches to get just some small sales up.

    Licensing is also the reason many games will lose features when ported to other regions, like losing the original voices or trademarked content.

  • Zero Beat

    “…the first DOAX tried to give the impression it wasn’t just about the females as there were a few men from the series in it.”
    This is incorrect. “A few” means at least 3, but there has only ever been 1 male character directly involved in the DoAX games: Zack. If we want to stretch it a bit, 2 due to the Ninja Gaiden trailer heavily featuring Ryu Hayabusa, but that wasn’t really part of the game, but that’s bonus content akin to concept art and the like. So once again, we have video game press talking about a game that they know jack shit about. BTW, I know it’s not you, TR, you’re just quoting some idiot.

  • GodDamnHipsters

    Oh but it’s not OK because white heterosexual males would find it sexually appealing. Anything a heterosexual male finds attractive is, by default, automatically dirty/ perverted/ gross/ immature/ rape culture/ indecent etc…

    Endless Twilight clones and 50 Shades of Gray though? Yep, thats fine.

  • SevTheBear

    You have a point. This drama most have help the sales a bit but also shows that the West has become VERY locked up and censor happy because not enough people stand against it.

  • Aken Bosch

    DLC idea. Replacing every character with a huge Censorship bar.

  • DrearierSpider

    These fucking “journalists” are a cancer. Even the ones who try to appear neutral are blatantly skewing the story and omitting facts. Take Gamespot: sure they’re real quick to mention the bomb threats against Anita, but fail to mention that those threats were found to be not credible by authorities and the fact that the same fucking thing happened at Gamergate’s SPJ panel.

  • DrearierSpider

    I view the companies who pander to SJWs to be just as bad. Glad someone finally too a bold stand: the sooner we collectively tell them to fuck off, the sooner they’ll lose influence.

  • This is why we have to continue to show taht we teh gamers are teh real gate keepers. Money is the motivator, once the profits die devs and publishers will start to ignore these morons. ALso it helps when we stop paying attention to the current mdeia and start pushing harder for newer media. If we want gaming to be better we have to pay for not only our games but we may have to pay to have a quality media.

  • Cerxi

    Is it disguised? Like.. at all?

  • Etherblaze



  • Ms_Fortune

    “Thank you, Koei Tecmo, for having the balls to say enough is enough when
    it comes to sexualization of women in the media, but also not having
    the balls to just not make the game in the first place. It’s nice to
    know you don’t want to subject people in the West to the horrors of
    pretty girls in bikinis playing terrible mini-games, but couldn’t give
    any less of a shit about subjecting people in the East to that kind of,
    oh let’s say, filth.”

    Well you heard it here folks, a celebration of the female form is filth.

  • Yuen

    I’m tired of the whole “SJW” thing. It’s like news media. Once one person says it every other one will say something of their own tune. Props to PlayAsia to try to capitalize in this whole mess. I have nothing against KT but if they choose not to say something that’s their choice. I wouldn’t be surprised if the reason wasn’t big.