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Koei Tecmo responds to Dead or Alive Xtreme 3 controversy

Team Ninja's latest still planned for Japan and Asia only

Michael McWhertor is a journalist with more than 17 years of experience covering video games, technology, movies, TV, and entertainment.

Publisher Koei Tecmo, the company responsible for the Ninja Gaiden and Dead or Alive series, has finally issued an official response to comments one of its employees made about Dead or Alive Xtreme 3 — specifically on why the game isn't coming to the West.

Last month, a community manager for Team Ninja, the studio developing beach volleyball vacation sim Dead or Alive Xtreme 3, reaffirmed on Facebook that the game was for Japan and Asian territories only. "We do not bring DOAX3 to the west and won't have any plan change in the future," the community manager said. "Thank you for asking."

When asked for details on the decision to limit DOAX3's release to Japan and Asia, that community manager pointed to issues surrounding the representation of women in games.

"Do you know many issues happening in video game industry with regard to how to treat female in video game industry?" read a post on the official Dead or Alive Facebook page. "We do not want to talk those things here. But certainly we have gone through in last year or two to come to our decision. Thank you."

Those comments were widely interpreted to mean that Koei Tecmo and Team Ninja had bowed to social pressure over the portrayal of Dead or Alive's female fighters, and would prefer not to face criticism over DOAX3 in the Americas and Europe.

Today, Koei Tecmo Games responded to multiple requests for comment on the matter, issuing the following statement:

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.

Dead or Alive Xtreme 3 was announced this summer at Team Ninja's Dead or Alive Festival. The game is coming to PlayStation 4 and Vita next year, and was confirmed from day one as exclusive to Japan and Asia. Producer Yosuke Hayashi later commented that the game could come to North America if there were enough demand for the title.

The latest entry in the Dead or Alive Xtreme series, which sends the franchise's female fighters on a tropical getaway, will feature mini-games based on volleyball, tug of war and various pool-related activities. Dead or Alive Xtreme 3 advances the series' realistic flesh-rendering technologies, promising improvements in body physics, as well as more realistic tan lines and wet skin. The PS4 version will also support Sony's PlayStation VR headset.

The original Dead or Alive Xtreme Beach Volleyball (2003) and Dead or Alive Xtreme 2 (2006) were released for Xbox and Xbox 360 in the West, respectively.

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