The Dead or Alive series first entered our lives in 1996. Since its release to consoles and arcade cabinets worldwide, players have been eager to play each iteration of the now-iconic fighter. Over the years, we’ve seen spin-offs and crossovers within the roster of playable characters. Still, developer Team Ninja hasn’t been shy about highlighting the more mature aspects of their playable characters.
The series indeed has its share of controversies, but since the launch of Dead or Alive 5 in 2012, the target fanbase has been hungry to take these defined characters into a fight and even purchase costumes to make themselves stand out. DoA5 would create talks within the community that there was just way too many costume DLC available, but that didn’t stop the developer from releasing more. This would continue into update interaction of the base game, but at least the support was there for the community of players.
Sadly, I can’t say the same for the Dead or Alive 6, released in March of 2019; the game has average review scores and a lot of hype surrounding its release. The developer pushed the fighting action to include sweat effects and slow-motion specials along with a Fatal Rush mechanic.
However, in April 2020, the final patch would release, allowing players to purchase School Girl costumes. In that time, a total of four new characters were released, bringing the full roster to 31. However, since that patch, it’s been all quiet on the DoA front. It’s been one year since that final patch, and we haven’t seen or heard about peep about the series.
There was indeed criticism from fans about the mass amount of DLC the developer offered, along with a corrected issue where the player would have to purchase an item multiple times if they wanted to use it for a character. However, the DLC aspect is more of an option, whereas all the community really needs is support.
This is exceptionally difficult to understand, considering the game boasts high sales and even over 2 million downloads thanks to its core fighters free version. It’s tough to pinpoint the developer’s lack of support, and as a part of the community who enjoys these games, I feel like I was forgotten about. Some might point to the idea of censorship looming around the game before launch, but all that was thrown out the window after the game launched, which revealed the developer was still down to highlight the more sexual aspects of their fighters.
A more significant slap in the face is how a game like Jump Force, released in February 2019, is still receiving character DLC. Further, Tekken 7, released in March 2015, just released its final character to the roster. So what are the excuses from the developer? It’s been one year of silence, and I hoped that they would at least mentioned something along the lines of a “Last Round” version, but nothing. It’s an embarrassment to modern fighting game fans who dedicate hours of the day perfecting their skills and abilities to master a character only to find out that the developer has completely given up on the game. So, why should we even care?
If Team Ninja is going to continue to focus on developing the Dead or Alive series, they have a lot to prove to fans. I don’t know if I’ll accept a random announcement from them that a new title is coming. I’d much rather have them speak out on their lack of support for DoA 6 and how they plan to correct that in the future. Support in fighting games is everything; whether that’s seen in balance or additional fighters, players need a reason to return. I just feel like a lot of potential was wasting on this game, and I hope the series doesn’t suffer from it.
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