When Tekken 7 came out for the whole world in 2017 (it came out in Japan in 2015) it was praised as one of the best fighting games around. It had a deep combat system, deep story, and an infinite amount of customization. Gamers and critics loved it, and it was constantly called one of the best fighting games of the year. And yet, there was controversy with it in the form of some of its characters. Which filled many Japanese “stereotypes” that many felt were distasteful.
The Director of Tekken 7, Katsuhiro Harada, was on Twitter recently when a fan asked him about characters that could arrive in the next Tekken title. The Director took this opportunity to vent on the current state of things in regards to character design:
I’d like to challenge such a theme design.
However, the time has come when the challenge is very difficult.
Because there are people who complain about characteristic design as “This is a stereotype!”
He went on:
The individual (or culture) identity will become homogenized. Perhaps everyone around the world should just wear T-shirts and jeans. The shirts should be plain, with nothing on it. If there is a design, it could offend someone somewhere, right? I’ve become quite tired of trying to avoid causing potential offense issues. lol.
The biggest controversy that revolved around a character design was that of Lucky Cat. A girl fighting in a cat-like outfit with a rather revealing top. This was a brand new character to the universe, and many weren’t pleased with it.
Interestingly enough, after this statement, a lot of fans rallied to Harada’s side, and told him to make the characters he wanted regardless of backlash. His response was:
I got tons of reply about this. Don’t worry, we will do what we want
It’s going to be interesting to see how far he’ll push it.