NEWS - Thursday, June 21, 2012

Team Ninja talks character DLC and more for DOA5

Releasing additional characters as downloadable content for fighting games makes the game "unfair", Dead or Alive 5’s developer Team Ninja has told VideoGamer, referring to Capcom’s strategy of including additional ’downloadable’ characters on-disc as not being "the right way to go".

"We don’t feel that it’s right for fighting games," Team Ninja boss Yosuke Hayashi told VideoGamer when asked for his opinion on on-disc DLC during E3.

"We feel like this is a kind of sport, and you don’t change the rules for sports. Everybody plays by the same rules. You don’t have a 14-player soccer game versus an 11-player soccer game. That’s just not fair.

"It’s a similar thing to if certain people have all these characters and others don’t. It makes it an unfair game, and we don’t think that’s the right way to go for fighting games.

"We have no plans to sell characters as downloadable content."

As well as making the game unfair, Hayashi believes that releasing additional characters makes balancing the game even harder, something that’s "already very difficult to get right".

"Balance is extremely important, and it’s also very hard to do," he continued.

"Even with over 20 characters that’s still a real challenge. If we had 50, how much more time would need to balance the game? It gets that much harder to get it right, and it’s already very difficult to get right."

Capcom has repeatedly come under fire from consumers for including characters on disc that are later unlocked via premium DLC. Last month, the firm said that it was "re-evaluating" its stance on on-disc DLC.

Team Ninja has already started "experimenting with a few things" intended for next-gen hardware, the studio has told VideoGamer.

While discussing additional opportunities that the next generation of consoles may offer to its Dead or Alive series, DoA5’s producer Yohei Shimbori told us that "there are lots of things that [Team Ninja] would love to do on new hardware.

"There are plenty of things both graphically and within the core system of a fighting game that we can’t do with current hardware that we’re really looking forward to doing in the future.

"If we tell you [what they are] now then you won’t have anything to look forward to in the future! But we can tell you that it’s something that’s not in [Dead or Alive 5]."

Shimbori suggested that future hardware could offer significant improvements to the series online experience, and envisages an online lobby similar to "everybody throughout the world being in the same arcade".

"Online, there are plenty of things that we’re looking forward to," he continued.

"Right now you have a matching system and lobbies where people can gather, but the number of people that gather there is limited. We would like to see everybody in the world able to come together and fight online, like everybody throughout the world being in the same arcade.

"We’re experimenting with a few things right now, but we’ll leave it at that."

Shimbori added that he felt that "the environment for fighting games has changed", acknowledging that the genre has "been accepted into a sport".

"We’ve put a lot of effort into online [in Dead or Alive 5], he continued. "Now every fighter has online capabilities and it’s very common that players can have that kind of communication. We’ve also seen the rise of pro gamers where fighting games have been accepted as a sport."

Dead or Alive 5 launches on Xbox 360 and PS3 in September. It’ll be the first game to launch in the series in seven years.



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