The Dead or Alive series is as well known for its female characters' anatomies as it is for its fighting, but director Yohei Shimbori said an effort was made to subdue the gratuitous fan service in Dead or Alive 5. At least, until fans saw it.
"We were getting feedback from the overseas offices to tone down the sexuality — to tone down the sexiness of the game, and of the characters," Shimbori told Gamasutra. "We actually got a lot of feedback from people who were playing [a demo for the game included with Ninja Gaiden 3], saying, 'We want bigger breasts. Make the characters more like that.' That was kind of surprising."
He said Dead or Alive's famous decolletage was maintained in DoA 5, alongside an emphasis on its core fighting experience. Shimbori said the studio took great pains to balance hardcore appeal with novelty in the new entry which released earlier this week.
"[T]here's nothing wrong with having beautiful characters as a layer on top of that — that's another layer of entertainment that there's a need for," Shimbori said. "If there wasn't a need for it, people wouldn't have responded to the alpha demo like they did, and send us feedback."