People from all walks of life use Twitter to lash out at the world — but it seems that video game industry personalities are particularly inclined to tweet out a tirade. The latest such rant comes from Tekken 7 director Katsuhiro Harada, who was less than pleased with the way that the newly announced character Lucky Chloe was received online.
A group of Tekken fans across the internet were quick to deride Chloe’s design; among a rash of negative comments in a NeoGAF forum thread, one user described it as ‘a little lazy’, while another asked ‘what is that abomination’. Harada didn’t like the responses and was quick to fire back on Twitter, accusing detractors of only desiring more of the same protagonists we see all the time.
Dressed in a pink and black ensemble complete with a belt-length skirt, a jacket with paws on the end of its arms and a pair of headphones with animal ears on them, it’s easy to see where the criticism of Lucky Chloe is coming from. This is a character design that typifies the great distance between the Japanese video game industry and mainstream Western audiences.
However, it’s perhaps par for the course — fighting games often have “out there” characters on their roster, the Tekken series in particular. This is a franchise that has seen kangaroos, pandas and even a diminutive dinosaur compete to be named the King of Iron Fist — and will soon see some of its game mechanics used for a Pokemon fighter.
Fighting games typically have a large roster that caters to a wide variety of players; and, as such, if you don’t like a particular character, you’re not forced to play as them. However, Harada stated on Twitter that thanks to what he perceives as a largely American backlash towards the character, Lucky Chloe will be omitted from the North American release of the game.
If this is indeed the case when the game hits shelves, it seems that no one will really be satisfied. North American consumers will get less of a game, and the often-outspoken Harada will have been forced to retract a character that he’s clearly very passionate about from a large segment of the worldwide Tekken fanbase.
Who’s really in the right in this situation? Is Lucky Chloe a lame character design, and no great loss if it doesn’t end up in the North American release of Tekken 7? Or has fan response resulted in a blow to the finished product, well before the game is even released? Let us know in the comments section below.
Tekken 7 will hit Japanese arcades in February 2015, with details of a console release set to follow.