For many years, fighting games were generally promoted by showing off new moves, characters or graphics. It seemed logical the draw of the genre was to hone your skill in hopes of beating the crap out of your opponent. Two of this year’s biggest releases, however, are putting previous notions of fighting game appeal on the back burner in favor of sex.
Even though DOA features impressive combat and graphics, Tecmo and GameStop seem to be convinced that the only reason gamers buy DOA is to salivate over the female fighters. While that may be true for some — after all, there are two Beach Vollyball games — it’s creepy how much it’s being banked on.
First it was announced that those who pre-ordered the game at GameStop would receive “3 exclusive angel/bunny swimsuits”. The bunny swimsuits are as they sound — furry swimsuits with bunny ears. Beating someone up while wearing bunny ears. Yeah, that makes sense.
Today, seven more swimsuits were reavealed to be included with Collector’s Editions of the game sold exclusively at GameStop. That means those who pre-order this edition will recieve at least ten skimpy female swimsuits at launch. It’s not like these are a fun throaway bonus; they’re being touted as a genunie addition to the collector’s edition.
Namco Bandai is also in on the bikini trend. Not content with throwing a few swimsuits in, those who pre-order Tekken Tag Tournament 2 will receive over 150 of them. They even released a trailer devoted to the concept. It’s sad they assume people need every character to be nearly naked to buy the game, especially when it’s a sequel to a fan favorite of the popular series.
The point we’re getting at isn’t about “objectifying women.” It’s about “objectifying gamers.” The fact that two of the largest fighting franchises are using skimpy bikinis to sell their latest game is evidence they think their fanbase are rabid perverts who wouldn’t dare be playing the game for any reason but to leer at some cheeesecake. Take note, industry; gamers actually do play fighting games to, you know, fight. If the game was marketed based on new characters or physics, the reception would be just as warm.