Official support for Dead or Alive 5 has now come to an end. Some unclear translations led to a lot of speculation over whether this particular game or the franchise as a whole was dead (or alive), but while Team Ninja are leaving the door open for the series, it seems it may be some time before DOA6 sees the light of day.
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The announcement came as part of the DOA5 event at NEC 18 in Pennsylvania yesterday. Brand manager Yosuke Hayashi, art director Yutaka Saito, and game director Yohei Shimbori all appeared in a recorded video to thank fans for their support and announce that the current game has “come to an end.”
“It is time to stop what we are doing for now and look into the future, which means we may not be around for some time,” says Shimbori, “but we are very much looking forward to seeing you again someday.”
While that’s not the quite the “DOA is dead” story that got circulated in the immediate wake of the announcement, it does paint an uncertain future for the franchise. Hayashi does say that “the Dead or Alive team is very active.”
DOA never had quite the prestige of many of its fighting game contemporaries, with detractors saying the counter system didn’t offer the depth of other titles. The series’ focus on busty women (and its frequent bikini-focused spinoffs) didn’t do much to help it get taken seriously, either. DOA5 rebuilt the fighting system into one competitive enough to last through five years of support, even as it doubled down on an improbable volume of (usually sexy) costume DLC. Shimbori says “we created so much downloadable content that the sheer amount would be worthy of the Guinness Book of World Records,” and that’s not much of an exaggeration. The price to buy all that content on Steam is well over $1,000 USD.
Recently, Team Ninja have developed a solid Souls-like in Nioh, and assisted Omega Force in adapting multiple Nintendo properties to the Dynasty Warriors format. What’s next? We don’t know, but it sounds like it’ll be a while before we hear from Kasumi and Tina again.