Dead or Alive Extreme 3’s Gratuitous T&A Deemed Too Sexist For American, European Audiences
It's not uncommon to see select video game titles pulled from certain markets, either as a decision from the game publisher itself, or a country's government. Often, the pulling of a game has to do with it being too violent, or culturally offensive. It's much rarer to see it happen because a game is deemed too sexy, but Dead or Alive Xtreme 3 for the PlayStation 4 and PS Vita proves that it does in fact happen.
The Dead or Alive series is no stranger to this sort of controversy. Even the original game, released for the Sega Saturn and PSone in 1996 featured female fighters with what would be considered atypical physiques. As future titles came out on more advanced hardware, such as the Sega Dreamcast, Team Ninja introduced "breast physics", a term that's since become synonomous with the series.
Controversy for the series seemed to peak in 2003 with the release of Dead or Alive Xtreme Beach Volleyball. This particular title glorified these exagerated female bodies to such a huge degree that that topic seemed to dwarf the rest of the game. Team Ninja knew exactly what it was doing when it created a game that involves girls constantly jumping.
In 2006, a sequel to Xtreme Beach Volleyball was released, simply called Dead or Alive Xtreme 2. It expanded on the gameplay, but still featured what the overarching game series had become famous for. Now, almost ten years later, another entry in this sub-series is about to drop, called Dead or Alive Xtreme 3. But this one is different. It becomes the first game in all of the Dead or Alive series not to be released outside of Japan due to fear that it will be targeted for glorifying sexism.
You can watch the trailer for the game below, and decide for yourself if that fear is warranted:
At one point in the trailer, one of the characters falls off of a platform into the water. She resurfaces with a bikini strap broken, requiring her to hold the bra up to avoid exposure (the scene conveniently can be seen in the video preview above). Moments later, we get a backside view where she seems to have a wardrobe malfunction that exposes some of her buttocks.
Whether this is too "over-the-top", it's hard to say. It's also hard to say whether this kind of sex glorification in a video game would have caused the ESRB to grant this game one of its rare "Adults Only" badges. As the game is not going to be coming out here, we'll never know.
For those who still want the game, it can be imported and played on any Playstation 4, thanks to its region-free design. DLC for the game, however, could remain locked to the Japanese market.