In his latest interview for PlayStationLifeStyle.net, Senran Kagura games producer Kenichiro Takaki has shared he considered toning down the sexualization in his games.
In an interview conducted by PlayStationLifeStyle.net, the well-known busty game producer of Senran Kagura games, Kenichiro Takaki, was asked a few questions about the overt sexualization of female characters. Citing regional cultural differences and the franchise’s continued growth, the Japanese producer has this to say on reducing the sexiness of his characters.
A little bit. The game started out very small and that was the big selling point in order to move units. Now that the franchise has grown, and is getting more popular, it might be worth considering having features that differ depending on where it’s being sold. That way it might be able to sell better in certain regions where it would be problematic to have that kind of content.
Shinobi Refle Senran Kagura
Takaki did, however, also add that he is aware of reviewers that ignore the game’s other merits just because of the sexual content.
However, there are also reviews that ignore the games due to the sexual content, and write it off from the start, so those aren’t very helpful. If you’re going to write it off due to a main component then that game just isn’t for you, and that review isn’t really useful as feedback.
[UPDATE2] Kenichiro Takaki has provided clarifications for the interview on his original Japanese Twitter account stating that he personally has no intention in toning down the content of Senran Kagura games. He also mentioned that if ratings boards will require changes for a release, his studio will have to comply, adding that he wants everyone to enjoy the same content.
[UPDATE] Marvelous Entertainment’s European division Marvelous Games has come out with a series of tweets mentioning the interview and clarifying they have no plans to tone down or censor European releases of Senran Kagura games.
While Takaki’s worries are understandable when it comes to the reactions of the mainstream gaming press and how they have previously received his titles, the Honey ∞ Parade producer seems to misunderstand the niche appeal of the series to its Western fans. Plenty of Japanese titles brought over to the West containing sexual content have been censored to both appease video game ratings boards and to minimize any potential offense they may cause to anyone. We believe such efforts do not contribute to increased sales and they do, in fact, encourage people to seek out other means of getting the games in their original uncensored form, via importing or modding the censored titles until they play just like the original.
Financial results are “sink or swim” for smaller studios such as Takaki’s newly opened Honey ∞ Parade Games and it’s understandable they would try any means to increase the sales numbers for their games. These producers, however, should take a closer look at the real consumers of their games and realize that they are the main core audience that drives their financial success. Nowadays, it is not a hard task to reach out to fans via social media and just ask what they like, tallying the results into future production decisions. We are hopeful Kenichiro Takaki and Honey ∞ Parade Games, as well as their publisher Marvelous Entertainment, will come to the realization that the best way to win the West is by creating what you want, however you want it, and bringing it over in an unaltered form.
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