Acknowledging that the Dead or Alive fighting franchise has a sexy image problem, community leaders at the series' go-to forum have added an over-sexualized costume soft-ban to their tournament rules. Reactions from the community-at-large have been overwhelmingly negative.

With the biggest competitive tournament push in franchise history accompanying the release of Dead or Alive 5: Last Round on current generation consoles, concern over the series' negative image to those outside of the community is at an all-time high. And while I believe the weight of changing that image lies with Team Ninja and Tecmo Koei (largely the latter), core members of the Free Step Dodge community are attempting to take steps towards softening its sexy edge.

Updating the community site's official tournament rules (thanks Billy for the tip!), community leader and tournament organizer The HuBBs explained the reasoning behind the soft ban on certain sexy costumes.

This is a movement that was discussed by several members of the community to try and help turn around the image that has plagued the franchise. DOA has always been known for its over-sexualized females and just that alone has pushed people away from even trying the game. Sex Appeal in the DOA franchise will never go away but we, the community, want people to take it seriously and started the costume ban at offline tournaments to force people to focus more on the gameplay aspect of the game. This is a soft ban and is at the discretion of the TO running the game at the event. However we HIGHLY encourage people to not use the suggested costumes on stream for something like Top 8.

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The community board exploded with negative responses to the change shortly after its Friday posting.

Some likened the soft ban to censorship.

People who don't understand why a costume ban is an issue don't understand the principle of it. This is censorship. This is sexism. This is elitism.

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Others pointed out that all of the banned costumes are for female characters, while plenty of suggestive male costumes exist.

"If they plan banning these costumes, I would like to have a motion to ban all of the guy's costumes that show their nips. And, those costumes where they are in their undies only. Because, it's too "provocative" for my lady eyes and it makes me think that these men are being overly sexualized because seeing them with their 3D tits makes me wanna rub my lady junk."

Still others cried out against attempting to placate the fighting community at large, which some consider a futile pursuit.

If you tell me that I cant use Christie's BDSM costume offline then I will tell you to fuck off. You guys dont seem to understand that they will shit on DOA even if they remove ALL of the hyper sexualized shit because they don't want to adjust their playstyle to the games triangle system. That "rule" seems to be placating to some whinny people who have insecure girlfriends or something. I don't like it at all.

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Several commenters were upset at the idea the rule would make it seem like the community doesn't support its own game.

I just have a hard times believing that we can't accept DOA for what it is. We can't seem to 'OWN' our own game, if you all understand what I mean. It may seem like a minor thing - but it will project the idea of "Wow, look at those DOA fans - embarrassed about their own game."

The idea behind the ban—fostering a larger community by promising a less over-sexualized experience at competitive events—was not lost on everyone.

Honestly, I don't see the problem with banning those costumes. This ban is only during tournament so you can still use the costumes during casual events and online. Its not going to effect a lot of people and team ninja is doing all they can to support the community. So we should do all we can to help the community grow and if its something small like this then it should be okay.

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As a Dead or Alive fan I see no issue with excluding certain costumes during official tournament play. The characters all fight the same no matter what they are wearing. The focus should be on the fighting. On the other hand, I understand that some players may feel more comfortable with certain costumes, making excluding some of them a real problem.

As a soft ban, it's up to tournament organizers to implement the rule or not. Considering the author of the post is involved with many of the official tournaments this year, it's definitely going to come up.

It'll be interesting to see how this all plays out at Final Round 18, the second leg of the 2015 Battle Royal tournament series, happening in Atlanta later this month.