Why A Street Fighter "Butt Slap" Was Removed

Illustration for article titled Why A Street Fighter "Butt Slap" Was Removed

Last month, observant fans noticed that some changes had been made to Street Fighter V character R. Mika. Namely, that her ass-smacking celebration—first shown off in August—had since been toned down to keep the slapping out of view.

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Here’s the before-and-after:

While some cried CENSORSHIP, and everyone else got on with their lives, there remained uncertainty as to why the edit had been made. Uncertainty that Street Fighter boss Yoshinori Ono has laid to rest in an interview with Brazilian site UOL (and which has been translated by NeoGAF member Moraizen).

“We didn’t make any change because of external influences,” he says. “Those changes came up internally. We decided to remove that because we want the biggest possible number of people to play, and we don’t want to have something in the game that might make someone uncomfortable.”

For the record, R. Mika’s butt did not make me uncomfortable. New Ken makes me uncomfortable.

DISCUSSION

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Babak Abrishamchian

I think it was Lawrence Sontag of Rooster Teeth who initially said this, but I think the best way to look at censorship in games is how and when a change was made. Having a buttslap in the game’s advertisement (and the game) makes it harder for the game to be taken seriously, the developers noticed that, and removed it the way they saw fit. It is their game and they can do whatever they want to it prior to its release.

Now, when the game comes out is a whole different story. With the case of the pre-pubescant girl wearing skimpy clothing in xenoblade chronicles, the game was censored PRIOR to it being available in the west. The developers had every right to make the change for the western version. It does not detract from the game’s “artistic vision” because the vision of the game’s developers could have changed between the release of the eastern and western releases. It would (and should) be considered censorship if the less skimpy outfit was given to the girl say, 3 months after the initial release of the western version of the game. At that point, the game has been released and changing it WOULD be changing the initial artistic vision.

Also its pretty childish to call the removal of a buttslap “censorship”. Censorship is an american game having content removed because it criticized the american government in one way or another (despite it being legal through satire). Street Fighter V was not censored, it was just slightly altered to better advertise the game.