Tekken 7's new female character "Lucky Chloe" sparked some controversy online when she was revealed earlier this week, so much so that director Katsuhiro Harada took to Twitter to defend his work. His statements there have led to some confusion over whether that character will actually be included in the inevitable U.S. release of the game, so let's see if we can make better sense of the whole kerfuffle.
Lucky Chloe was first revealed as a playable character during an event on Monday commemorating Tekken's 20th anniversary as a popular fighting game series put on by its publisher, Namco Bandai. Fighting game fans didn't respond well to the new character—many taking issue with her appearance, which they found uninspired and generic in comparison to the more outlandish characters that fighting games like Tekken are known for.
Harada first began speaking on Twitter about Chloe after he was sent a link to a popular NeoGAF thread that showed many gamers poking fun at the character, saying things like "God I hate her already," and, "Seems a little lazy," or describing her as an "abomination." He took issue with what he saw as criticisms that stemmed from a "Western" perspective on the game, saying that Lucky Chloe wasn't not intended for such an audience, nor will she be available for players there.
Because you don't need that character right? It's simple thing.
And I'll say "Don't worry" again. I'll release another character for you guys. I said We've more new characters.
Example: Looks well-muscled, Skin-head, Very powerful attack (I don't like this idea but if you need).
RT@Lucasjrivarola Wait, I'm a little confused. So you're saying that Chloe will not be available in America? May I ask why?
Calm down and Don't worry. That character are East Asia and Europe "Exclusive".
and I'll say again. We've more new characters on TK7. She is JUST one of them.
and She will be country exclusive (or region exclusive) character. We don't include her for your region. That's why I said Calm down and Don't worry.
RT@Ulect Please add a option to delete any character you do not want to play against in Arcade battle like Lucky Chloe please!!!!
Harada followed up on these messages with some jabs, mentioning a possible U.S.-exclusive character by saying American players just want a "Muscle & Skinhead" type character.
As is so often the case, it's difficult to fairly assess the tone of Harada's statements here. That being said, he seems to be having fun with his critics on Twitter. At one point when he was still tweeting in response to Chloe's negative reception, for instance, he made a separate joke about how he'd be interested in adding a Chuck Norris character to the game:
One of his fellow developers, meanwhile, wrote on Twitter to say that he was "trolling about taking Chloe seriously":
Some observers took Harada's comments on Twitter as a statement that he and the rest of the Tekken 7 development team have revised the game's character roster for its U.S. release. It's not clear if that's actually the case, however. So far, publisher Namco Bandai has only confirmed one specific version of Tekken 7: the arcade cabinet one, which will be released in Japan early next year. While many expect that the popular fighting game will get a U.S. release and some console versions to go along with it, the company hasn't said so yet.
When I reached out to Namco's U.S. branch for comment about the developers plans to include or omit Lucky Chloe from the American version of the game, a representative said: "Harada-san should be speaking specifically about Tekken 7 arcade which to my knowledge is currently slated for Japan release only so in essence Lucky Chloe is 'exclusive' to Japan arcades."
"I don't think our colleagues at the Bandai Namco Amusement America division (which handles our arcade business) have announced anything regarding Tekken 7 cabinets coming to the states yet," he continued.
When asked for further comment, the representative said: "Tekken 7 has not been announced for consoles, therefore we can't offer any comment at this time."
In other words, right now we have no idea whether or not Lucky Chloe will be included in the inevitable western release of Tekken 7. Although it's possible that Harada and Namco might decide to pull or replace her outside of Japan, for now it seems like people are flipping out over some vague tweets that may just be Harada poking fun at his fans. We'll refrain from jumping to conclusions until we know for sure what's happening.