Earlier this week, Koei Tecmo confirmed that Dead or Alive Xtreme 3‘s bikini malfunctions and tan lines would not be released in North America and Europe. Many were quick to blame a concern of a potential backlash from social justice warriors as the primary reason for why western gamers wouldn’t get a chance to ogle Dead or Alive‘s generously proportioned heroines, but that’s not the case.
The real reason Dead or Alive Xtreme will not be getting a western is release is MONEY.
It’s simply not worth Koei Tecmo’s time or money to promote and print the game for the western video game market when time and time again it has proven that there is simply not enough interest to make it cost effective.
According to VGChartz, 2003’s Dead or Alive Xtreme Beach Volleyball sold 0.59 million copies worldwide to date. 0.36 million in North America, 0.14 million in Japan, 0.08 in Europe and 0.02 million in the rest of the world.
In 2006, Dead or Alive Xtreme 2‘s sales dropped abruptly. Xtreme 2 has sold 0.25 million worldwide to date, less than half of what the first Dead or Alive sexy spin-off. The ratios by territory are similar, but the overall numbers are much lower for each.
Even though North America was the top selling region for the previous Dead or Alive Xtreme games, consider that Japan is a single country of 126 million people. By comparison, North America is the third largest continent on Earth with 23 countries total and 528.7 million people.
Given that North America and Europe are both much bigger with more languages per region than Japan, it will cost Koei Tecmo a lot more to publish and market the game than what they stand to make back. The market for this game is centralized in Japan and Koei Tecmo has decided to avoid any unwanted controversy while still releasing a profitable game.
Whenever you’re at a loss for an explanation, 99% of the time money is the answer.