Fighting game franchise Dead or Alive may be on hold for the foreseeable future. Franchise developer Team Ninja has announced that it is shifting its attention and effort onto other projects for the time being.
Having lasted for over 20 years, the Dead or Alive series has gained a reputation in the gaming community as a fighting game franchise with unique gameplay mechanics that emulates real-life martial arts styles. The franchise's popularity eventually led the series to adapted into a live-action film titled DOA: Dead or Alive, which was released in 2006.
During a livestream event, Team Ninja announced that the developer is ending its support for Dead or Alive 5 to allow the company to work on other projects, leaving the future of the franchise uncertain. This news will surely come as a disappointment to fans who were hoping for an announcement for Dead or Alive 6. Here is the official statement on the matter that was issued by Team Ninja:
Dead or Alive 5 has finally come to an end, but the Dead or Alive team is very active. It is time to stop what we are doing for now and look into the future.
The first installment of the fighting game franchise was released in 1996 as a response to Sega's Virtua Fighter series. What set Dead or Alive apart from other fighting games was its unique countering system. The game also featured a number of attractive female characters, as Techmo believed that violence and sexuality were needed to entertain an audience. The formula proved successful, helping Dead or Alive to become a commercial success. As a result, the game spawned various sequels, such as Dead or Alive Xtreme Beach Volleyball, which relied primarily on the sex appeal of its female characters.
The last major installment in the franchise was Dead or Alive 5 in 2012. Since then, Team Ninja has released new versions of the game, including Plus, Ultimate, and Last Round, which provide players with new modes and playable fighters. All versions of the game have sold over 4 million copies.
It remains to be seen what Team Ninja will do now, since the company is no longer focusing on Dead or Alive 5. Some of the company's most recent projects include Hyrule Warriors, Fire Emblem Warriors, and Nioh.
We will bring you additional updates on the Dead or Alive franchise as they become available.