When it comes to Japanese game developers on Twitter, it’s hard to truly gauge what they’re thinking. It’s the sole reason why I try to abstain for relaying certain messages from their personal Twitter accounts as pieces of news, as the social media “news teasing” culture is different across the Pacific Ocean. However, it was instantly clear to me that Tekken 7 producer Katsuhiro Harada was joking when he saw Lucky Chloe criticism and made her Europe/Asia exclusive to be replaced by a US-exclusive “muscular & skinhead character.”
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It seemed clear that he was making fun of a relatively prudish sensibilities within gaming culture in the West compared to the East. However, because it was enough for gaming organizations to report it as fact, as he made it clearer on TwitLonger that he was being sarcastic about the recent “developments” of Tekken 7.
"Because IGN didn’t read all my tweet.Media will see only what they want to see.Many spammers/haters attacking us (That was an extreme prejudice and tons of dirty words. Of course I hate this happen), then I said just counter “sarcasm/joke”Anyway, We promise an experience equal for all players, communities.Haven’t changed since the first TEKKEN.And I hope you will understand us one day.Thanks!"
So, to catch everyone up to speed, a Western-majority collection of people on NeoGAF complained about a Japan-centric character in a Japanese fighting game (Tekken 7), where someone on Twitter relayed such criticism to the game’s director. The Japanese game director responded by saying that in response to “only one bulletin (forum) board” in the West that they’d get a “Chuck Norris with fire arms” instead. And when he was asked if he was joking, he responded by saying “I’m always serious.” A very Western-style use of sarcasm in a joke was taken seriously by Western gaming organizations, who reported the joke as factual news. In a game series with fighting panda bears and dinosaurs.
This is despite a Western game designer on Tekken 7, who sometimes does translations for Harada, tweeting about a month ago how he was joking. It is only after the reveal of Tekken 7’s newest character Shaheen that Harada has had to clarify that extra step further on, of all places, Twitter, that he was joking so that Western organizations can report that tweet and the Lucky Chloe in the US version of Tekken 7 as fact. Trust me, it’s not just your head that’s spinning trying to make sense of how this became a “thing.”
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