‘Tekken’ director turns to fans to work on representation in the game

Katsuhiro Harada, renowned director behind many games in the iconic franchise’Tekken‘, recently took to social media for a special mission: getting feedback on the characters’ looks, with a special focus on Julia and Michelle Chang.

‘Tekken’ creator faces criticism over character design

In a relaxed post on his X profile (formerly Twitter), Harada responded to a Native American fan who raised the question about representation in game characters.

Among the figures mentioned were Nightwolf, from Mortal Kombat, and Julia Chang, from ‘Tekken’.

At the center of this discussion are Julia and Michelle Chang, two characters who have been present since the early days of ‘Tekken’.

The criticism of the feather in Julia’s hair raises broader questions about representation and stereotypes in games.

Despite the player’s positive comments, Harada showed that he was concerned about the characters’ appearance, starting with an explanation about the origin of the gifts until today.

Harada recalled that the characters were created in the 90s, an era when arcades reigned.

The challenge was to create fighters with personality that were immediately recognizable, without a well-developed origin story, all in a matter of seconds.

According to the director, some people who played were not happy with the look of the characters, citing characteristic elements and labeling the designs as stereotypical.

Reactions to Harada’s concerns could affect the future of these characters in ‘Tekken 8’, the franchise’s next big bet.

The challenge of design in the modern era of games

Julia and Michelle Chang were identified as stereotypical characters – Image: Victor Selkovtsk/Bandai Namco/Reproduction

The dilemma faced by Harada is created with the evolution of the gaming universe itself. As games become more immersive experiences, the look and concept of characters becomes very important in generating deeper connections with players.

However, the roots of the ‘Tekken’ franchise are firmly planted in the speed and instantaneity of 90s arcades.

The director not only acknowledges the criticism, but also highlights the need to balance tradition with the growing demand for richer narratives and more complex characters.

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This is a challenge that the games industry faces in many ways, and seeking feedback directly from the community is a sign of a more collaborative approach to facing such changes.

What will be the future of ‘Tekken 8’?

With the release date of ‘Tekken 8’ approaching, the pressure is on the development team to balance nostalgia with an updated and inclusive take on the game. character design.

The wait until January 26 promises to be filled with expectations and speculation about what the next chapter of the ‘Tekken’ saga will bring with Julia and Michelle Chang to eager fans.