Tekken 7 team wants feedback on Arab character

Design not approved nor final, but producer Harada hopes west Asian fans love the newcomer

Katsuhiro Harada, Namco Bandai's longstanding producer of Tekken, wants feedback from fans on the possibility of including a new Arab character in the next version of the fighting series.

Posting a concept image of the character on Facebook, Harada stressed that the design was not final and merely a suggested addition to Tekken 7.

Harada stresses that this unnamed Tekken 7 character is not final nor guaranteed to appear in the game. Its inclusion all depends on fan feedback, he says

The Japanese executive says he wants feedback from Arab gamers in particular, as well as fans of the Tekken series in general, to decide the character's fate.

Harada appeared sensitive to the fact that his production team at Bandai Namco were not fluent with west Asian culture, and were not clear what the response to an Arab character would be.

"To be honest, we did have an idea of an Arab fighter since 2008, but since most of the development team members are Japanese and do not know much about the Middle Eastern culture or clothes, we were not able to fully design it back then," he said.

Katsuhiro Harada has been working on the Tekken series since 1995

"But in recent years I have been visiting places such as Dubai and Saudi Arabia, and many of the development staff members have been learning about Middle Eastern culture and designs.

"If the Tekken community, especially those in the Middle Eastern area, end up liking this character, I would like to feature this character in the game. On the other hand, if this character is not received well by the Middle Eastern Tekken fan community members, there is a possibility that the character will be considerably changed or letting go of the idea of featuring this character in the game."

The unnamed character showcases fashion familiar within the Persian Gulf, complete with a Keffiyeh and Agal headdress, Sirwal trousers, an ornamental jacket and winklepicker-style footwear.

Feedback has been generally positive, though one repeated suggestion is the ornamental dragon should be replaced with a falcon, which is the national bird of the United Arab Emirates (UAE).

"The development team likes this design and think that this character is a cool Arab fighter, but if there is something in particular to mention, please do let us know," Harada added.

"We would like it if you all do like the character as well."

In 2012, the Tekken Tag Tournament 2 development team was criticised for featuring an Arabic script for Allah
on one of the game's stages. Harada apologised and changed the stage.

It is unclear when Tekken 7 will be released. The game was first revealed in July during the Evo 2014 tournament.

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