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WTF of the Day: Bandai Namco Hires Hentai Artist for Soulcalibur: Lost Swords (NSFW)

It’s not news that the game industry has a sexism problem. So why would a game company make this issue worse?

By now, it’s not news that the game industry is rife with accusations of misogyny and objectification of women.

Given the publicity that the industry has received in the past year about its horrendous sexism problem, it’s baffling that Bandai Namco Games has now collaborated with hentai artist Yamatogawa to design new costumes for some of the female characters in Soulcalibur: Lost Swords

The result is the awkwardly-named “Magic Knight” armor, whose magical ability apparently seems to be offering protection while barely covering anything.

Considering that women make up half of all game purchasers, and that women age 18 or older represent a significantly greater portion of the game-playing population than boys age 18 or younger, this move serves to further alienate a large portion of the gaming community.

The outfit is available until March 4th as a loot drop for Ivy and Amy, two of the game’s female fighters. SoulCalibur: Lost Swords is a free to play title, available now on the PS3. 

Published Feb. 26th 2015
  • Rothalack
    Master O' Bugs
    They're Japanese, they don't care what western society has to say about it.
  • JC Lau
    Featured Contributor
    The fact that they're Japanese is irrelevant for these purposes. I'm also not sure that any sort of "cultural differences argument flies". Western culture is just as bad (e.g. this cover of Spider-Woman: http://www.themarysue.com/marvel-spider-woman-variant-butt/). It goes to show that facets of geek culture are still exclusionary and objectifying to women, regardless of where it is.
  • Rothalack
    Master O' Bugs
    My point though is, the creators of soulcalibur are Japanese. I guarentee they aren't browsing tumblr and aren't even considering the existence of this whole sexism argument going on in mostly western society. I bet this could even be said for Russia and some other countries like it. Basically what I am saying is, they could care less what feminists are saying about the portrayal of women in gaming. They are going to do what they do. Also, what about the women out there that like this sort of thing, that enjoy outrageous and unrealistic "sexiness".. They are out there you know. *cough* cosplayers *cough*

    Also also, in reference to the image you linked, does this mean that Nicki Minaj is sexist against herself or is it music is sexist against her?

    http://s3-ec.buzzfed.com/static/2014-08/20/16/enhanced/webdr06/grid-cell-1395-1408568128-3.jpg

    Just fyi, I don't find this particular example from soulcalibur sexy either, but that doesn't mean it does not have a right to exist.
  • Elijah Beahm
    Featured Columnist
    And what further puts the outfit in question is -- there is nothing attractive about this armor. Even ignoring the sexual aspect, the design is positively horrid. It looks like someone went nuts with a pair of scissors and lots of double-sided tape. It's like someone looked at Kill La Kill and thought "we can come up with something more impractical and less coherently designed than that!"

    The outfit is trying so hard to be erotic and deviant, but comes across more like what a twelve year-old would imagine as being sexy. It's bad enough they're sexing up two female characters. It's even worse that we know this is just to hype up a fairly niche spin-off no one really wanted. It's the most pathetic and lazy pandering I've seen in a while. It's disgustingly backwards in all respects.
  • JC Lau
    Featured Contributor
    Agreed--it does look like it tries (and fails) way too hard. Sexiness doesn't always entail showing more skin--not that sexiness is something that we should really worry about in a fighting game anyway. Also, it really bugs me that this is ridiculously non-functional armor. it's a real stretch that something like that even could provide any defense in any context. Unless someone is going to hit her riiiiight in butt crack, I'm not sure that the Magic Knight armor is really going to help her out much.

    Plus, it's notable that Yamatogawa only designed costumes for two female characters, not any of the male ones (although even if he did I can't imagine that the resulting "sexy guy armor" would be much better).
  • Elijah Beahm
    Featured Columnist
    Yeah, no kidding. The stupid fins on the side would actually block your side view and limit your shoulders. The claw inverted bra wouldn't hold anything without pounds of double-sided tape. And the leg greaves would have you tripping over yourself at every third step.

    I agree that sexiness isn't something we should be concerned about in a fighting game. I did not mean to imply it should be a factor. What I meant was this:

    Given that they were already going down to such a base level of pandering with this "armor", it says something that they found a way to be even lazier about it. It further emphasizes their total lack of drive to make any effort with this title, on top of them making it single-player only because they openly decided to make it pay-to-win. They even straight up said it; no political niceties about it.

    So when I look at this armor, all I can hear Namco Bandai saying is "We have no idea what to do with this pointless fart we published and just want more money. We had a guy doodle this for five minutes, then had it turned into a costume that we're sure will generate just enough controversy to get the five people who will actually like it to grind until they receive it."

    It's pathetic on so many levels, I don't know where to begin.
  • JC Lau
    Featured Contributor
    Yep, and don't get me started on boob armor! I mean, not that there's much boob armor happening there...

    I understand what you mean about armor. The game itself is so mediocre anyway, so this just seems like a desperate clutch at some publicity or attention in the hopes that someone will play the game. I think it actually has the opposite effect since most people will see through the ploy in an instant. Plus, I can imagine that people would not want to play it on principle now as well...

    At least it's only out for another week or so, and then everyone can hopefully forget that this stupidity existed.

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