Bandai Namco’s stylish fighter ‘Tekken 7’ is on its way to current-gen consoles. However this time, the developers want to broaden the appeal of the franchise to audiences outside the USA. According to Joystiq, game director Katsuhiro Hirada took to social microblogging website Twitter and showed a picture of a Saudi Arabian fighter named ‘Shaheen’ who seems to be “inspired by foreign student[s] from Arabic counties and [the] Saudi embassy.”
With such characters, it is important not to cross any boundaries that would be considered racist. It is likely that this character will be a hit in the Middle East. EA Sports made a similar move when it released ‘FIFA 12’ with Arab commentary. However, this edition of the game was limited to Middle Eastern territories. In the case of FIFA, it makes sense because the commentary would only be understood primarily by native Arab speakers.
This is not the first time, such characters have been used in video games. When Ubisoft released the first ‘Assassins Creed’ on the PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360, it was based in Jerusalem and Damascus and the characters of Altair and Al-Mualim seemed to be of Middle-Eastern origin. After the first ‘Assassin Creed’, the series moved to Europe notably Florence, Italy. Prior to ‘Assassins Creed’, Ubisoft became famous for another multi-cultural series: ‘Prince of Persia’ .
According to Dualshockers, there is also an American character called ‘Lucky Chloe’ who was joked by Harada to be released only in Europe and Asia . Apparently not everyone on Twitter got the sarcasm of Mr. Harada who later cleared that it was only a joke.
Although ‘Tekken 7’ is supposed to be released for both the PS4 and Xbox One, it will be initially released on arcades in March this year. Hopefully, the character of ‘Shaheen’ does become a hit and ends up bringing new audiences to the awesome beat-em-up franchise.