As we near the seventh anniversary of Tekken 6’s release in Japanese arcades, fans of the fighting game genre’s leading 3D franchise definitely have a lot of expectations for the next mainline installment. Very little is known about the development of this title at this point in time, but a recent post by series director Katsuhiro Harada may provide a hint about their plans heading into the future.
Apparently, Tekken 7 will feature a few new characters in addition to returning fighters like Lars Alexandersson. While these fresh faces are still in the design process, Harada felt the need to share one in particular to gather input from the community.
According to the face of this popular franchise, his team has had ideas for a fighter of Arab descent since 2008, but never moved forward due to their unfamiliarity with the culture. After getting a sense for the Middle Eastern region and the passion of their local fighting game communities during trips to countries such as the United Arab Emirates and Saudi Arabia, the developers feel they are ready to insert such a cast member into the long-running series.
Below, you’ll find some concept art for this character. Harada was very clear to point out that no concrete decision has been made regarding the fighter, his design, or even his inclusion in Tekken 7. His team is very much interested in feedback from fans in the Middle East or of Arab descent in particular, but welcomes all suggestions, provided they don’t include harmful or derogatory language.
Though Harada’s providing of this design document does not guarantee the appearance of a playable Arab character in the Tekken universe, it’s really great to see a developer go out of his way to address the inclusivity of his game and also reach out to those being represented for an idea of what he and his team can do better.
The director also mentions that they are planning to gather input on other new characters in the future, so stay tuned.
Tekken 7 is expected to release sometime in 2015.