Katsuhiro Harada Asking for Feedback on Arab Character Design Pulled from Tekken 7 Concept Art

By on August 8, 2014 at 11:03 am

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.

If you have any feedback on these concepts, be sure to visit the official post and let the developers know what you think. You can also contact Harada directly through Twitter.

Tekken 7 is expected to release sometime in 2015.

Source: Tekken

  • Tom Crook

    don’t like it

  • Gun_Vanguard

    Looks like an Assassin’s Creed character

    • Korey Mueller

      That was my first impression. I’d rather they avoided the obvious AC parallel there and did something different. Or is this really common garb in Arab communities?

    • Azrael VG

      Well Namco is going to be sued by Ubisoft for this obvious copy.

    • Dude you took the words out of my mouth. I’d welcome it but you nailed it.

  • just6822

    If by “Arab” you mean “Miguel with a cape on”, I guess

    • Gamegeezer

      creepy, that’s exactly what i was thinking o.O

  • Mark Lapasa

    I have to say that guy looks pretty cool and could fit right into the Tekken universe.

  • Catacul

    Too RPG-ish. I could see it in a Final Fantasy game, but it just doesn’t fit Tekken.

    • Andrew John Keeton

      but fighting kangaroos and panda bears and trees that are alive and cyborgs and humans with devil wings and eye lasers do?

      • Catacul

        And your point is…?

        • Gethoff Mahfacebuk

          Sick comeback, chief

          • Catacul

            We’re talking about this character, not about Alex, Roger, Devil Jin or whoever, and I just said that it doesn’t fit Tekken because it’s just another anime generic character, something you can find in pretty much any RPG nowadays.

          • Kaihedgie

            “because it’s just another anime generic character, something you can find in pretty much any RPG nowadays”

            Yeah, just like Jin, Lars and Alisa.

          • Dweezil

            Lars and Alisa didn’t fit the game at all even if Lars is a blonde Mishima.

          • Mateo151

            You’ve been destroyed twice, why bother coming back

          • Petter

            Destroyed? He just stated Alisa and Lars don’t fit into Tekken, so no. Nice try, though.

          • Mateo151

            Did you… happen to notice who I was replying to? Or just assume the one above me was who it was?

          • Petter

            Same applies there, though.

          • Mateo151

            really doesn’t.

          • Petter

            Yep. He stated generic anime characters don’t fit into Tekken. Someone pointed out Lars and Alisa are already included. This would have been a good contra argument if it weren’t for the fact, as the third poster pointed out, that they don’t.

          • Mateo151

            It’s okay if you like using more than one account

        • Curtis Davis

          Wow we shouldn’t have to explain a point that’s so obvious in his message.

          • Mateo151

            You’re right, the 56 thumbs owned the first account he failed on

          • Petter

            Implying I’m the same person as him doesn’t make you any less illogical. Lars and Alisa don’t fit into Tekken and neither does this clown of a character. Tekken has gone downhill since the first TTT and not liking it.

          • Mateo151


  • CasualRemy

    Might make a fun alternate costume, but I would prefer his primary outfit to not look like an Assassin’s Creed character. Heck, I think he already looks cool if they were to remove all those accessories.

    • Bushin_Cat

      It’s not Harada’s fault that Ubisoft stole Altier’s design from ancient Templars. I say make that design an alternate, and add a cape for effect. I say give him official PLO military garb as the primary.

  • Trevor Clarke

    Either way he looks very ANIME!

  • LightSpdAeon

    these items would make great customization items for the guy, but not as a default look. As stated already, it’s way to ACish

  • RomanceHD

    Change the design to a guy with white pants, black hair with a purple vest, a small red hat and take away the shoes as well. Also get the rights from Disney before doing this, and then we’ll have our Arab character.

  • RunningWild1984

    Maherl from Breakers is cooler.

  • Novril

    “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.”
    What about Zafina?

    • Jonathan Hatch

      She’s from INDIA! Not the same thing.

  • ウam ‏

    Introducing The Prince of Persassins Creed

  • Quan Chi

    It could work if they made the guy in the design about 45-50 years old with the long wavy beard with the body unchanged. Everybody shouldn’t have to look like the same model you’ve always used for all the young guys. Hakan could have passed as an arabian in SF.

    Kinda like this but with that concept garb on but with the traditional super long wavy beard:

  • sarif2soon

    I’ll smack his face for wearing that Shimagh like a retard.

  • Azrael VG

    Zafina is all the Arab the game needs. Namco can just spend the time and effort on fixing Zafina instead.
    Also I thought Tekken 7 was working towards a smaller roster of characters so why is there even talk about adding new characters . I would be pissed to lose Baek so the guy from assassins creed can enter Tekken.

    • Logan Via

      Given Baek’s arcade ending was to die, I wouldn’t have my hopes too high until the next Tekken Tag game. 🙁

  • Gojira Twit

    His shimagh should be tighter. From what I know it’s not really worn like a loose hood, usually more flush.

  • Rahmon Alimi

    I’m disappointed because there have been 6 games and there is yet to be an actual African character. Not African American, or Afro-Latin but an African character like a Congolese fighter or a Yoruba Nigerian

  • It’s way too flashy. He looks more at home with Soul Calibur than Tekken.

    • Kaihedgie

      “It’s way too flashy”

      This is Tekken we’re talking about, right?

      • Tekken has a distinctive kind of flare, and this guy doesn’t fit in. The guy looks like a weapon fighter than a martial artist. Like I said, he looks like a Soul Calibur character.

        • Kaihedgie

          A distinctive flair that allows boxing kangaroos and dinosaurs along with ursine subordinates but not this guy? Wat

          • Tekken does have a wacky style given the ridiculousness of the plot, but it’s there and it’s subtle. When you look at this guy, you don’t see Tekken. Soul Calibur comes to mind, but not Tekken.

          • Kaihedgie

            Subtle? Tekken? We ARE talking about the same thing, right? Because we still have normal-looking characters like Zafina and Anna juxtaposed against these blatantly non-human characters

          • Alright this is getting derailed. First off, Anna is far from normal looking. No woman in the Middle East looks like Zafina. We are talking about the dude’s design. He doesn’t look like someone you would find in Tekken at all. When Zafina and Bob were included in the franchise, I could buy them being a part of the game from their design. One was an assassin, the other looked like a brawler. I don’t like this guy’s style particularly because he looks like a Soul Calibur character. This guy looks like he would fight you with twin blades or a scimitar, and not with his fists. If they took away the Assassin’s Creed look and tried something more simple or as down to Earth as it could be, then I’ll give the guy some considerations.

          • So what does that make Yoshimitsu and Kunimitsu? Ninjas who look straight of of feudal Japan who wield katanas and kunais?

          • Ninjas fight with their hands too. Look at almost every fighting game with a ninja.

          • Kaihedgie

            You…probably should not have said that. Yes, ninjas do use their hands and feets, but most of the time, tricks and weaponry take up the brunt of their moveset. The only person who you can argue for is Kagemaru from Virtua Fighter

            Geki in the original Street Fighter mainly fought with his claw.

            Taki and Natsu used two short swords

            Chipp Zanuff had a wrist-mounted blade along with weapons.

            Bang carries a giant nail on his back and also uses needles and seals with his attacks.

            Mortal Kombat, most well known for its ninjas, are more akin to elementals than straight up assassins and Scorpion in particular has the spear and in more recent games: uses two swords. The female ninjas carried around weapons as their main method of attack and the cyborgs were more like Terminators, carrying entire arsenals in their chest cavity.

  • SiriusBusiness

    At this point why don’t they just re-use the Ezio assets from soul calibur… looks almost the same to me.

  • jlb85

    2015? If they are still working out core mechanics and throwing around character ideas… Sounds like it is a long way off to me. I still think TXSF is coming first.

  • guest131925

    Apparently Tekken is going downhill.
    I cannot really say good or bad with him. For one, I cannot judge him without knowing more about him, the most important aspect is how he fights. Without that information it’s just a mere gambling whenever I say “aye” or “nay” without real opinions.
    Another thing is if I say aye or nay I’ll feel guilty to get involved in Tekken’s decision, even though it isn’t very likely possible. Just another clever and stupid hype. I don’t want to be called being responsible for this in any ways.

    • Dweezil

      Tekken has been going downhill since 4 to play devil’s advocate if not 6 (6: BR was good, but Jesus Christ the story transitioned to a whole new level of stupid. Vanilla 6 was pretty bad, but not like Tekken 4 bad).

      I’m way more concerned how the series gets harder to grab people who haven’t touched Tekken since 1/3/Tag 1 than this possible new character. The US scene is a pathetic joke compared to Japan’s and Korea’s (In Korea and Japan, you’ll actually find good Kumas and other underused characters whereas every schmuck in the US only picks Mishimas and top tiers). There’s no life in the game when every US Tekken tourney is a snore fest.

      To go back to the character, he could work if you drop the stupid ammo and weapons on him, and they make him a humble, yet kind of regal guy (He looks like a rich/militant dude). Want ammo on a Tekken character? Customize Bryan or Dragunov.

      *Who are we kidding!? We’ll always see Mishimas get butt-hurt and raise hell.

      • guest131925

        Aris had mentioned that Tekken and Tekken Tag 1, and Tekken 6 was the first 3D fighting games in their respective consoles, so I think the players does not have much choices in their fighters back then.
        Also worth to note is that Tekken was one of the first arcade 3D fighters (if not the only one) being introduced in Korea .
        The 3D modellings is one of the biggest sales points of Tekken, as well as VF, but many company today do already have the technology and are making 3D fighters, such as UMvC3. Remember that 3D is always referred to the character / platform modellings, not the gameplay, it means Tekken is no much different from other games now.
        Maybe Harada will, though I hardly think so, bring us something really different this time.

        • Dweezil

          Graphics can only do so much though. If it’s inaccessible to people who are very casual with fighting games, it’s not going to have a big scene or life span. The standards for being competitive in Tekken have increased over the years (good luck ranking past Dan without knowing how to escape throws, dash, and juggle).

          • guest131925

            Harada has been using game-unrelated gimmicks as main attractions for Tekken throughout his career since Tekken 3. You can’t just deny the existence of the enhanced graphics, the boosted Mishima dramas, the movies, various night-club Tekken meetings in Japan and Las Vegas, the Snoop Dogg deal, the race and otaku-appealing character designs etc.
            We all know that game design isn’t Harada’s talented thing, that’s why his games always flopped in the long run.

  • Maybe if they simplified it a bit he’d be cool. Like, less belts and daggers if they aren’t things he uses to fight and no cloak. Otherwise he’s alright

  • Art Salmons

    He’s clearly a terrorist.

  • Azrael VG

    Submitted!!! I just saved Namco a fortune in development cost .

  • Candle Ja

    Take away some of the waist accessories. Too ornate for a standard Tekken costume.

    You might want to choose an Arab country very unlikely to be renamed in a few months.

  • Ryan Rodriguez

    Just as long as he isn’t a fucking Mishima.

  • Rolan Alcantara

    Instead of surveying the character’s looks, how about we start off with this proposed character’s fighting style? I think it will be easier for developers to imagine how a character should look when they already have a distinct idea of how the character should play and move in their game.

    • Dweezil

      Nobody will care about the style if the character looks stupid or isn’t top tier material. If that was the case, you would see more non-top tiers like Zafina, who is been a bottom tier for 2-3 games (3 if you count Vanilla 6 and 6:BR* as separate games with Tag 2). Bob only got the most attention because he was top tier for every game he was in…and Namco kinda recognized the Hwang/Bob jokes by making him an actual character or something (don’t quote me on the Bob development stuff, but he’s a strong character).

      Again, Zafina was an interesting character, but her moves and damage sucked. People got over Wesley Snip-erm, Raven very quickly when they found out he’s kind of average. Style means squat if the character is bad or not a Mishima top especially for the US scene (it’s even worse if the character is a weak Mishima).

  • Troy Dalton

    This is a Soul Calibur design. If he’s meant to be wealthy, have him wear a turtleneck, khakis and shades. If he’s meant to be poor, have him look like a soldier. Then give him the “Arabian Nights” look as an alt or something.

  • Troy Dalton

    Also? Wavy, shoulder-length hair and a more masculine jawline. He’s too prettyboy looking in the face and his current hair makes him look too much like Miguel.

    • Dweezil

      I guess the pretty boy trend is still big in Japan. He could look a little older.

  • Rahmon Alimi

    I’m super disappointed that Tekken has yet to feature an African character. Not African American not Afro-Latin but an actual African character like a Yoruba Nigerian or a Congolese person

  • DukeMagus

    A Krav Maga fighter? This could work really well… But not with that outfit. Dress him like a militia or a sheik, not an incomplete mix of both

  • bernzy

    put some C4 explosive underneath so if he got beaten he will rush to his enemy and explode 🙂

  • abdulhamian

    I think it looks pretty decent. Not really of Arab descent, but close from there so I can say it looks the part with the clothing style

  • Guest
  • Corootai

    me myself, i think the problem is just the head turbain, i know i’m spelling it wrong and i am sorry. but it’s 5 in the morning i’m getting ready to start my day shortly, but going on. the outfit is good, the face needs work, i think they can do something more with the overall look of the character but i wanna say it fits but since these are early sketches these things change all the time. if they can make the headdress dramaticly less ac, and more middle else, maybe abit more modren i can see folks putting their fears to rest and seeing and be alittle more welcoming. how long till tekken 7? like a year maybe a year and a half. trust me there’s plenty of time for them to get this right. ^_^

  • swordsman09

    I’m intrigued. I like what they’re going for but the man seems too weapon-based.
    He looks like a dagger throwing character made for Soul Calibur. If they make him look more like he uses fists instead of weapons then it would be much better.

    more short hair =/= better

  • Dweezil

    Tekken 7 doesn’t need new characters. It needs to be less of a big clutter fuck for pros and beginners to enjoy.

    As for the character, it looks like Miguel and Jin’s extra Tekken 6 costume combined with meh results. Drop the ammo bullshit all over his clothes, and make him a little, I don’t know,modest or something,

    They should really scrap this design, and work on Zafina like someone else said, since she’s been a terrible character for 2 games (3 if you count BR & Vanilla Tekken 6 as separate games?).

  • GustavoGoose

    Remember the good ole days when developers didn’t have to pander to overly sensitive people before making their video games? I didn’t see them make such a fuss about including a Mexican character or a ridiculously fat American. All the sudden when you include a middle eastern character, you have to ask permission?

  • Eddy Wang

    Lose the coat, the gloves and adds some Long robes that hides almos all. Body, lose the assassin creed hood too, swap the shoes with sandails

  • Petter

    Hahahahahahahahahahahah! Such laughably bad design! This character belongs in Assassin’s Creed or an RPG — not Tekken! What the hell is wrong with character design nowadays?

  • People saying that this design is out of place for Tekken really don’t care that others are out of place too and won’t admit it. Fucking nostalgic hypocrites everywhere I swear. In any case, I think that he’s fine the way he is right now. Maybe Harada can prove me wrong but I’m down with this.

  • Mitchy D. Luffy

    I really like it, its kind of like a parody. Looks like Hakan has a rival