Capcom’s Street Fighter V has been available on Windows PC, Xbox One and PlayStation 4 for little over 24 hours and players have already found a way to “restore” animation changes to fighter R. Mika’s introduction.
For the unaware, as I was until I came across the modification on twitter this morning, in pre-release versions of SFV R.Mika would slap her own ass during her V-Trigger super move activation animation. Months later in December 2015 fans noticed that these few frames of animation had been removed from recent trailers prompting the following statement from the game’s developers:
“Those changes came up internally. We decided to remove that because we want the biggest possible number of people to play, and we don’t want to have something in the game that might make someone uncomfortable.”
The above quote is from none other than long-time Street Fighter producer, Yoshinori Ono. The development team felt that the sexualized butt slap animations could be offensive to members of their fanbase and ultimately removed it before releasing the game. In my opinion Ono-San and his team made the right call in removing this animation.
— Jodie Mae (@PlnkRlbbonScars) February 17, 2016
So here we are now 24 hours post release and fans have moded in the pre-release version of Mika’s animations. Fans adding moded content that goes outside of the original scope of a developer’s vision are nothing new – there are whole new lands for Skyrim and even a nude mod. But despite some rather lengthy outcries on Twitter this does not amount to videogame censorship. Yoshinori’s decision to remove an ass slap from a fighting game in no way represents the suppression of any kind of dissenting opinion or information. The Street Fighter V team removed a sexualizing and degrading animation that focused on a woman’s body and now portions of the gamer demographics are up in arms. It’s almost like this has nothing to do with this particular game at all, considering the removal of R. Mika’s animations don’t affect gameplay at all, and have everything to do with objectifying bodies.
To those who still think that Capcom has censored your brand new fighting game, chill out for a second, because there is a lot of great content to be found in Capcom’s latest fighter. Clearly the developers intentions were to remove the animation as this change was made during the game’s development as it did not fit with their vision for the title. Claiming otherwise is not only going contradictory to Yoshinori’s statement but also makes it apparent that perhaps this whole thing isn’t about Street Fighter V but how we view female bodies in videogames?
In the end, this modification adds nothing to the game.