Somewhere soon, a group of video game company executives will meet in a conference room and discuss how to market games to women. Tecmo’s latest ad campaign for Ninja Gaiden Sigma 2 will likely only get mentioned as a “How Not To.”
It seems the newest Ninja Gaiden sequel gives players the opportunity to control the way female characters’ breasts move with the Sony Sixaxis controller. No, seriously (see the video below).
Ninja Gaiden 2 appeared on the Xbox 360 in 2008 and, for whatever reason, Tecmo decided to take a lot of the blood and gore out of the PlayStation 3 version of the game and focus more on sex appeal. Ryu, who has been the game’s hero since its earliest days on the Nintendo Entertainment System, is still the main character. But his three female co-stars have suddenly jumped from supporting roles to being much of the game’s buzz.
The Los Angeles Times‘ Brand X blog quotes Tecmo spokeswoman (yes, spokeswoman, and I would love to know what she really thinks about this) Kyoko Yamashita explaining the thinking here:
“Looking at the audience behind the 360 versus the PS3, 360 has kind of a raw, very pro-American audience. We were very interested once we saw the concept. The marketing campaign itself is quite different.”
That’s the understatement of the gaming year, folks. Of course, since this is the same company that brought us breast motion simulator Dead or Alive: Xtreme Beach Volleyball, maybe we shouldn’t be as surprised as we are.
But the Dead or Alive series has always kept a tongue-in-cheek sense of humor about the ridiculous, gravity-defying assets of its protagonists. In contrast, the Ninja Gaiden games are more well known for top notch action and controller-throwing difficulty. Of course, since we’re all talking about a PS3 port of a year-old Xbox 360 action game, the method to Tecmo’s madness may have already been revealed.
There is a saying about there being no such thing as bad publicity. If that holds true, then Tecmo is getting the kind of media coverage thousands of PR dollars couldn’t buy.