Street Fighter 5 Tones Down Focus on Female Bodies

R. Mika and Cammy animations reframed for less exposure; Some fans unhappy.

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Capcom has made changes to Street Fighter 5's controversial cinematics that garnered criticism for gratuitously objectifying its female characters.

In previous versions of the Street Fighter 5 beta, female wrestler R. Mika was shown slapping her rear when executing her Critical Art. During this finishing move, Mika tags in her partner Nadeshko, and the two slam into their opponent from either side with their behinds.

The camera placement during this move has been adjusted so R. Mika's behind isn't in frame when she slaps it. Instead it swings in a little higher than it previously did to shift the focus. Watch the video above to see the differences between the two versions. The animation also changes the way the opposing character is posed during the attack. Previously the character's legs would spread apart, as if doing the splits, but now they lunge forward.

Capcom has also changed the way Cammy is framed during her entrance animation. Previously, she would leap in and as she came to a sliding stop, the camera was placed low enough so that her crotch area could clearly be seen. In the latest version of the beta, the angle has been raised and moved away from her so that her behind is out of the frame entirely. Take a look at the video below to see the change.

The exposure of female characters is an aspect of Street Fighter 5 that the Entertainment Software Ratings Board highlighted when assigning the game a Teen rating.

"Several female characters are depicted in low-cut, form-fitting outfits that display large amounts of cleavage and/or buttocks. Female characters' breasts sometimes jiggle during character selection. The words "a*s" and "bastard" appear in the dialogue."

The changes have sparked censorship debates on popular Street Fighter discussion sites such as EventHubs and the game's Subreddit. Some have argued that the changes remedy the game's questionable design choices, while others have said R. Mika's changes dull the over-the-top, comedic wrestling persona her character embodies.

"It's worth taking a second look onto some of the, er, design choices that SF5 (or just the series in general) has made, and I'm going to be honest, some of them are sorta silly," said user AccountsDept. "I understand Poison being hyper-sexualized because it's part of her personality and she works with it, but why is, say, Cammy, ultra-trained agent of Delta Red, issued a garment that barely passes as a thong to fight in?"

AccountsDept continued: "Why did anyone at Capcom make the conscious decision to make a titty-jiggle engine that's so advanced that it's possible to collapse Chun-Li's tit into a singularity? Why do slight arm movements in female characters cause ruptures in their chest unseen since the Japan earthquake?"

"I'm with you for Cammy," said TheSama. "She's a classy English lady damnit! She probably wouldn't go showing off her undercarriage before a fight.

AymJ retorted: "I'm just disappointed by Mika's change, and I do not agree, I always found her Super funny and not provocative. But of course I will still play the character, and the game. I don't care about Cammy's opening though."

"That's also the only beef I have with the changes they made," GroovyGoblin agreed. "R. Mika's Super was pretty funny and now the new angle hiding her butt slap kind of ruins the joke."

"It doesn't really bother me too much but Mika slapping her ass was pretty cool. She's a wrestler she's supposed to do stuff like that to hype up the crowd," added Mnwka92. "They also changed how it ended which sucks now. Making the changes they did is similar to making Hulk Hogan keep his shirt on or Stone Cold chug Pepsi instead of beer its not as hype as it could be."

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Derek Daniels, a design director at Sony's Santa Monica studio, offered the perspective of a developer, saying the changes to R. Mika's Critical Art was an example of the general public "seeing behind the curtain of how games change as they get made."

Responding to followers saying the new version of the move looks strange, he replied the "alteration looks weird because you know what it was before. lots of moves we don't know history of that we think look fine."

When Capcom first launched the beta earlier this year, Chun-Li's breasts moved in an exaggerated way during her character select animation. This became the subject of criticism, but was acknowledged by Capcom as a physics bug that would be addressed. In the updated versions of the beta, there is noticeably less movement.

At Paris Games Week, Street Fighter 5 producer Yoshinori Ono teased six new downloadable content characters who will be in the game. The characters will be unlockable via gameplay or microtransactions. Capcom has confirmed that all Street Fighter V gameplay DLC will be free for players who are willing to play enough.

The Street Fighter 5 release date has been confirmed as February 16, 2016. The last character announcement was for Dhalsim.

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