What Happened to Dead or Alive 7? Explained

Is it alive or dead?

Screenshot by Gamepur

The Dead or Alive franchise has been a staple in the fighting game community for years with its fast-paced gameplay, stunning graphics, and iconic characters. Dead or Alive fans were on edge, eagerly anticipating the next installment in the beloved 3D fighting game saga. They were ready for the next evolution of the series, hoping for new features, updated mechanics, and jaw-dropping visuals. However, their excitement was met with disappointment when some puzzling news broke in 2022. From development challenges to team restructuring, let’s uncover the mystery behind Dead or Alive 7’s unfortunate demise.

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What Happened to Dead or Alive 7?

Screenshot by Gamepur

To the fans’ disappointment, it was confirmed in 2022 that the game was canceled. Hiroaki Morita, a Team Ninja veteran, revealed on Twitter that the development of Dead or Alive 7 had started after the release of Dead or Alive 6. Unfortunately, the project was canceled after being in development for about two years.

Dead or Alive 6, the sixth main installment of the series, was released on PC, PlayStation 4, and Xbox One in March 2019. After the release of Dead or Alive 6, a small team within Team Ninja was working on updates for the game while simultaneously working on Dead or Alive 7. However, the team was disbanded when Yohei Shimbori, one of the series’ regular directors, left the company at the end of March 2021. As a result, the project for Dead or Alive 7 was canceled.

Yohei Shimbori had been involved in the Dead or Alive series for 16 years, serving as producer, director, designer, and/or planner for nine installments, starting from Dead or Alive Ultimate in 2004 to Dead or Alive 6. His departure from the company significantly affected the cancellation of Dead or Alive 7.

The release schedule for the main Dead or Alive installments has also been notable, with significant gaps between some releases. For example, while the first few installments were released successively, with Dead or Alive, Dead or Alive 2, Dead or Alive 3, and Dead or Alive 4 being released in 1996, 1999, 2001, and 2005 respectively, there was a seven-year gap before the release of Dead or Alive 5 in 2012, and another seven years before the release of Dead or Alive 6 in 2019.

Dead or Alive 6 received mixed reviews from players, with some praising its gameplay mechanics and graphics. In contrast, others were critical of its aggressive post-launch monetization policy. The game featured multiple season passes, some of which were quite pricey. It also charged players for changing the fighters’ hair, which was met with backlash from the community.

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Despite the cancellation of Dead or Alive 7, fans of the series continue to enjoy Dead or Alive 6, which has a free version called Dead or Alive 6: Core Fighters available on all platforms. While the future of the Dead or Alive franchise remains uncertain, players can still enjoy the existing installments and keep an eye out for any updates or announcements from Team Ninja and Koei Tecmo regarding the future of the series.