"We're Not Pretending We Are Japanese"
We'd just quite like for DmC to come out now, if only to stem the swathe of drama that's surrounded it since announcement - from forum rage to death threats, even series creator Hideki Kamiya waded in with some backlash. Ninja Theory are putting it down to cultural differences, reiterating that it's not as if they're systematically removing aspects of the series, but rather developing a game with a slightly new flavour.
"We did a thought experiment suggested by [former Capcom exec Keiji Inafune] early on," said Ninja Theory's Tameem Antoniades. "It went like this: imagine this game as a contemporary movie. What would it look like? What would Dante look like? We went from there."
"Japanese style ethos does tend to involve make characters look cool for the sake of looking cool, adding odd accessories, crazy hairstyles and colour, cowboy boots and so on simply because they look cool," added Capcom's Alex Jones. "We in the West tend to be more functional adding things that have meaning and being able to explain that meaning. Why does Dante have white hair? I want to make a little story around that and explain it. And so on for the rest of his design choices."
Antoniades stepped in to suggest that there's simply no getting away from cultural experiences and backgrounds. This is Ninja Theory's game, and so he pointed out that his teams points of pop culture reference are likely to be Western culture, and that's what they've been drawing upon.
"We've not so much done away with any of the Japanese aspects of the series," he suggested. "But are more building on the foundations of the franchise to develop a game that has a different flavour. We grew up on US and European movies, comics, music and general culture. That's what we're tapping into. "We're not pretending we are Japanese nor making apologies for that."
Ninja Theory have said a number of times that the core mechanics - the fast and fluid combat - have been respected; that the feel of what makes DmC a DMC game has been preserved. But their artistic approach to the game has been heavily criticised in some quarters, particularly for perceived emo campness. Antoniades answer to that seemed more of a light-hearted shrug: "Somehow Japanese character styles get away with it." [OXM]