Tekken 8, the next entry in Bandai Namco Entertainment’s long-running fighting game franchise, is set to launch on January 26. While that’s right around the corner, the team is continuing to tweak aspects of the game, including a potentially concerning set of accessibility features that stirred up a hubbub late last December.
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During the last big Tekken 7 tournament, the Tekken World Tour 2023 Finals, which ran from January 12 to 14, producer Katsuhiro Harada revealed that some Tekken 8 accessibility options would get rejiggered so they work better for everyone. This comes after the team faced both praise and scrutiny for its plethora of color blind filters that, in some cases, caused migraines and vertigo.
Bandai Namco Esports
“Many people have been talking about the accessibility features in the demo for Tekken 8,” Harada said via producer and translator Michael Murray. “Actually, that was just a work-in-progress, so we’ve actually tweaked that quite a bit to try to address some of the issues and to make sure that it works better for a wider variety of people. So, that’s another thing that we’re updating for the retail game, but also, we’re going to update the demo to reflect that as well.”
The Tekken 8 Color Blind Controversy, Explained
At the tail end of last December, a viral thread on X/Twitter demonstrated some of Tekken 8‘s many color blind filters. One of the most popular tweets in the thread was a video of Jin Kazama and Kazuya Mishima brawling with a black-and-white striped filter overlay set against a mostly white background. It looked like an unfinished painting, the purpose of which was to e, reduce the number of colors on screen so that character models appeared more visible during the frenetic pace of the game’s fights. Folks loved it. However, as the thread started making the rounds, the adoration slowly gave way to concern as accessibility advocates such as Ian Hamilton and Steve Saylor said the feature could be “dangerous” for folks with photosensitivity triggers.
Not long after the thread blew up, Harada said on X/Twitter that Tekken 8 has “multiple types of color vision options” for players, as well as settings to adjust brightness to varying degrees for optimal visual acuity. He noted that color vision options such as the ones being implemented in Tekken 8 are “a rare part of the fighting game genre” that’s still being researched and will be expanded upon in future Tekken games.
“Currently, we have received positive feedback from many demo play participants, but we understand that this option does NOT address the color vision of ALL players in the world (said again),” Harada said. “We would also like to inform you that we have been working with several research institutes and communities to develop this option even before we developed the ‘accessibility version of Tekken 7 (not for sale)‘ and Tekken 8.”
We don’t know which research institutions or accessibility communities Harada is referring to. It’s also unclear if these changes will come in time for Tekken 8‘s January 26 release on PC, PlayStation 5, and Xbox Series X/S.
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Kotaku reached out to Bandai Namco Entertainment for comment.
That’s not all the news Harada and Co. delivered during the massive event. Interspersed between matches were some new trailers, including the announcement that capoeira master Eddy Gordo—with his Killmonger hairstyle—will be Tekken 8‘s first DLC character coming out sometime this spring.