Bandai Namco recently revealed a new character being added to the fighting game, Tekken 7. The fighter is from the Philippines and is named Josie Rizal, which is actually causing a bit of controversy. A member of the National Commission on Culture and the Arts (NCCA) has come out against the character, saying that her name is too close to Jose Rizal, a national hero in the Philippines. While the NCCA has not taken an official stance on the issue, the statement has ignited a firestorm of controversy, with many asking for Josie Rizal’s name to be changed in the game.
Chris O. Easley of the NCCA clarified their position by saying “NCCA is just concerned about the name, the character should not be deleted just change the name!” The response from Tekken series creator Katsuhiro Harada was not overly receptive to this idea though. In a series of tweets, as translated by Inquirer.net, he stated that he would simply delete the character, rather than change her name. “No. If it happens, I’ll delete her. Josie [is] for (the) fighting game community. But Josie is very special for (the Philippine) gamer community. If Josie can’t get supported in the Philippines, we give her up anytime. Tekken 7 arcade board has a network update system. We can change plan and change characters anytime and quickly.”
A more official statement and request is being formed now by the NCCA, as they are consulting with the National Historical Commission of the Philippines. Tekken 7 is available now in select arcades and should head to other platforms later on.