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Lollipop Chainsaw is Suda51’s biggest seller. Does this Enforce the notion “Sex Sells Best”?

Lollipop Chainsaw Summer Appreciation Event

Suda51 is quite the card in the deck of game designers. He maintains a rock and roll persona and mixes it with designing some of the most bizarre games ever released in the west, despite No More Heroes and Lollipop Chainsaw being based in fictional California. During the Lollipop Chainsaw Summer festival that was held recently, CEO Yoshimi Yasuda stated that Lollipop Chainsaw had crossed the 700,00 mark of games shipped world wide. Compared to Grasshopper’s last two outings this was a massive success (No More Heroes ~500,000 and Shadows of the Damned ~100,000).

During the same event he had shed some light on his new game Killer is Dead with a new trailer being shown off that was edited by Yasuda himself. There appeared to be a man with a robotic left hand wielding a Katana doing battle in a cel-shaded world similar to No More Heroes. Mr. 51 is hoping it would be a new assassins story that carries the traditions of Killer7 and No More Heroes.

If I were to round up all of Suda’s games and put a label on them it would be Style over Substance. Not to say that’s not enough to warrent a purchase or a play through because what he does aesthetically and in writing is top notch. But if I were to give a medal why Lollipop Chainsaw sold so well compared to the last two outings, it would not go to Hollywood’s James Gunn or Tara Strong despite their impressive work on the game which should not be overlooked. No I’d give the medal (or two) to Juliet’s mammaries. YES the reason why this game sold so well was purely on sex appeal. But the way Lollipop Chainsaw has been marketed is not an accurate depiction on what the game is trying to say about Objectification of women as Jim Sterling wisely points out over on Destructoid. Juliet does look nice and she does flaunt her assets in the game through her cheerleading moves and revealing wardrobe but the writing says something more.

What I’m desperately trying to say is that I feel Lollipop Chainsaw sold well for the wrong reasons. Stick an attractive figure on your product that panders to a human’s core desires and units will fly off the shelves even if the product is trying to convey a positive message through shameless marketing. I expected Lollipop Chainsaw to be as shallow as Dead or Alive Extreme but was very surprised and enlightened on how the game was written to tackle this theme. It made me question if the marketing be more representative of what the game is trying to convey or if this message would be more profound if it was hidden behind the shameless advertising. It really goes to show that behind the glamour of Suda’s games that there is a diamond in the rough for those who search but should it really be at the price of going against what it’s trying to teach?

We should celebrate the success of Lollipop Chainsaw as it is a break through for Grasshopper Manufacture and Suda51 along with the hard work of many who had worked on the game especially the game’s writer James Gunn. But what shouldn’t be celebrated is the exploitation of a female that panders to the male demographic.

Anthony is an Editor at Default Prime along with being the Manager and Engineer of their weekly podcast the Primecast. A Fighting Game fanatic, he could talk your ear off about Back to the Future, One Piece and Scott Pilgrim. Currently he is a British bound Pharmacy Undergraduate.

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