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DOA4 will not be released unfinished - Itagaki

And he hates patches. Hates.

Tecmo's Team Ninja, led by sunglass-loving Tomonobu Itagaki, is in heavy crunch mode on Dead or Alive 4 but won't be releasing it until it's in perfect condition, according to comments made in Japanese magazines Dorimaga and Famitsu Xbox 360.

The remarks, from Itagaki himself, would appear to have been made at around the time Tecmo was confirming that DOA4 would be released in Japan a week later than the 360 itself on December 17th. The game's also been delayed in the US, and Europe, where it will likely appear in mid January.

"[The] last five percent is the most crucial point in development," Itagaki told the Japanese press, and although he's aware that developers sometimes choose to ship their games and then patch them later, Itagaki related that he "despises" this kind of behaviour. That said, he would consider patching DOA4 in the event that something utterly unforeseen cropped up post-release. We get the impression he wouldn't feel good about it though.

Other details that came to light during the recent round of Japanese interviews include a final character total (22), and the news that players will have to finish the game about four hundred thousand times to unlock Elena.