Publication date of the original Japanese article: 2021-11-26 18:03 (JST)
Translated by. Nick Mosier
On November 26, Square Enix announced compensation for players in Japan after making a change to a costume in Dragon Quest X (DQX). They explained that the free gift was for making a change to a section of the Santa Skirt item “that could be recolored or made glossy previously.” Each potentially affected player will receive a “Colorful Bouquet” and “Glossy Paint.”
This announcement was made after fans expressed their dissatisfaction with a change that saw the undergarments of the Santa Skirt costume go from panties to compression shorts.
DQX is an MMORPG that was originally released for the Wii back in 2012 and has since come out on Wii U, PS4, PC, Nintendo Switch, and browsers over the course of its continued service. In the game, you can team up with other players to tackle dungeons, build yourself a house, participate in events, and enjoy yourself in a variety of other ways.
One of those being outfit customization. The game contains numerous clothing items, and the color and material of those items can be changed. There are also costumes in the official shop available for purchase via microtransactions.
Square Enix’s recent announcement about compensation for players comes after a change to the Santa Skirt item. The Santa Skirt was first made available in the 2012 Christmas event and is now available for purchase in the official shop for 110 yen (roughly $1).
What makes the skirt unique is that it’s short and wide. It’s a design that pretty much leaves the character’s legs completely exposed. The skirt also flutters and moves based on what you’re doing in the game, so basically, it’s really easy to see your character’s underwear.
But the skirt that’s available in the recent DQX version 6 has been modified to cover characters down to the thigh area, with the underwear being changed to leave less exposed.
Some passionate fans are laying their dissatisfaction bare for all to see and have been since before the change was even implemented. It looks like more than a few players enjoyed catching a glimpse of their character’s unmentionables while playing. And for that reason, they weren’t too keen on the steadfast covering provided by compression shorts. Now, they seem to be lamenting the loss of their panty fixation.
On the other hand, some players just think the updated skirt isn’t fashionable. To them, the skirt was a stylish and feminine way to show off some nice legs, that in its current form with the shorts sticking out, just doesn’t look as good.
From fetish to fashion, the Santa Skirt has been poorly received by many players. And now, the community is referring to the change as the “panty nerf.” Users are also sharing their responses under the previously mention tweet from the official DQX Twitter account, with some saying they bought it because they liked that design and now want their money back or in-game currency.
Some users are also theorizing that it may have to do with the game’s CERO rating, the game ratings organization used in Japan. DQX is currently operating with a CERO A rating, which means it’s suitable for all ages. Under CERO, showing items like undergarments or swimsuits could be considered sexual content and impact the rating. It’s possible that Square Enix was worried about the Santa Skirt potentially affecting the game’s rating. A worry that’s especially relevant for an all-ages game.
Another example of an MMO causing a stir with its lower body depictions is Final Fantasy XIV and its “butt nerf” controversy. It was discovered that some collaboration items that were added and made character’s butts bigger didn’t mix well with other clothing items. In order to prevent these issues, they secretly changed the game to shrink the butts under certain conditions. The community caught on to the change and their reaction got the butts reverted back to how they were (related article in Japanese).
This reversion shows that Square Enix can be flexible regarding these kinds of issues. But Final Fantasy XIV has a CERO C rating for ages 15 and older, so their situation is different from that of DQX. Regardless, it will be interesting to see if Square Enix responds further to the issue.