The director of the Tekken video game franchise, Katsuhiro Harada recently showed off a new character for the 7th installment of the series – a Saudi Arabian character by the name of Shaheen. The fighter was announced via twitter on New Years Eve:

The new Tekken 7 Saudi Arabian character was teased this past August on the game’s Facebook page by Harada.

“I believe all of you know by now that we are developing Tekken 7 at the moment. Of course, in Tekken 7, there will be “some” new characters that will be featured in the game. The ideas of these new characters are changing daily, and nothing is totally decided yet. Today, I wanted to ask about “one of the ideas within the several new character ideas”. That is, a design concept of an Arab character. I would particularly like to hear the feedback from our Tekken fan community in the Middle Eastern countries (and of course, the all Tekken fan community).

Harada continued, “To be honest, we did have an idea of an Arab fighter since 2008, but since most of the development team members are Japanese and do not know much about the Middle Eastern culture or clothes, we were not able to fully design it back then. But in recent years I (Harada) have been visiting places such as Dubai and Saudi Arabia, and many of the development staff members have been learning about Middle Eastern culture and designs.”

The opinions of fans commenting on that post are largely positive, with most people being happy that Saudi Arabia is finally being represented. There were a few people saying that “he looks too cliche” or that “he looks like an Assassin’s Creed character” but much to the joy of Arabian users on facebook, this new Tekken 7 Saudi Arabian character seems to represent them well and isn’t looking to be an offensive or slanderous move by Bandai Namco.

Image Credits: Katsuhiro Harada, Tekken’s Facebook