The upcoming seventh installment of the long-running “Tekken” video game series will add several new characters to its roster, as is typical of the series and of fighting games as a whole. The new characters will include Claudio Serafino, Katarina Alves, and Lucky Chloe. However, the newly created character of Shaheen has drawn a considerable amount of attention himself, due to the fact that he will be the franchise’s first character of Middle Eastern origin.
The news of Shaheen’s addition to “Tekken 7” first broke on the Twitter page of series project leader Katsuhiro Harada: “NEW CHARACTER for TEKKEN 7. ‘Shaheen’ from Saudi Arabia.” Shaheen’s look for the game most certainly solidifies his Saudi origins with a keffiyeh and agal on top of his head and a scimitar by his side. News of Shaheen’s addition has been well-received among Middle Eastern and Muslim fans of the franchise, and his inclusion has even made headlines in the Middle East, as well.
For rather obvious reasons, the inclusion of a Middle Eastern or Muslim character in the highly popular and acclaimed “Tekken” franchise would have been unthinkable a decade ago. However, cultural diversity has consistently been a hallmark of the franchise and fighting games as a whole. As long as they’re worthy of the World Warrior competition, the battle of Mortal Kombat, or the King of Iron Fist tournament, gamers will play as any character under the sun.
“Tekken 7” is set to debut in Japanese arcades in March to commemorate the series’ 20th anniversary. The game’s console release in Japan and abroad will follow later this year. Until then, soak up this action-packed trailer!