Tekken 7 interview: Zafina, Leroy Smith, and Season 3 DLC

Tekken 7 has launched its Season 3 DLC and Shacknews is here to ask producer Michael Murray about the game's two newest characters and how esports helped prolong Tekken's DLC pipeline longer than expected.


Tekken 7 has been out for quite a while, but Bandai Namco is just getting started. The publisher recently kicked off the game's third season of DLC fighters, releasing returning fighter Zafina and preparing to unleash all-new character Leroy Smith. To learn more about what players can expect from Season 3 of Tekken 7, Shacknews recently spoke to Tekken 7 producer Michael Murray.

Of course, long-time Tekken fans may have noticed something different about Zafina from her Tekken Tag Tournament days. She's developed a demon-possessed arm, something Murray says helped with one of the team's biggest challenges: Building hype for a non-guest character.

"One thing we're always struggling with is we have these really cool guest characters that people love," Murray told Shacknews. "Also we have new characters like Leroy that we just announced. So to bring a returning character to try to create that same hype is quite difficult for us. So we did add a new twist. This time she has a special move, as you can see [she has] some Rage Arts and some other animations where she has that Azazel hand... the boss that you fight in Tekken 6, so she was in charge of containing that monster and the only way that she could do it at the time was to contain it in her hand."

Murray goes into what it means to bring back characters like Zafina, essentially re-building her from scratch in order to ensure she's properly balanced with the rest of the Tekken roster. He also notes the importance of distinguishing her from the Tekken Tag Tournament series.

We also made sure to ask about Leroy Smith, his distinct martial arts style, and his unique look and charisma. Murray goes into the creation of Leroy, the behind-the-scenes on the character's conception, and also raves about T-Pain's recent Leroy Smith cosplay. This leads into a conversation about Tekken 7 esports and how the esports division has helped add new life to Tekken 7 beyond the initially-planned first round of DLC characters.

Tekken 7 is available now on PC, PlayStation 4, and Xbox One. Season 3 is out now, with Zafina leading off the Season 3 roster. Leroy Smith is coming this winter. For more interviews like this one, be sure to subscribe to Shacknews and GamerHub.TV on YouTube.

Senior Editor

Ozzie has been playing video games since picking up his first NES controller at age 5. He has been into games ever since, only briefly stepping away during his college years. But he was pulled back in after spending years in QA circles for both THQ and Activision, mostly spending time helping to push forward the Guitar Hero series at its peak. Ozzie has become a big fan of platformers, puzzle games, shooters, and RPGs, just to name a few genres, but he’s also a huge sucker for anything with a good, compelling narrative behind it. Because what are video games if you can't enjoy a good story with a fresh Cherry Coke?

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