If fans masturbate to Dead or Alive, which tasks players with taking pictures of scantily-clad women frolicking in a resort, developer Team Ninja would consider that "a success".

Dead or Alive Paradise, a PSP-exclusive Dead or Alive spin-off due out on the PSP on April 2, is a collection of "activities" in which players gamble at a casino, take pictures of almost-naked women, and play mini-games, including "Butt Battle".

When asked if he thought fans masturbated to Dead or Alive, producer Yoshinori Ueda replied: "Basically, if people can play the game however they want to play it, then that's fine with us."

Art director Yasushi Nakakura added that if fans did masturbate to the series, Team Ninja "could consider that a success".

Paradise, and the Dead or Alive Xtreme spin-off series, has suffered controversy over its sexualised content.

It has been criticised for being little more than "softcore porn" in some quarters, and lambasted by Dead or Alive fans for not including any fighting game mechanics.

In February the US ratings board, the ESRB, said Dead or Alive Paradise contains "creepy voyeurism" and "bizarre, misguided notions of what women really want", although it later replaced that description and apologised to publisher Tecmo.

Ueda defended the game to VideoGamer.com, and called for fans to "judge for themselves".

"We feel that the original text that went up was a subjective opinion. Of course everyone will have their own take on what the game is and what it means for them as they play it. For us the game is about providing a vacation, a resort, a place to have fun, and providing that experience to players. Part of that is taking pictures and having beautiful women in a beautiful locale. That's part of the fun in what we're trying to do with the title.

"We understand everybody will have their own opinions about it, but we would like people to take a look at the title, play it, and judge for themselves. We tried hard to make it a real paradise. We hope people will get that from the game."

Nakakura said Paradise was an effort to reset the Dead or Alive series, and to try and broaden its appeal.

"Dead or Alive has a bit of a history," he said. "It's been around for a while and the fans have grown with the series. With this title, Dead or Alive Paradise, we're looking at resetting that. We're trying to get new fans, people who aren't familiar with the series, and cast the net wide for people who might be looking for something different."

Check out the interview in full right here.

Carry on the conversation on the VideoGamer forums!