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Vin Diesel nearly got to play Tekken 6 before any of us, but the game's devs wouldn't trust him like family

Don’t worry, it sounds like he wasn’t too furious.

A character in Tekken 8 next to Vin Diesel in Fast & Furious Crossroads.
Image credit: VG247/Bandai Namco

Ok, sit down. According to the world’s most famous Tekken developer, Vin Diesel nearly got to play Tekken 6 ahead of the rest of us, but sadly, he was never able to thanks to a couple of factors related to the stage of development the game was at.

Yes, the mumbly man from those films about cars driving around and doing skids (I actually like them, way more than I probably should, in case you’re wondering) was in with a chance of beating someone up in a video game before you had the chance to. Unfortunately, circumstances didn’t allow Dom Toretto to slap some folks around on a screen.

This is according to series stalwart developer Katsuhiro Harada, who decided to take a break from giving slightly tongue-in-cheek answers as to why the likes of Final Fantasy's Tifa Lockhart and Clive Rosfield aren’t unlockable characters in Tekken 8 to reminisce about someone else some fans had suggested as a potential addition - Vin Diesel.

“It was quite a long time ago...while we were developing TEKKEN 6, his manager contacted NAMCO,” the developer recalled regarding the actor. “He was just visiting Japan and wanted to play the latest TEKKEN. However, at the time, it was still only running on an incredibly huge development machine, so we couldn't bring it to the hotel where he was, and there was too much confidential information.”

Thankfully, Harada says big Vin wasn’t too upset about this: “I told his manager about it and he gave up with a response thanking me for considering it.” Hopefully Diesel managed to entertain himself in a different way once this fell through, probably by drag racing someone down an expressway or along a mountain road.

In all seriousness, given that Tekken 6 came out in 2007, it looks like there’s a chance this exchange might’ve occurred when Diesel visited Japan (assuming he did and it wasn’t filmed elsewhere, this is Hollywood after all) to film his brief cameo in The Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift. Vin was asked to do that cameo in 2006, so the dates might line up, but we’ll probably never know for sure.

Harada doesn’t seem to have given the reason for Diesel’s visit too much though though, finishing his tweet: “As usual, we worked all night in the development room, chatting with director Yonemori, who was our subordinate at the time, about how interesting such a phone call can be when you have been developing games for many years like we had.”

For more on TEKKEN, make sure to check out our recent interview with Harada and fellow developer Michael Murray exploring how TEKKEN 8 still honours arcade culture, and our character tier list for it.

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