Virtua Fighter's Akira Yuki in Dead or Alive 5Virtua Fighter series mascot Akira Yuki will be a playable character in the upcoming Dead or Alive 5 game, developer Team Ninja announced today. This marks the first time ever that the DoA franchise has opened its doors to characters from other fighting titles.

Crossovers are common in the fighting genre these days, with franchises like Marvel vs. Capcom and the upcoming Street Fighter X Tekken competing for attention and sales. Even silver screen boogie man Freddy Krueger and God of War’s Kratos managed to make appearances in Mortal Kombat. But this latest move by Team Ninja is odd when you consider the fact that studio head Yosuke Hayashi told VentureBeat’s Sebastian Haley back in December his team didn’t need to rely on crossovers to create a strong game.

“Itagaki might have left, but the hatred for Tekken is still around in the team [laughter]. So when we see Street Fighter X Tekken and those kinds of games…We’re coming out with Dead or Alive. We don’t need to rely on anything else to present Dead or Alive as a strong fighting game in the genre. We don’t need that kind of thing to prove ourselves.”

It seems Hayashi has had a change of heart. You can check out a vignette of Akira Yuki in action in the video below.

Dead or Alive 5 is headed to the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 in September 2012.