After Kokoro's fight with Akira, Zack comments: "10 years huh? Time sure does fly.". This is a reference to Akira's iconic win quote "Juunen hayaindayo!" ("You're 10 years too early!") from Virtua Fighter.
The fight sequence between Brad and Eliot is a reference to the training scenes from the Jackie Chan film Fearless Hyena.
Tina's 3rd and 5th costumes are based on an outfit of real-life WWE pro-wrestler Maryse.
Team Ninja president Yosuke Hayashi stated in a 2012 interview that they took inspiration from the Uncharted series for the creation of the more interactive and destructible stages and the dramatic Cliffhanger events.
"We also wanted to hint at that flow you get into in Uncharted, where you know that something massive is about to happen. In Uncharted you fall off a cliff, or off a boat and things like that, and we thought moments like that would be great in DOA5's fighting system."
Upon Hitomi's initial unveiling for the Alpha Demo of Dead or Alive 5, she received negative feedback from fans for her redesign. Hitomi's design was reworked, most notably shrinking her ears and making her face much more round. Hitomi is the only character in Dead or Alive 5 to have a different design from her initial "Final" design.