Koei Tecmo Goes DMCA On DOA Modders For Undressing Its Already Scantily Clad Characters

from the a-mod-too-far dept

I won't pretend to know every in and out of the Dead or Alive series. That's partially because I gave up fighting games once I hit junior high, and partially because my gaming habits tend to cleave to particular franchises generally and DoA wasn't amongst those I patronized. But I gather the series has been mostly about offering up characters, and setting them to beat the hell out of one another for fun and amusement. I can see where there might be fun in that.

What I can't see is why the creator of such a game series would want to make the kinds of moral arguments against modders that DoA producer Yosuke Hayashi made in conjunction with Koei Tecmo going all DMCA crazy on mods that removed the wardrobes of the fairer characters of DoA 5: Last Round.

"We have to deal with mod issues from an IP holder perspective," Koei Tecmo producer Yosuke Hayashi said in an interview with trade publication MCV. "We would like to ask PC users to play our game in good moral and manner. Otherwise, we won’t be able to release a title for PC again."
Now, is the dedication some modders show to making sure that female characters are disrobed a level 20 on the creepy scale? Sure, I think that's fair. But, from a business perspective, why is Tecmo interested in going the DMCA route on the modding community? Whatever you think of the mods themselves, it's difficult to mount a logical argument for going to war with the modding community, which is typically made up of either a game's fan-base or talented modders serving some portion of the fan-base. Either way, mods are strictly for the interested, meaning they can only make a product more desirable, not less. What good comes from the company trying to hide these mods using intellectual property law?

As for the moral argument, please let me just type "haha" here and imagine I kept repeating those two letters infinitely, because, seriously, c'mon. The DoA series only strayed form its chief thematic vehicle of human beings beating the ever-loving shit out of one another in order to tantalize dumb teenage boys by creating spinoff series in which the female DoA characters play volleyball in laughably small bikinis, spinoffs in which the female characters are photographed in laughably small bikinis, and spinoffs in which the female characters can play almost-strip-poker with the player. Let me see if I can draw you a picture of morality using DoA imagery.


The gravity-defying boob physics represent the necessity of a firm moral stance...or something...


The point is that there seems to be little sense in any of this from Tecmo's perspective. Moral arguments are for those with moral authority, and good gaming business is to let modders have-at-it, as it were.

Filed Under: dmca, doa, modders, mods, morality, yosuke hayashi
Companies: koei tecmo


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  • icon
    Violynne (profile), 15 Apr 2015 @ 11:50am

    HAHA. Glad Timothy nailed the hypocrisy with this one. I sure as hell didn't buy the game for its volleyball gameplay. Those girls are pretty cute.

    That said, HOW DARE THE MODDING COMMUNITY TAKE THIS SEXIST GAME AND TURN IT CREEPY! YOU BASTARDS! WOULD YOU UNDRESS YOUR OWN SISTER LIKE THIS?
    ;)

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 15 Apr 2015 @ 12:37pm

      Re:

      Yes. Yes I would.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 15 Apr 2015 @ 1:06pm

      Re:

      In fairness to DOAXBV (at least the first one), the volleyball gameplay is surprisingly good. It won't win awards or anything, but it's at least fun to play.

      (Having the eye candy doesn't hurt, I'll admit.)

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 15 Apr 2015 @ 4:07pm

      Re:

      It's so funny too because I remember in the early days when people would make fun of the extra effort they put into the female character's jiggly boobs reacting to movement vs. other environmental tweaks they could have done.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • icon
        PaulT (profile), 16 Apr 2015 @ 3:01am

        Re: Re:

        IIRC, the first DOA game had a setting where you could control how much the boobs bounced. In the PS1 game by design, not something that was modded in. That's all the context you need here, I think.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    Uriel-238 (profile), 15 Apr 2015 @ 12:49pm

    So Clothing on your characters now counts as DRM?

    What's creepier? The game or the function of the anti-circumvention act?

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 15 Apr 2015 @ 1:10pm

    I've heard that DoA recently banned the use of certain costumes from use in online tournaments, supposedly to make female gamers more comfortable participating, so this isn't really that out of character.

    It is absurd, though. Guess it's time to vote with my money.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    John Fenderson (profile), 15 Apr 2015 @ 1:55pm

    Yes, I'm a contrarian

    We would like to ask PC users to play our game in good moral and manner.


    When I read this, I felt a strong urge to find out what Hayashi considers to be a "good and moral manner" and get the game just so I play it in manner counter to that.

    I find the attitude that the game producer has some sort of right to declare how I should or should not play their game to be offensive.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 15 Apr 2015 @ 2:00pm

    What would turn things around would be interstitial scenes where the beach babes complain to one another (or even to their male counterparts) about things like
    * how unhappy they are at being portrayed like bimbos
    * how they had to get a digital boob job to get hired for this game
    * how their back aches because of all the (ahem) front loading
    * how they took this job only to pay for their game development (or theoretical physics, etc) degree

    ... etcetera. As long as they remain clearly puppets, people will abuse them. Give them some humanity, let them bitch at the player for abusing them, see what happens.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      Uriel-238 (profile), 15 Apr 2015 @ 5:04pm

      Super Massive Irony

      Though interestingly enough, they are objects, and not actual human beings from the modeling, sex work or martial arts industries. Rather, they are each a bundled package of 3D geometrics, mo-cap suites, skin textures, voice-acted audio files and contextualized instructions assembled into what is, in programming literally called an object.

      Offense is only had when we conflate them with actual women, an association their designers were very strongly trying to convince us to make, and that the developer (erroneously) makes when saying there is a moral boundary that prevents us from undressing them or ensuring with additional are that they are anatomically representative.

      It is telling that certain outfits are limited from tournaments because they might make particapting women uncomfortable. I think that belies the intent of the game's design as a vehicle for softcore porn.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      Uriel-238 (profile), 16 Apr 2015 @ 9:55am

      One of my greater disappointments about Saints Row, The Third...

      (An otherwise pretty swanky game) was how misrepresented the sex-work and kink communities were, and how conspicuously uncomfortable the main characters were with them. (Mind you, the Saints were allegedly veterans of the trade, having managed and possibly participated in sex work in Saints Row 2).

      For instance, street-walkers and call girls usually hang out at the studio (boudoir? lounge? office? Pool?) dressed comfortably (not in stripperiffic turn-out gear) and eating, reading, sleeping or otherwise engaging in regular human behavior, not brushing up on their stripper-moves.

      I suspect this was a product of the developers being uncomfortable with industry details and kink, and inadequate efforts to research what it really looks like.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 15 Apr 2015 @ 2:02pm

    "Streisand Effect"

    meaning they can only make a product more desirable


    And the only thing we see that's more effective at gathering peoples attention than advertising is the wonderful 'Streisand Effect'.
    So, maybe, just maybe, we're seeing the first application of the effect in conjunction with a mod effort that I think can be compared to 'fan service'.

    Just think of how many copies of this game will be bought to use with the mod that would not have been purchased otherwise.

    Brilliantly played!

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    Khaim (profile), 15 Apr 2015 @ 3:09pm

    Clarification

    Timothy, you should probably add a note to that image to make clear that it is a screenshot from the un-modified game. Someone unfamiliar with DoA might easily assume that it's from one of the mods. After all, what self-respecting person concerned with "good moral" behavior would publish that?

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Rekrul, 15 Apr 2015 @ 4:53pm

    I was always kind of interested in the Dead or Alive games, but I never had any of the systems that they were released for. Now there's a Windows port of one game and naturally it's crippled with Steam. :P

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      CK20XX (profile), 16 Apr 2015 @ 8:43am

      Re:

      "Crippled" is how one typically describes Origin and Uplay games, not Steam ones.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • icon
        John Fenderson (profile), 16 Apr 2015 @ 9:17am

        Re: Re:

        Yes, "crippled" is too strong for Steam. "Bruised" would be more accurate.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        • identicon
          Rekrul, 16 Apr 2015 @ 12:52pm

          Re: Re: Re:

          Yes, "crippled" is too strong for Steam. "Bruised" would be more accurate.

          Without Steam, you can't (legally) play the game. As soon as you install it, you'll be required to also install Steam, create a Steam account, etc. I consider that crippled.

          Whatever other benefits Steam might offer to users, it provides absolutely nothing to the singleplayer mode of a game. Rather it uses up memory and resources on the computer to have it running in the background monitoring what you do. It provides Valve with a way to remotely disable your games if they decide you've violated their terms of service. It prevents used game sales/giveaways even if you have a full retail copy of the game and it can (and has) retroactively changed games' minimum system requirements.

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

          • icon
            John Fenderson (profile), 16 Apr 2015 @ 1:16pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            I haven't used Steam for a long while now, so maybe this has changed, but it used to be that once you've purchased a game through Steam you could download the game and play it offline without ever running Steam again. That's not crippled to me.

            reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

            • icon
              CK20XX (profile), 16 Apr 2015 @ 1:34pm

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

              That's still true. When you download and install a Steam game, you can access it via the Start menu in Windows, just like any other non-Steam game you install. You get unrestricted offline play and everything.

              At its worst, Steam is like a rich, crazy uncle that smells funny. It's not the villain that must be slain in the struggle to preserve consumers' ownership rights. Don't attack Steam, but instead promote Good Old Games and The Humble Store.

              reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 15 Apr 2015 @ 8:40pm

    They just don't want to get Hot Coffee'd and subsequently AO's by the scandal-hungry media and ESRB - especially given the already risqué nature of the game. Keep your shorts on, it's standard CYA corporate play.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 15 Apr 2015 @ 9:35pm

      Re:

      If the mods don't uncover anything Koei Tecmo hid away themselves (the problem that Rockstar ran into with Hot Coffee), the ESRB can't realistically post-rate the game as AO. Plenty of people have made nude mods for Street Fighter games released on PC, but the ESRB didn't give those games a different rating as a result.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Just Another Anonymous Troll, 16 Apr 2015 @ 7:47am

    Otherwise, we won’t be able to release a title for PC again.
    Sooooo... If I seek out and download a dirty mod of my own free will, this somehow precludes you from producing more games? Does this somehow damage your computer system, or are you just going to stomp your feet because I won't play the way you want to!
    Seriously, if you start telling your players they have to play your game your way or else, you've already begun your death spiral. If a naughty mod can endanger your series, then you don't have a very good fan base.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 16 Apr 2015 @ 8:17am

    How dare you exploit the image of women worse than we do!

    **Next year, Dead or Alive: Interactive sex game

    We've leveraged our position as a leader in boob physics into some sexy positions.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      Uriel-238 (profile), 16 Apr 2015 @ 9:42am

      I thought the next step would be to integrate disrobing attacks into the fighting game...

      So that fancier (harder-to-perform) attacks shred or remove clothing from the opponent.

      Here in the US, we may not allow for anatomical correctness (until the modders decensor it), but parts of Europe and Asia might have less of a problem with the nudity.

      Come for the beatdown! Stay for the fanservice!

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    Yakko Warner (profile), 16 Apr 2015 @ 12:14pm

    That's right, blame the PC

    Otherwise, we won’t be able to release a title for PC again.

    Because this would never happen on consoles.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    ExpendableSyzygy, 14 Mar 2018 @ 6:02am

    Cracked, anyone?

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]


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