Makers of DVD containing nude footage of Dead or Alive characters sued by Koei Tecmo


You might have heard of the Dead or Alive series, a kind of rival to the likes of Street Fighter and Mortal Kombat in the fighting arena (and if you haven’t, Dead or Alive 5 is free to play on Steam).

But while the likes of Mortal Kombat are known for their gory violence, the likes of Dead or Alive 5 have stood out due to the sexualized portrayal of the game’s female characters.

Actually, Japanese video game publisher Koei Tecmo acknowledged that its portrayal of female fighters in the series might have been a bit over the top back in 2019, stating that it would change its approach to sexual imagery in the fighting series with Dead or Alive 6 (nonetheless, girl fighters in 6 were still pretty sexualized, so nothing really seemed to have changed that much relative to the earlier games in the series though…).

Also, and given the series over the top nature, and its debut on PC with Dead or Alive 5, Koei Tecmo was wary that PC modders would have a field day with the game, releasing nude and other nasty mods for the game, something which inevitably happened.

This has been more of a problem with the Dead or Alive Xtreme spin-offs, which instead of focusing on fighting, shift gears and instead feature scantily-clad and over proportioned ladies engaging in beach volleyball and other activities. Actually, Dead or Alive Xtreme 3 was one of the most controversial games of 2016 due to it not getting a release in the West, with Koei Tecmo facing a backlash against the game due to its blatant and outrageous sexism (it was actually one of the worst games of 2016, so western gamers did not miss much though).

But while seeing big-breasted ladies push each other into swimming pools with their butts in the likes of Dead or Alive Xtreme 3, the makers of a DVD featuring nude footage from Dead or Alive Xtreme Venus Vacation won’t be laughing now, as Koei Tecmo has taken legal action against them as was recently reported on PC Gamer.

Dead or Alive Xtreme Venus Vacation is the latest game in the spin-off Xtreme series (as opposed to the main Dead or Alive fighting series). The game itself, provocative as it might be, does not actually feature nude characters, but given the fact that the PC version of the game can be modded, it’s not so hard for people to change things so that the game’s curvaceous females appear naked in the game.

And this “nude-modded” footage from Dead or Alive Xtreme Venus is what got Koei Tecmo’s attention, leading to them announcing legal action against those responsible for the derivative work. In a statement, the Yokohama-based company said that it “will continue to take strict measures against copyright infringement”.

“We will take decisive measures against such illegal acts. We will continue to take strict measures against copyright infringement and strive to provide games that satisfy our fans”, said the Japanese company.

Koei Tecmo also clarified that while it won’t prevent people from making derivative works based on their games, it will act against such works when there’s “discomfort felt by our fans” or “the feelings of the developers” warrant such action.

Of course, when PC versions of games such as Dead or Alive Xtreme Venus Vacation are open to modders, it’s inevitable that mods of an adult nature will emerge. That’s something that had Final Fantasy XV’s director Hajime Tabata worried about before the game’s launch on PC back in 2017.

Meanwhile, Koei Tecmo itself also expressed concerns in 2015 just about as it was going to launch Dead or Alive 5 on PC, even going as far as to suggest that the availability of inappropriate mods for the game might lead to Tecmo not releasing anymore Dead or Alive games on PC.

This did not happen though, even though it’s clear that the Japanese outfit is 100 % entitled to bring the makers of the DVD featuring illegal nude-modded images from the Dead or Alive Xtreme Venus Vacation game to court, although it remains to be seen how this whole story pans out in the months to come.