To mod or not to mod

Computer games and the modding community go together like journalists and alcohol, so it’s rather alarming to see that a games firm is suing “hackers” who modified their legally purchased games. The Reg report notes:

The lawsuit claims the ninjahacker.net users decompiled the code to several Tecmo titles, including Ninja Gaiden, Dead or Alive 3, and Dead or Alive Xtreme Beach Volleyball, and figured out how to create their own “skins” that change the appearance of game characters. They swapped modding techniques and hundreds of custom skins over the website message board.

The defendants are not accused of pirating the games, and the modifications and methods at issue appear no different than those employed by hobbyists on other video games – from Halo to the Sims 2 –for years. But according to the lawsuit, Tecmo suffers in the practice anyway.

…the company is seeking $1,000 to $100,000 in damages for every custom skin swapped over the website.

6 thoughts on “To mod or not to mod

  1. David says:

    At first I was quite surprised about this until I got to the games involved. Tomonobu Itagaki (runs Team Ninja who make DOA) is, quite simply, absolutely bonkers.

    Tecmo have sued before over the DOA characters. They (well, him really) see them as something more than game characters and treat any changes as a personal affront. The previous lawsuit was similar (although more corporate) as a company released code that allowed you to hack DOA2 and remove the clothes from one of the characters. Tecmo one that one but that was the japanese court – nintendo lost a similar case over the Game Genie in America.

  2. Gary says:

    Thanks for that, David – I didn’t know the back story.

    I’m trying really hard to understand the logic of suing your most devoted fans…

  3. David says:

    Just noticed the gem “one that one” in my earlier post. Obviously that was meant to be “won that one”. ;-)

  4. Russ says:

    Perhaps a mod to stop the breasts bouncing in their games would be a good idea in the interests of decency. Oh maybe not!

  5. David says:

    Apparently team ninja spent an inordinate amount of time writing code to simulate bouncing breasts more accurately. That’s dedication for you. ;-)

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