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Gamers Can't Be Trusted With This Boob-Jiggling Tech

Dead or Alive's publisher is worried that players will modify its "Softness Engine."

by Emanuel Maiberg
Feb 10 2015, 5:41pm

An example of the Softness Engine's prowess. GIF made from video by ​Glacies Orito/YouTube.

Dead or Alive 5: Last Round publisher Koei Tecmo is worried about how players will alter the game code to create their own content once they get their hands on its proprietary boob-jiggling technology.

The game's "Softness Engine," as it's called, is used to render skin and breast physics in a fighting game series known for its abnormally busty, scantily-clad characters. It's also remarkable in that it allows players to adjust the jiggling.

The Dead or Alive series has been around since 1996, and in 2006 was even adapted into a movie​ I'm trying hard to forget, but this is the first time it's coming to the PC.

Releasing on PC allows Koei Tecmo to reach a huge new market, but it also allows enterprising minds to more easily access the game's code and manipulate it to change or add their own content.

Basically, Koei Tecmo is afraid modders—users who modify the game's existing content or add their own—will undress its characters, or worse.

"We have to deal with mod issues from an [intellectual property] holder perspective," Koei Tecmo producer Yosuke Hayashi told MCV in an int​erview. "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."

The latest version of the Softness Engine designed for the current generation of consoles like the PlayStation 4, stacked up against what we saw on the PlayStation 3. Video: ファミ通TUBE

Hayashi has good reason to worry. Even on consoles, relatively closed systems that make modding much harder, players have managed to create their own customized nude models, which you can easily find​ online.

Still, the difference between a user-made nude mod and what Tecmo Koei has released itself in the past at times seems as tiny and absurd as the nipple pasties that allow burlesque dancers to perform without technically breaking laws against indecent exposure.

In 2003, Tecmo leaned face first into the series' bosom and released Dead or Alive Xtreme Beach Volleyball, a game that featured the same female characters in a beach party-themed collection of mini-games. You could play a little volleyball, but mostly it was about ogling 3D anime babes. In 2006, Koei Tecmo also released Dead or Alive Xtreme 2, which dropped the pretense as well as the "volleyball" from the title. Here's a not at all creepy taste:

An actual video game. Credit: TheFutureCesar2011.

Hayashi said that Koei Tecmo wants to present all of Dead or Alive's characters as dynamic, strong, sexy, and confident.

"What is important to remember is that Dead or Alive is a series developed in Japan, where the interpretation of beauty is very different to that of Europe or the US," he said. "Our philosophy is to try and make a game that our fans can enjoy, both in the East and the West, and regardless of gender."

I was talking to Tecmo Koei's public relation representatives in the US before Hayashi's comments came to light. When I said I wanted to write about the Softness Engine, they were responsive. After I specified that I wanted to write about breast physics, they stopped returning my emails.

Update: An earlier version of this story implied that the PC release will be the first time players can adjust the jiggling. In fact, this capability has been in previous Dead or Alive releases, but in slightly different forms. (Hat tip ​Mike D)

Dead or Alive 5: Last Round releases March 30 on PC, Xbox One, and PlayStation 4 for $40.

This story is part of Motherboard's Sex Ed Week, a series of sex-focused science and technology stories. Check out more stories here.