On the first day The Saboteur is available, Electronic Arts will offer downloadable content which removes the nipple-covering pasties from the performers at a nightclub in the game.
When you boot up The Saboteur, you are told that inside your gamebox (assuming you bought it legally) is a slip of paper containing a code. Entering the code will allow you to download content called “The Midnight Show” for free, which you are told will add non-covered breasts to the game, as well as some other stuff like additional hiding spots and a champagne room. According to a recent Tweet from Pandemic, customers who do not have a code will have to pay $3 for “The Midnight Show,” as opposed to the $5 that was reported by other sources. The downloadable content for the M-rated game will be available when the game launches on December 8th.
I haven’t played the game, but many have mentioned that the first thing you see in the opening cutscene is, in fact, a closeup of a burlesque performer. If you do not enter the code, her nipples are covered with pasties, but if you did, you get you what you paid for almost immediately. The nightclub, Belle de Nuit, serves as a base of operations for your character so one would assume that there will be many opportunities for this content to pay double D dividends. “Midnight Show” is a rare feat in that it tackles three hot-button current controversies in the gaming community at once.
First, nudity is a big deal in games, even ones marketed to adults with an M rating like Saboteur. In a post Hot Coffee world, the possibility for bad press to tank a even a popular game’s sales is a real one. On the other hand, I’ve heard it said about five million times that there is no such thing as Santa Claus, unicorns or bad press.
By making nudity something that each consumer must choose to display, however, EA deftly sidesteps the issue. Ostensibly, anyone who is able to purchase games and downloadable content from XBLA or PSN is old enough to have a credit card and therefore old enough to decide if they want to see virtual boobs. Of course, that still doesn’t prevent some parent crying foul because they never set up parental controls or let their kids have their credit card number. In any case, it is a clever attempt by EA to offer adult content if you jump through an “age gate.”
The second issue is that many gamers are peeved when a company offers downloadable content that they believe should have shipped with the game. The Saboteur is completely playable without this content, but is it really fair to bundle actual gameplay additions with boobies? Also, what if I haven’t bothered to set up my online account or reside in an area that has no internet access? In that case, I am now prevented from playing the game like it was “supposed” to be played. With boobs.
The last reason that “Midnight Show” is important is that it combats both piracy and the used games market. By making the content free for people who legitimately bought The Saboteur at retail, and forcing all of the others to pay $5, it incentive-izes consumers to buy a new copy. Modeling downloadable content like this is an attempt to make sure that EA profits even when the game is resold, whether legally or illegally. It remains to be seen whether this tactic will work, but if anything will succeed at separating gamers from money, it’s tits.
Source: MTV Multiplayer