This story probably would have stayed in the cupboard had it been an isolated incident, but it looks like it wasn't isolated. When we originally ran the story about a debug PS3 unit being used to access additional camera angles in Beyond: Two Souls to see Ellen Page's 3D alter ego naked during a shower scene (which, according to Sony, isn't actually Ellen Page) Sony wasn't pleased with the story at all and we weren't the only ones they weren't pleased with.
Eskimo Press ran a story about Sony's European PR team reaching out to ask them to remove their story about Ellen Page's 3D avatar being nude in Beyond: Two Souls, and they complied insofar as to remove links to the site(s) hosting the images. We were also given the same request from SCEA's PR department, but luckily we didn't have any actual nude photos from the game on our site, as that would make us porn peddlers and we're peddlers of many things but not porn.
Well, according to the representative from Sony, they were reaching to have more than just the images removed. In fact, the rep seemed to be trapped between a rock and a hard place and was insisting on stopping “further discussion” of the matter by having the articles removed altogether, stating...
The images are from an illegally hacked console and is very damaging for Ellen Page. It’s not actually her body. I would really appreciate if you can take the story down to end the cycle of discussion around this.
Just for clarification, the console that was used to capture the images of Ellen from the game during the shower sequence was not a “hacked” console, but is referred to as a debug unit. These units are used during development for testing and, dun, dun, dun, debug purposes. You can use debug units to help find bugs, glitches and hammer out runtime errors in real-time. Many reviewers have debug units to play preview copies of games; quality assurance testers also have debug units for the reasons mentioned above and developers also have debug units.
There's really no telling if the culprit worked on the game at some point or if they're a reviewer dabbling with the inner workings of the game or whoever, but just to be clear, the unit wasn't “hacked”. You can basically chalk up the scenario being equivalent to a film editor having access to multiple cuts of a film featuring various scenes in order to see what works best for the final cut of the film.
Anyway, Eskimo Press ventured to find out if there were some legal issues involved with the scenario, as they believe perhaps Ellen Page or her representatives may not be too keen on the photos from the game featuring her nude alter ego being plastered all over the internet. According to them, the images were taken down due to "legal reasons". Additionally, sites hosting the photos, linking to the photos or containing videos of the uncensored nude shower scene have either been removed, shutdown or blocked.
The actress, to her credit, has done a fine job of being young, intelligent and talented without being nude in her movies (for as far as most individuals can tell), so it comes as a complete shock that the one time Ellen Page (or her digital likeness) partakes in full frontal nudity is in a video game.
Then again, even I would have warned Page away from Cage before she signed the contract if she were so afraid of being depicted in such a sexually liberal state in the 3D space. I know their names are similar and Page is a friendly Canadian while Cage is a peaceful Frenchman (or least Page appears to be, Cage really likes violence in his games so... yeah), but Cage hasn't gone a game without having his lead female protagonist/deuterogonist nude or involved in a heavy sex scene at some point. It's a little like expecting David Cronenberg to make a film that doesn't feature a visually apparent phallic presence at some point.
Anyway, I feel sorry for the poor PR people trapped in the middle trying to make the rounds to clean this situation up, I imagine their bosses won't be happy as more sites report on the issue and “keep the discussion going”.