For most people, seeing a massive corporation like Sony, Nintendo, or Microsoft recognize your work via re-tweet or compliment can be a badge of honor. It’s like Senpai noticed you. But what if Senpai noticed, but never told you. Or worse, took notice of your work and copied it?
That’s currently the situation facing redditor Macsterr, as he saw Microsoft’s new PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds Advertising bore a striking similarity to his own mock-up. See for yourself here.
Here’s Xbox’s Tweet:
The original reddit post garnered 63k views and 3825 upvotes, meaning lots and lots of people saw the mock-up design. Macsterr stated “I‘m not saying I own any copyright but the original post has 63k views so I assume they saw it and I got no credits. Thank you for upvoting!” in a sub-thread reply.
Of course there’s no proof this design was ‘stolen’, but the similarities are striking. On the thread, Redditor Sh1pT0aster advised Macsterr lawyer up: “Legit would look into an attorney. /r/legaladvice”. Others flagged / tagged Xbox Director of programming Larry ‘Major Nelson’ Hryb.
Meanwhile, some posters don’t quite see the big deal. Nugyflex stated “What the fuck is wring with you people, it’s an AD CONCEPT, and how are they gonna credit someone for their ad? Either they use it and don’t credit, or they don’t use it. If I made the concept and they used it I’d be happy either way.”
While Microsoft does own PUBG and Xbox One assets and can do with them as they please, the optics of this are…poor. Even if it was a complete coincidence, you’d have to imagine some sort of acknowledgement is in order from Microsoft regarding the similarities between the two advertisements is in store.
Then again, art is weird. Graphic design is weird. It is possible for people to have shockingly similar ideas from totally opposite places. Speaking personally, as a writer with nearly infinite regard for my favorite writers and creators, I am weary every day of subconsciously aping some phrase or jargon or saying that came from the media I treasure most. So its possible this is hopefully some subliminal, subconscious, cosmic mistake.
There’s also the notion of homage versus stealing. The original mock-up featured assets from other designers and artists. Specifically this wallpaper. Credit was given there. Of course there’s a difference between making a mock-up using pre-existing assets, and copying a design wholesale when you’re a multi-billion dollar company. Lets hope it was a just a happy coincidence.
Because the alternative is frankly pretty crummy. Meanwhile, a lot of people who never ever heard of Macstreer, are about to check out his art in a big, bad way. Silver linings and all.
Regardless, my advice? Judge for yourself. Check out the original thread, with sources, here.