Microsoft drops PUBG ad after fan-art rip-off controversy

Microsoft has been forced to drop an advert for PUBG on Xbox One, after a fan of the game pointed out that it ripped off an image they had created.

The animated ad showed a PUBG character walking through a wheatfield on top of an Xbox One X. But PUBG fan macsterr pointed out that it was near-exact copy of a concept ad they had posted on Reddit two months earlier, featuring a PUBG character walking through a wheatfield on top of an Xbox One S. Even the background of a blue sky studded with clouds was repeated in Microsoft’s ad. 

Macsterr posted: “Remember my Xbox One ad concept? Microsoft just copied it! 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.” 

 

Microsoft responded by pulling its ad, and spokesman Larry “Major Nelson” Hryb said: “Hey guys, I wanted to let you know that this is being investigated. In the meantime, our official channels have pulled down the asset in question. I’ll follow up with the OP /u/macsterr/ once I get more details.” 

In recent years, the advertising industry has become notorious for co-opting Internet memes and fan-art and repurposing them as adverts. At least Microsoft responded quickly to macsterr’s protests, but one would imagine heads might roll at the advertising agency which “created” the PUBG ad. Who knows: perhaps the giant Seattle publisher will actually pay macsterr a licensing fee for the use of their image?

Steve Boxer :Steve Boxer has been writing about videogames since the early 1990s. His first console was an Atari VCS, and he misspent most of his youth in the 1980s in the arcades. As well as for Green Man Gaming, he can be found writing for The Guardian, Empire, TechRadar and Pocket-Lint. He’s currently having trouble deciding whether his favourite console is his Xbox One X or his Switch, and plays a wide range of games, but especially RPGs (he loves a good JRPG) action-adventure titles, shooters of all descriptions and driving games. Follow him here.