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Microsoft accused of stealing fan’s concept art for PUBG advertisement

With PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds being just over two weeks old, Microsoft is understandably marketing it as much as possible. One of its latest ads, however, seems to have stolen another artist’s concept art in a rather obvious way.

In a tweet that has since been deleted, Microsoft posted an image of PUBG quite literally on Xbox One, with its new Xbox One X console centre stage, surrounded by atmospheric sky. On top of the console is a kitted-out player wandering through tall, dry grass. The only problem is, this entire concept, with a standard Xbox One instead was done over a month prior by Redditor Macsterr.

Of course, there are differences. Microsoft used different assets, shifted the perspective a little lower, swapped the console for its new flagship variant, leaned a controller on its side, placed its “Land. Loot. Survive.” Slogan above and a lovely supply drop for the player character to, presumably, get slaughtered while opening.

Many Redditors aren’t pleased with Microsoft, stating that while Macsterr has no legal right to defend his work, which uses assets of two other companies (Microsoft and PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds), using the same concept art without approaching, acknowledging or crediting the original artist is incredibly discourteous.

Microsoft has yet to comment on the situation, with the company’s Director of Programming, Lawrence Hryb, known on Reddit as MajorNelson assuring everyone that the tweet was deleted in order to investigate the situation further and that he will be directly corresponding with original artist Macsterr when answers come to light.

KitGuru Says: This is the unfortunate world of creativity; everything is rinsed and recycled. Even so, a company the size of Microsoft needs to be careful where it’s stepping, as it may just encourage fan to stop indulging in fan art, which in itself is a primary source of free marketing in the form of word-of-mouth. Hopefully the company apologises and treads carefully moving forward. Do you think Microsoft was in the wrong?   

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