limbo of the lost

This is just sad. A tiny British games developer (there’s only three of them, apparently) has produced a point and click adventure (remember those?) which has managed to get a wide – albeit budget – release in the States. Whereupon it becomes obvious that an awful lot of the artwork is ripped off from other games. Really – go and have a look, they’ve just taken screenshots from Oblivion, UT2004, Morrowind and a few other games and slapped their own stuff over the top. Here’s an example – on the left, LoL, on the right, Thief: Deadly Shadows:

How did they think they’d get away with it? Perhaps they’d promised an all-singing, all-dancing 3D game for their new reworked version, realised they couldn’t do it, and panicked. However, the wikipedia entry suggests there were allegations of plagiarised art from that earlier Amiga version, so maybe this really was something they thought they could do with impunity. Or maybe they used the stolen artwork as placeholder – to be replaced later with their own work – and didn’t have time, or perhaps foolishly showed it to the publisher who loved it. Hm.

The more we think about that last possibility here in the office, the more likely we think it is. Many smaller publishers don’t know much about games – their expertise lies in retail marketing. They wouldn’t recognise the stolen images, and perhaps wouldn’t understand why perfectly good placeholder art needed replacing. They also wouldn’t understand why the new artwork would take so long to do, pressurising the developers still further. Who knows?

I’m not excusing them, but I can see how a bedroom coder team could get themselves into such difficulties.

UPDATE: I’m not one to judge by appearances, but look – three dodgy geezers from Maidstone.

Copyright © Found
Jim Finnis' personal blog

Built on Notes Blog Core
Powered by WordPress