Ubisoft Devs Call Out Uncharted 4 Trailer For Taking Assassin's Creed Art

Ubisoft Devs Call Out Uncharted 4 Trailer For Taking Assassin's Creed Art

This morning, Naughty Dog published an incredible trailer for their next game, Uncharted 4. Within the next two hours, some developers at Ubisoft noticed something strange: It uses concept art from Assassin's Creed. Maybe it's an homage. Maybe it's a mistake. Maybe Nathan Drake bought the Assassin's Creed IV: Black Flag art book and liked it so much, he decided to frame one of the paintings. Either way, it's undeniable that AC artwork appears in Naughty Dog's latest.

Here's the relevant shot from the trailer:

Ubisoft Devs Call Out Uncharted 4 Trailer For Taking Assassin's Creed Art

And here's the concept art from Assassin's Creed IV: Black Flag:

Ubisoft Devs Call Out Uncharted 4 Trailer For Taking Assassin's Creed Art

Whoops. At least they edited out the assassin?

Ubisoft's Aymar Azaizia, whose official title is "Assassin's Creed Head of Content", first noticed that Naughty Dog had borrowed their art, posting about it this morning in a tweet that was retweeted by the official Assassin's Creed account.

Ubisoft Devs Call Out Uncharted 4 Trailer For Taking Assassin's Creed Art

Ubisoft veteran Alex Hutchinson, director of Assassin's Creed III and Far Cry 4, was particularly brutal on Twitter today, calling out former Ubisoft employee Jonathan Cooper, who now works at Naughty Dog. Cooper had called out Ubisoft for comments Hutchinson had made about women being too difficult to animate in Assassin's Creed Unity.

Ubisoft Devs Call Out Uncharted 4 Trailer For Taking Assassin's Creed Art

We pinged both Ubisoft and Sony in hopes of getting some clarification on just how this happened. Ubisoft declined to comment.


Comments

    I didn't know Ubisoft invented that particular rock formation.

    Wow!

      The award for 'a defence force for everything' goes to.... ;)

      Last edited 25/02/16 8:24 am

      Maybe ND is trying to show how you can start with the same concept art and still make a good game.

        Both companies make cookie cutter tripe.

          The last of Us = Cookie cutter tripe ?

            Thought it was terrible. I don't like the format which it and uncharted series follow. Interactive movies with endless set pieces. There is no interaction with environments and they are boring and linear.
            TLOS was the most po faced and dull horror game I've ever tried to play.
            As far as I'm concerned the last great game Naughty Dog made was crash bandicoot 2.

              Try to finish the game if you haven't already. I see lots of people saying your exact sentiments having not played through the game. But if you still fail to see any good in it, we just have very different tastes.

    This is more embarrassing for Ubisoft than naughty dog.. how unprofessional.

      Ubisoft's hurt that there's no outrage about the lack of a 2016 AC title. Taking it out on their competitor.

      One big company makes some funny jabs at another for stealing their work? Yep, totally unprofessional /s

      Wow. Came here to see people defending ND because ND.

      WASN'T DISAPPOINTED.

        It's pretty obvious that the issue is proportionality... not who each developer is.

        Of course it's an infringement and Ubisoft can seek removal, but have some perspective... it's a picture in the background that 99% + of the gaming population would never have even noticed infringed, let alone cared about. Of course thats no excuse for infringement but the way Ubisoft dealt with it seems incredibly petty in the context of such minor infringement... if roles were reversed I'd be saying the same thing.

        Last edited 25/02/16 1:44 pm

          Well if "It's pretty obvious that the issue is proportionality" - as I, most of the posters here, elsewhere and the general media - seem to have missed it.

          Two Ubi employees made posts. Two. Neither screamed bloody murder - but both quite rightly called them out.

          The image used though was scanned in, altered, adjusted to a 3D model picture frame with reflective surfaces - and the focal point of a major transition in the shot. I'd dare say more than two people had worked for quite a few hours at appropriating that image.

          And two Ubi employees tweeted.

          That's proportional.

          It's not like ND haven't done it before, though usualy it as to make it into the final game before the copyright holders/artists noticed (TLOU Map).

          Look I'm not calling bloody murder either - but the race to defend these guys for what is a blatant rip off (not even a homage - they took the original artwork, altered it - then put it in game) - rather than say "well that sucks, I'm glad the copyright holder/artist noticed it, because otherwise it wouldve been in the final game, bad form there from ND" - people would rather allege "it's a similar rock formation" , or "ND planned to take it out (as if they knew)" or whatever fabrications - for a company that seems to spend a lot of money. hire a lot of employees, and quite frankly SHOULDNT BE DOING this - is hilarious.

            By Issue, I mean the "the reason people are attacking the proportionality of Ubisoft's response here". That's obvious from the context of the responses in this thread. As an aside, I dont know why you're appealing to some supposed mass of posters, people and media outlets... The vast majority of posters in this thread would appear to think Ubisoft handled this poorly.

            A minor infringement took place, that (almost?) nobody, frankly, noticed aside from the owners/creators themselves. A single picture in a background. All it required, warranted even, was an email/call to ND to remove it. And the response would have been the same. Removal. Apology.

            This is not some art piece that was going to be even 0.01% of the reason anyone noticed, or more importantly spent money on, Uncharted 4. It was doubtless left in unintentionally as far as ND (the company) is concerned. That's why the "Woooow.... thief.... lol" tweet, which is an intentional and completely public message, with very deliberate connotations, retweeted by the main AC account, makes them look like they've completely overreacted.

            Surely you accept that ND would not want this sort of thing occurring, and the specific developer(s) responsible will be copping a lot of shit internally (fair enough too).

            You appear to have a bit of a serious dislike for ND. I think the fanboy in you is clouding your mind a touch.

              Dude - I don't care either way. I haven't said anything about ND, apart from point out the obvious - ie. it's poor form, and 2 individuals calling them out WAS ACTUALLY WHAT CAUSED THEM TO ADMIT TO IT AND APOLOGISE. No one who had their work ripped off has said anything since the apology. All apples you'd think..

              Came to see people defending ND because ND - WASN'T DISAPPOINTED.

              Because it seems two posts calling out the theft (quite fairly you'd think) - and nothing since - makes the them super bum holes. PROPORTIONAL!

              Your elaborate take on how people "aren't actually defending ND but attacking Ubi's outrageous response (2 posts calling them out) " - all hundreds of words of it - was SUPER NOT DISAPPOINTING.

              Last edited 25/02/16 5:44 pm

                I don't even know what you're ranting about there. Try using some more words.

    I suspect we won't be seeing that painting in the final game :P

    This is some pretty dumb shit......

    Wouldn't it be great if we find out they both stole the concept art from google images, Ubisoft just added a little figure to theirs.

      Sony obviously just didn't buy Ubisoft's "little pirate figure" DLC.

    "In our eagerness to get the story trailer out we made a regrettable mistake and didn’t thoroughly vet the art work used for an in game painting. We’ve already updated the trailer. We hold all artistry in high regard and take full responsibility for having allowed this to happen.
    We want to sincerely apologize to everyone at Ubisoft, the Assassin’s Creed team, the original artist and our fans.
    Naughty Dog"

    Naughty Dog works fast.

      Takin the high road!

      Ubisoft really needed to have the pr machine push their statement instead of letting the snarky employees fire shots across the bow. They now look petty.

        Not really, it was a fair shot to fire.... especially if you were the one who worked on it.
        Naughty Dog responded gracefully, I can only hope Ubisoft do the same.

          It was a fair shot, but perhaps a little too aggressive straight off the bat. (I can understand why, but from a PR standpoint you usually avoid taking a swing early)

          As you say, Ubisoft need to reply professionally now lest they come off looking like dicks. (Though I can already hear Ubi's PR department readying the "Developers views are not our own" bit)

    I think Naughty Dog should just cancel the game now.

    I know I should be angry or something... But Ubisoft is... Ubisoft (That is to say, one step above EA) sssso, my empathy is worn a little thin on them.

    On the other hand... I want to know the story on how the cropped image got into the trailer, was it place holder art or something? Was it an attempted joke? An attempted reference to tie Uncharted 4 into Assassin's Creed 4, much like Last of Us in Uncharted 3? Laziness?

    Curiosity abounds.

    I'm not a PR professional or anything, but maybe they should've tweeted a "Thank You" or "We're Flattered" message rather than a "Hey You Stole Our Sh!t".

    IMO As a gamer I think I'd rather see some "friendly" banter between competing game developers, rather than the very obvious back & forth slander which degrade the industry & customer high & dry... *cough* 'exclusive deals'

      This. Look at Indie Dev's, there is regular banter among them.

      Honestly, Ubisoft's reaction is disgusting. Especially from Alex. Implying Naughty Dog don't go above and beyond for their work. Last time I checked, Ubisoft have a regular schedule of releasing broken and delayed games.. Naughty Dog just have delayed and spectacular.

        Implying what? That they stole an image and used it in a trailer. For a multimillion dollar AAA game with hundreds of people on staff? There's no implication, that happened.

        I hardly see anyone at Ubi screaming bloody murder - but a sly dig here or there is warranted don't you think? And it's not like ND don't have some form in this area.

    I'd rather ubi peeps have the empowerment to call bullshit when they see it than have them exist under a perpetual gag order so a PR schmuck can spin anything whenever they want.
    As much as it might seem unprofessional- calling bullshit is calling bullshit. It gets the message across.
    As consumers- we're not stupid and we shouldn't be treated as such.

    How is this such a big fucking deal? I just assumed it was an easter egg as they were talking about 'Pirate treasure' before showing the painting for a split second.

    So. With everyone saying how bad Ubi handled this: Would they be saying the same thing if the situation was reversed?

    The artist did the work while at Ubisoft, so it's Ubisofts property. I know the concept of digital property and copyright is hard to understand but really this is no different than those facebook games taking images from League of Legends.

    You have to call it out everywhere you see it or else you risk setting a trend and start an argument of 'is concept art owned by the artist or the company that commissioned it?'

    I mean, it's pretty blatant theft. But it also calls into question the artists work ethic. What did he do with the time he was giving to create the artwork which he simply copy pasted instead?

      I think most people have an issue with the manner in which they did it. All it would take is an email to their art director to get it cleared up - no need to shout from the rooftops, unless of course you are seeking attention.

    To be honest I have more love for naughty Dog then Ubisoft so im on Naughty Dogs side on this

      I'm just on the side of a company who DOESN'T plagiarize things and put them in their game/trailer. Ubi's initial tweet was fair, Naughty Dog's response was very graceful.

      It's upto Ubisoft now, if they keep acting like jerks then they're in the wrong. Hopefully they respond gracefully, it's not really a huge deal once you call someone out and they apologize/remove the artwork.... time to get over it.

      Kind of like when your mum steals a car from your best friend's mum, right?

    No matter which company you support this is still an infringement on copyright. Ubisoft can be as unprofessional as they want, legally. As long as they're not breaking the law they still have the legal high ground (and, at present, the moral high ground since they didn't take anyone's work here).

    Naughty Dog has now apologised and replaced the trailer with one with different art:

    http://www.naughtydog.com/site/post/an_update_on_the_uncharted_4_a_thiefs_end_story_trailer/

    Given that it shows up at a shot in his home, my guess is that Nathan Drake had broken into the Ubisoft Montreal offices on some previous adventure, and taken the painting at that point. So can they really be held accountable for the misdeeds of a fictional character?

    I'm no developer, nor am I an expert in IP. However, if I was at Ubisoft, I would be humbled that our artwork had been spotted in another game, and see it as nothing more then an Easter egg of sorts. Why the outrage? It's not as though the framed picture in the trailer is going to be a main selling point for Uncharted 4.....

      But I was buying Uncharted 4 solely because of that picture.. Guess I'll cancel my preorder.

        Or simply get hold of an original prin- I mean screenshot and put it up on your wall!

    "Oh our art is being used in arguably one the best video game trailers in memory?"

    "S*#t all over it."

    probably one of the easiest things to fix if it became a real issue.

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