PlayStation Japan pulls promo following plagiarization accusations

PlayStation Japan may have kicked off their 25th anniversary on the wrong foot with a promo that seems to borrow animation from multiple uncredited sources.

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As PlayStation enters its 25th anniversary, there’s a lot of celebration, reminiscing, and nostalgia going on. The milestone has been mostly positive, but PlayStation Japan may have undone some of the goodwill with an extremely unfortunate recent promo. After many animators took note that the animation was a little too similar, multiple accusations of tracing uncredited sources and plagiarization have been made, prompting PlayStation Japan to pull the video entirely.

On November 29, 2019, PlayStation Japan posted a PS4 Winter Lineup Music Video via its Twitter and on YouTube (though the YouTube video has since been made private). It wasn’t long after that animators and fans took notice of certain similarities. Most notably, it would seem that PlayStation ripped animation directly from a scene in Steven Universe: The Movie. After the first comparisons were made, it didn’t take long for other animators to take notice of their work. At least seven instances of tracing were discovered, ranging from graduate projects to popular animation Fooly Cooly. A collection of comparisons can be seen below, as organized by animation guide website and Twitter Catsuka.

The alarming issue here is that many of the animators who discovered their work being used or referenced by PlayStation Japan were not contacted or credited in the music video. As successful as PlayStation has been and as many resources as it likely has at its disposal, it’s unfortunate to see what seems to pretty obviously use of other people’s work without credit in its latest promo. And with the evidence out there, it’s no surprise that PlayStation Japan pulled the video on YouTube, even if their original tweet of it is still up.

At this time, neither PlayStation nor PlayStation Japan have officially addressed the situation. Shacknews will continue to follow with news and updates as this story develops. That said, we’re almost certain, “happy birthday, PlayStation. Here’s someone else’s hard work,” is not quite the message they were hoping to convey, especially with the new console generation of the PlayStation 5 on the horizon.

[Image by PlayStation Japan, as likely traced from the work of Oleg "bbwb" Kositsyn]

News Editor

TJ Denzer is a player with a passion for games that has dominated a lifetime. When he's not handing out beatdowns in the latest fighting games, exploring video game history, or playing through RPGs with his partner, he's searching for new food and drinks in the constant pursuit of good times with good people inside and outside the South Texas area. You can also find him on Twitter @JohnnyChugs.

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