Sony pulls its own PlayStation 4 promo video accused of ripping animations

As the second instalment of its kind, the PlayStation 4 Lineup Music Video Winter Mix was supposed to showcase Sony’s extensive game catalogue while accompanied by beautiful music and creative animations. It appears to have failed the creativity part, however, as it’s been accused of ripping multiple animations from the work of other artists – including students.

Initially uploaded on 29th November by PlayStation Japan, the video has been made private by Sony following several accusations of art theft (although a re-upload can be viewed here). One of the first animators to spot the problem was Russian animator Oleg Kositsyn, who replied to PlayStation Japan’s tweet with a copy of his work. Other animators started to identify further rips, and it now seems like the bulk of PlayStation’s video is comprised of suspect animations.

Catsuka, a French animation website, has since created a round-up comparison video to display the scale of the theft: which includes rips from Cartoon Network’s Steven Universe: The Movie, anime FLCL, and animation collective Souviens Ten-Zan. And, in the replies to the comparison video, yet more rips have been posted.

The sheer scale of the ripping is bad enough, but to make matters worse, some of the animations appear to have been directly copied from the work of students. Gobelins is a school of visual communication based in France, and many of the ripped animations have been taken from short special effects exercises undertaken as part of their studies – such as this animation of the Orpheus myth, and this short work called “Mailed It”.

The video’s director, according to the Japanese PlayStation blog, is Kevin Bao – a Canadian director who’s received awards from the Ottawa International Animation Festival and London International Animation Festival, and has previously created videos for major clients such as Disney (via Eallin). Since the initial accusations surrounding the PlayStation video, Twitter sleuths have spotted previous examples of Bao seemingly ripping animations, such as in this two year-old video attributed to him.

Eurogamer has contacted Sony for comment.

In this case, it appears the fault probably lies more with the director than Sony – which was likely unaware of the ripping until now. Seeing as Bao’s Instagram has gone private and his agency portfolio has been removed, he’s probably aware he’s in big trouble.

While we wait for a statement from Sony, I’d thoroughly recommend checking out the beautiful work done by the Gobelins students, which you can find over here.

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