Sony Japan has pulled a PS4 highlight trailer from its Youtube channel after accusations that some parts of the animated sequences that accompanied the game footage were plagiarized. The Winter Lineup Music Video was made to show off various games that would be coming to the PlayStation 4 over the next few winter months between animated sequences that were directed by Canadian animator Kevin Bao. However, it was quickly discovered that several of these animations were copied from other sources.
The stolen animations were first noticed by animater Oleg Kositsyn, who saw that part of his “Last Word” animation was ripped off frame-by-frame in the Winter Lineup Music Video. Following that, French animation site Catsuka went through and found various other examples of stolen animations. Some are stolen from animated movies and TV shows, such as segments that copy FLCL and Steven Universe: The Movie. Others are taken from Youtube shorts, with animations like the 2018 shorts “Mailed It” and “Orphée” by animator Gobelins.
You can see side-by-side comparisons of the ripped segments in the Twitter video below.
Latest Sony PS4 Lineup Music Video is a rip of many animations from all around the world ……
(Steven Universe, FLCL, Gobelins, Souviens Ten-Zan …).
The video is now offline : https://t.co/LPWyFWzEEw
But you can still find it online : https://t.co/KfS79oRrs5 pic.twitter.com/6Q0hrFK2AT
— Catsuka (@catsuka) December 4, 2019
It should be made clear that Kevin Bao is not an employee of Sony. He was contracted by the company to do the work seen in the trailer.
Since then, it has been discovered that some of Kevin Bao’s earlier work, when he was with Eallin Animation, was also plagiarized. One of his 2017 projects contained animations originally seen in the music video for the song “Papercut (Grey Remix)” by Zedd ft. Troy Sivan. In response to this, Eallin Animation has pulled any videos Kevin had worked on and issued the following statement on Twitter:
We had no knowledge that the work produced by Kevin Bao was plagiarized. We have ceased with immediate effect any representation of Kevin Boa’s [sic] work and have contacted Kevin for a response.
Bao himself has not made any statements but has deleted all of his social media presence.
Unfortunately, this isn’t the first charge of plagiarism in video games this year. Earlier this year indie game YIIK: A Postmodern RPG had lifted several lines from Haruki Murakami’s book After Dark. In something slightly more humorous, a student attempted to turn in an assignment consisting of nothing but copied Destiny lore entries.