Tracing The Influence: Stolen Images In Games
Hardcore Gaming 101 have put together a five-part examination of pop culture influence / blatant rip-offs featured in vintage video game graphics and box art. Schwarzenegger and Stallone have an entire section devoted to them alone.
Imagine you’re a game producer in the late 1980s, a week before the deadline and you still haven’t got a cover for your game. Exhausted from crunchtime, you tell your illustrator to just rip off some Schwarzenegger action movie to get the job done. Careful, your subordinate might take the order all too literally! When artwork in video games seems to look too realistic to be actually drawn by the artist, then it actually might be too realistic, as many vintage games have stolen images from movies, album covers, paintings and even other games. The subject here aren’t simply inspired designs or characters (in that case, we’d be here all day just counting the games influenced by Nausicaä, Hokuto no Ken or Alien), but actual specific images that might have been traced, digitized or just used as direct reference. This first page is reserved for print material that goes with a game release (covers, flyers, manuals, etc.), while on the next page we’ll be diving into the games themselves. Some of these are well known, others more obscure, but they all have something in common: They would likely have gotten their artists sued if the original images’ copyright holders had ever seen them; a gallery of litigations that could have been, so to speak.
I never knew the horror game Silent Hill’s school was clearly referencing Kindergarten cop (although I didn’t see the StreetFighter II M. Byson / Balrog story there …)
Pattern recognition education and entertainment can be found at Hardcore Gaming 101 here