An American car dealership has landed itself in hot water with the creators of indie success story Firewatch after one of its email promotions was found to use art assets from the game.
The Twitter account for co-producer Panic Inc highlighted Quirk Ford’s newsletter for the Ford Freedom event, which prominently uses the art of illustrator Olly Moss – previously created for Firewatch’s own promotional materials.
— Panic (@panic) June 27, 2016
Game Informer contacted Quirk to enquire about the artwork, and was told that the car seller has no copyright checking process.
Sean Western of the dealer’s advertising department said that the company ‘always uses DMCA compliant sites’ when sourcing assets, adding that the Firewatch artwork was found on a wallpaper website.
Campo Santo’s Sean Vanaman denied that the image could have been found on the wallpaper site, as the artwork is no longer on the studio’s own website and ‘isn’t available on any wallpaper site’.
that "Update" is bs as their mailer actually includes elements from our old website that aren't available on any wallpaper site.
— Sean Vanaman (@vanaman) June 27, 2016
Despite this, the image can be found on widewallpaper.info under the title ‘forest-patrol flat’, with no mention of its source. The website has a way for users to register copyright infringement complaints, but at the time of writing the image remains live.
Ford itself used an aesthetic style comparable to Moss’ distinctive look for Firewatch in a video on its official YouTube account comparing the Explorer model to the Toyota Highlander.
The company confirmed to The Verge that "Ford was not involved in creating the Quirk dealership advertising”.
“Our dealers are independent businesses,” it added. “The online video was created separately for Ford Motor Company and contains all original artwork."
Quirk later echoed the comment, tweeting: “Ford was not involved in creating the Quirk Ford advertising. We regret the error and would like to issue an apology to Campo Santo.”
Panic Inc replied: “As far as we’re concerned, apology accepted. We all make mistakes!”