Survival action masterpiece, The Last Of Us, is a beauty of a game to behold. Behind its nail-baiting gameplay and compelling story is a level of detail that few games will ever match on current-gen hardware. However, Naughty Dog’s pursuit in sculpting this authentic, believable setting could lead to a potential copyright lawsuit.
Twitter user, Neo781, recently highlighted just how accurately the developer had recreated a transport map found during one of the game’s early stages.
Wow they actually accurately portray the subway map of Mass and have all the colors and names of stops correct. pic.twitter.com/ovIG3ncqCr
— Kelvin (@Neo781) June 22, 2013
The map in question looks strikingly similar, if not identical, to that of designer Cameron Booth, who posted the original on his blog back in 2012:
“Basically, I’m fucking furious,” tells Booth in a recent post. He claims that the map was used in The Last Of Us without notice or consent:
For a software developer — especially a big developer working on a blockbuster title like this — to casually appropriate someone else’s work and incorporate it into their game without any discussion with the owner of that work is completely unacceptable.
Unfortunately we don’t have an expert on American copyright law to hand but, in general terms, using someone else’s work in your own creation is deemed unlawful if the originator is not duly credited, especially in commercial products.
I am attempting to open communications with them now to ask where they came across the image, how it ended up in their game (with very pointed questions about their approvals and legal process), and what kind of compensation I can expect for the theft of my work.
If Naughty Dog are unable to prove that the map is its own original work, chances are, Mr. Booth can expect an apology a fair amount of compensation.