Game Foul: Ford Dealership Steals Firewatch Art

| News

No matter how hard our kindergarten teachers tried, some people never really wrapped their heads around the idea that stealing is bad. Take, for instance, the Quirk Ford dealership in Massachusetts and the Firewatch artwork it stole for a promotional event.

Firewatch's art and Quirk Ford's ad (inset)Firewatch's art and Quirk Ford's ad (inset)

Firewatch is video game that garnered lots of press earlier this year because of its intriguing storyline and beautiful artwork—the same artwork Quirk Ford, um, acquired. Players take on the role of Wyoming firewatcher Henry who has to solve a back country mystery all on his own.

The game was a joint effort between Campo Santo and Panic, and both took to Twitter on Monday to call out Quirk Ford's unfortunate artistic license. Panic called out the dealership with a reference to Firewatch's characters.

Campo Santo co-founder Sean Vanaman followed up with a tweet confirming Quirk Ford didn't have permission to use any images from Firewatch. Game Informer called the dealership to find out why they used the art, but got hung up on in response.

Quirk Ford is a regional dealership and acted on its own, so don't expect to see the Panic and Campo Santo teams brand new (and totally free) Ford trucks any time soon. What we can expect is that Quirk Ford's advertising team is going to pay much closer attention to image licensing in the future.

There are plenty of stock image sites with graphics Quirk Ford could've licensed, and Google's image search feature can find free to use commercially graphics. That comes in handy for companies without a budget to pay for images—you know, like a regional car dealership with its own advertising division.

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Did Apple steal the entire look and feel in their Think Different ads VERBATIM - font, negative space, 2 word catch phrase from D, D, & B’s Think Small ad campaign for VW? of the most famous campaigns in Ad history? Absolutely. (VW didn’t use Times Roman, but Apple used VW’s Helvetica as well as Times Roman)  Let he without sin cast the first stone…..
Well I guess because the Apple cognoscenti here are a little touchy about “theft” (even tho Apple stole from Xerox PARC to start the whole thing); then they really don’t know what theft is. If you are influenced, it’s not theft; if you take something and change it only slightly - it’s not theft. Did the Beach Boys Surf City rip from Chuck Berry Sweet L’il 16? Yup, and they paid for it because they copied the music exactly. Did Zep have to pay Spirit recently because the opening riff of Stairway was 99.5% identical to Spirit’s Taurus? No. Did Hang On Sloopy steal Louie, Louie stolen from Twist & Shout? No. Also, Firewatch ‘stole’ from generic clip-art to begin with - it’s bad vector art. So, Ford’s ad agency is guilty of copying to the nth degree but they didn’t “steal” as it was changed albeit slightly. I smell Lawyers, gotta go shower.

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