Microsoft takes down PUBG ad that closely copies a fan-made work

Ahead of the December 12 release of Playerunknown's Battlegrounds on the Xbox One, redditor Macsterr posted a clever "ad concept" image for the game. It featured a PUBG fighter strolling through waist-high grass contained within the walls of an Xbox One console, which was itself laid over a blue sky background. Simple, stark, and eye-catching, it was really good work. 

So good, in fact, that a slightly modified version of the ad ended up being adopted as official marketing. Unfortunately, Macsterr knew nothing about it.  

Shortly after Macsterr posted about it, Xbox Live director of programming Larry Hryb, also known as "Major Nelson," responded to say that Microsoft was looking into the matter. "In the meantime, our official channels have pulled down the asset in question," he wrote.

It's possible that the official ad was created completely separately and independently, and just happens to be based on the same idea, though it would be a stunning coincidence. It's also not clear where the ad actually came from: It might be the work of an external ad agency, rather than Microsoft itself. Hryb said he'd follow up once he had more details, but Macsterr hasn't shared any updates as of yet.

Andy Chalk

Andy has been gaming on PCs from the very beginning, starting as a youngster with text adventures and primitive action games on a cassette-based TRS80. From there he graduated to the glory days of Sierra Online adventures and Microprose sims, ran a local BBS, learned how to build PCs, and developed a longstanding love of RPGs, immersive sims, and shooters. He began writing videogame news in 2007 for The Escapist and somehow managed to avoid getting fired until 2014, when he joined the storied ranks of PC Gamer. He covers all aspects of the industry, from new game announcements and patch notes to legal disputes, Twitch beefs, esports, and Henry Cavill. Lots of Henry Cavill.