Marvel's Agents of Shield appears to borrow Mass Effect 3 art [UPDATE]

Eagle-eyed fan spots resemblance between exterior shot used in ABC TV show and concept art for BioWare RPG; developer responds.

by

[UPDATE] Following the publication of this story, BioWare general manager Aaryn Flynn responded to the situation through a humorous tweet.

"I eagerly await our honorary Agents of SHIELD badges," he said.

Producer Michael Gamble also chimed in, sharing an image of album artwork from rap duo The Jacka and Double-00 that bears a resemblance to Mass Effect art. ABC and BioWare have yet to officially comment on the matter.

The original story is below.

ABC TV show Agents of Shield has supposedly borrowed art from BioWare's spacebound role-playing game Mass Effect 3.

As reported by Eurogamer, one eagle-eyed Mass Effect fan writes in the BioWare forums that the Dec. 10 episode of Agents of Shield features an exterior shot that matches up with the Mass Effect "Earth Alliance" print.

There are a number of differences between the two images, though you can certainly see the similarities. The "Earth Alliance" lithograph was limited to 500 copies, but is widely available online.

It is not clear if ABC asked EA or BioWare for permission to use the image in the TV show, and so far none of the companies involved have commented on the situation.

Eurogamer also points out that BioWare itself has been previously accused of borrowing images from the Internet for Mass Effect 3, though these were stock images, not copyrighted material.

We'll continue to monitor the story as it develops.

Discussion

240 comments
jbru13
jbru13

Sounds like a matte painter got lazy and copied the building from Mass Effect. I'm sure the supervisors had no idea, and Marvel certainly would have no idea where the building came from. 

Joutja
Joutja

"It is not clear if ABC asked EA or BioWare for permission to use the image in the TV show" As far as I can see I don't see why they would need to ask permission. It's not like they had a version of it framed in the background or something. They built a set which is obviously inspired by the image but surely that can't be classed as the same 'image'? If people are going to get sued or have to ask 'permission' to use something vaguely similar because of similarities like this then we may as well put a stop to all future creations. 

fredwv
fredwv

Agents of SHIELD.  It's Marvel without the cool super heroes!  Winning!

SultaN-s
SultaN-s

It's ok to steal from EA. They are thieves too.

parrot_of_adun
parrot_of_adun

The "Jacka and Double-00" album cover is hilariously bad... Way worse than this Shield business.

helldragonzer
helldragonzer

People that's because in AOS that's the building starting to be built, ME 3 is the finish product, also how much free time do you need to have to actually bother to see the similarity of an image in a show to game that came out 2 years ago.

toyo75
toyo75

Well, if they're going to "copy" then at least make a convincing copy and not a lazy half-baked job.

Uangry
Uangry

This is outrageous!

monkeypukefight
monkeypukefight

i don't know why this even gets attention... abc is owned by disney , bioware is owned by EA... do people really think anybody is gonna do anything to compromise the deal ea and disney just made on star wars games???

whatsazerg
whatsazerg

Episode directed / written & produced by Shia Lebouf

mike4487
mike4487

I do not want a Mass Effect future... what happened to the universal brainwashing of Star Trek where everyone works for the government who decides what they're worth as we work to assimilate new cultures into our society because of our constantly failing economy...


Side note... the healthcare seems great but they even have shortages...


Hm.. either way I guess it's looking bleak... total government control vs... mass murder aliens, genetic neutering and justified slavery...

Eisbrecher34
Eisbrecher34

Wow, seriously? I guess I need to file a complaint against everyone that has a house in their game that looks similar to mine....

vadagar1
vadagar1

told u, even the slightest difference makes this OK


its like addibass or nikee sport wares .... same thing

ziproy
ziproy

And they don't even care??


Kk cool I'm going to develop a game where you choose to start playing as an elf, human, or dwarf. You then take that character on a space epic to stop an evil alien invasion. The big twist at the end will be you were the Sith Lord behind the invasion the entire time.


Oh it's an MMO with dialogue too

Elann2008
Elann2008

You're in a business where creativity IS your craft so why would you use anyone's artwork as your own?  Visual plagiarism isn't a form of flattery.  :P

EXODYS
EXODYS

"futuristic mob" by the jacka and double oo ROFL!!! :D

Cashmoney007
Cashmoney007

Some people have way too much time on their hands.

IncisionX
IncisionX

Hats off to Bioware for having a sense of humor.. none of this "OMFG WHAT THE HE<LL WE R INVESTIGATIN WITH OUR L:AW TEAM LOLWUT"

chaosmonkeys
chaosmonkeys

Does no one seem to remember the fact that one of ME3 ads completely ripped off the season 2 poster for The Walking Dead? At least their laughing it of, if they made a big fuss over it, it would look like complete hypocracy.

jdraper3
jdraper3

They are using the 3d asset itself.. you can't just "photoshop" a 2d image into a full 3d renderable model.  You can't even see the entire model in the ME3 image anyway.


Pretty obvious that they licensed it, since the only place they could get the model would be from Bioware itself.  Assuming Bioware didn't license it from somewhere else to begin with.

Eman5805
Eman5805

Not really a story, but whatever. Lazy creativity strikes again. I bet this image was on screen for all of five seconds anyway.

gantarat
gantarat

Arrow > Agents of SHIELD

justinka777
justinka777

I've watched the scene from the Agents of SHIELD show several times now and I'm starting to wonder who is copying what exactly. they both look too similar to be a coincidence yet the art from the show is certainly in 3D while the lithograph is obviously in 2D. sure its possible that they made a 3D model based off the lithograph but I do wonder if there is some building out there in real life that they both took inspiration from.

awarbrick89
awarbrick89

@Joutja I guess you havent heard of the case of Apple vs Samsung :-P

Not that I disagree with you :-)

Adenosine
Adenosine

Shia: Screw you guys, I'm going home.

Maybe that's Shia's superpowers, the ability to plagiarize everything in the world whether he does it consciously or not.

ziproy
ziproy

@mike4487 Uhhh there was no economy in The Federation. They had evolved passed it with replicators

Sohereiam
Sohereiam

@Eisbrecher34They aren't complaining, it was just a fan that observed that and commented, and the Bioware and Marvel comment on the matter that they're waiting is to know if it was intentional or not. Its just sheer curiosity.

masterfortesque
masterfortesque

@Elann2008 Hello COD, Dead Space, Spiderman movies and everything. These days it's all about making sure money, which is easiest if you use existing successful material

ziproy
ziproy

@chaosmonkeys I remembered in a previous post. They didn't even move anything around, just repainted Rick and blew up Hershal's house with a Reaper

texasgoldrush
texasgoldrush

@chaosmonkeys


Or it was a promotion that Bioware was doing for Mass Effect 3, the cinematic trailer, during the Walking Dead TV series.

jbru13
jbru13

@jdraper3 Yes you can just "photoshop" in a 2D image. You don't need a full 3D model for a background unless the camera is flying all over the place. I haven't seen the shot in question but I'm guessing it's pretty static. A couple of simple cards and a good old fashioned 2D matte painting and the shot is done.

JDCAce55
JDCAce55

@jdraper3 Judging from the Bioware GM's comment, it's almost definitely licensed.

yboucher
yboucher

@jdraper3 huh?  you do know you can just make a new 3d asset, right?

KBABZ
KBABZ

@justinka777A lot of times a matte painting is used to get an effect over a 3D model, especially on TV shows which have to stretch the budget over many episodes. It's far cheaper and much quicker, and with programs like After Effects and Nuke you can then take those paintings and give them the illusion of depth.

justinka777
justinka777

lol I just noticed that the pic above is not actually of the lithograph that they are describing.

Joutja
Joutja

@awarbrick89 @Joutja Unfortunately I have. It's a sad world where people are suing each other because the stuff the other guy is selling contains a word or a colour that they used. :P

dlCHIEF58
dlCHIEF58

@ziproy @mike4487 

Yet they still needed to set up trade negotiations with planets - sounds like there was still economy in Star Trek to me. Don't believe me, just ask the Ferengi. 

jdraper3
jdraper3

@yboucher Yeah, and that costs $$$.  If that's a replica, it's a really good one considering it's basically identical down to the texture work.  What would be the motivation, especially considering copyright infringement??  Makes no sense.  


This was being talked about like they took some kind of a shortcut and stole Bioware's art.  Creating a replica model would not be a shortcut. Licensing something would be, and would also be cheaper.

JimmeyBurrows
JimmeyBurrows

@Joutja In all fairness there's "borrowing" and then there's just plain copy/paste with a bit of tweaking, Samsung do just that and this does look as though the artist got lazy and painted over something else without changing a whole lot... Perhaps they watched one of Feng's FZD school videos and got the wrong idea.

KBABZ
KBABZ

@jdraper3 You're forgetting about the fact that it's a piece of concept art that was taken, not a 3D model. That building doesn't even appear in the game, and in TV shows a matte painting enhanced with 3D (or vice versa) is often the best way to get vistas such as the one in Agents of Shield. So I think what they did was take the bit of the building they liked, cut it out, touched it up a bit and then stuck it into the shot.