Earlier this week, indie dev Jay Tholen noted the similarity of the newest PUBG Mobile skin to his game. The similarities to his game, Hypnospace Outlaw, together with naming references made him call shenanigans.
Now, PUBG touched bases with Tholen, saying that this was a misplaced homage to his game. They note that they will be removing references to his game as soon as possible.
In a post on Twitter, Tholen revealed that PUBG sent him DMs to clear the air about the skin. The skin in question, named Hypnospace Diva, is a cybernetic armor in gold plate. The name, together with the cyberpunk aesthetic, made Tholen suspicious.
From what it seems, the skin’s name from the original Mandarin translates to “Golden Diva.” It seems a member of the localization team changed the name to Hypnospace Diva. The change was not a welcome one, not considering the potential consequences of their action.
“As soon as we saw your tweet, we began looking into how our new skin had been developed and promoted,” started the DM to Tholen. “We want you to know that we do care and want to explain what happened and to let you know that we are renaming the skin.
“The skin was not designed with your game, Hypnospace Outlaw, in mind; […] An individual on our localization team saw the visuals for the skin and was reminded of your game.
“Rather than adopt the literal translation, ‘Golden Diva,’ the team member decided to change the name to Hypnospace Diva, not considering the consequences or implications of doing so.
“Those responsible for approving the localization were not familiar with Hypnospace Outlaw, and so were unaware of the name’s connection to your game.”
PUBG Mobile clearing the air is a crucial act of good faith duly unexpected from big publishers like Tencent. It doesn’t help that the mobile game likes to reference pop culture through their skins. These include references to super sentai to tokusatsu.
Regardless, it’s a class move to clarify that they are not badly referencing or stealing Jay Tholen’s work. Hypnospace Outlaw is quite an enjoyable game, offering a weirdo cyberpunk gameplay and 90s internet aesthetic.
Let’s hope that PUBG Mobile did not sack anyone from the honest mistake. Regardless, someone will surely receive an earful from an almost disastrous marketing move.
Featured image courtesy of Farooq Ahmad YT/Youtube Screenshot
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