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Korean action-RPG’s marketing looks oddly Dark Souls-y

Dark Souls Screenshot - 1166732

FromSoftware’s Souls franchise is no longer the niche IP it was in the days of Demon’s Souls. It’s grown into an industry-wide fad, a phenomenon among gamers, and is popular around the globe. So why did a South Korean advertising agency think nobody had seen it?

Developer 4:33 Creative Lab’s most recent title is Blade, an action-RPG available on iOS. As Kotaku reports, Blade quickly rose to the top of South Korea’s Google Play charts. However, local gamers say it owes much of that popularity to the striking similarities between it’s and Dark Souls’ marketing material.

The screenshots below show just how striking those similarities are (Dark Souls above, Blade below). 

Dark Souls

Dark Souls

Dark Souls

Dark Souls

Left: Dark Souls train advert. Right: Blade train ad, which has since been removed.

“We generally do not use an ad agency but in these two cases we did,” 4:33 told Gamemeca. “We’ve worked with an outside ad agency to create and run these promotions. There is a clause in our contract with them saying the agency will fully be responsible if there is any third party copyright violation. We’ve sent the agency a legal note saying they’ve damaged our image.”

Austin Wood
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