Moving violation: Microsoft used lifted footage for Forza 4 trailer

Buddies of ours who teach college classes have computer programs they can just plug student homework into to tell if it’s original work or something that’s just been ripped off. But if you’re a major game publisher, you have a similar tool called “the entire internet” that will immediately sniff out a forgery – sometimes to your detriment, as Forza 4 publisher Microsoft has discovered. The evidence is below.

Above: A live shot, but it would make a pretty render 

Caught by Jalopnik (a sister site of Kotaku) earlier today, the live-action trailer for design studio Turn 10’s upcoming racing sim Forza Motorsport 4 that debuted over the weekend on the Spike VGAs was found to contain footage from web drama Turn9. Which is fine in theory – it wasn’t claiming to be in-game graphics or anything. But Microsoft apparently didn’t own the rights to that footage.

Some of the footage comes legitimately from racing show Top Gear, whom Microsoft has a partnership with. The obvious shots of actor Paul Walker, though, are from Turn9. Jalopnik reached out to producer Tim Whitcome of Turn9, whom confirmed that it indeed was his footage, and had not given permission for it to be used.

Both trailers are here for you to compare. It may be that a few interns will be packing this weekend for a little more than a quick trip home for the holidays…

Above: This is from Turn9…

Above: …and this isn’t.

SOURCE: Jalopnik 

Dec 15, 2010




  • foxyexplosion - December 17, 2010 10:55 a.m.

    lol who even thought the live action stuff wasnt live action. I mean the focus was the shot of the single car, not the other bullshit. To say that this is just microsoft being microsoft is stupid. The showcase they were going for was the red car looking sexy with what i assume is close to game graphics, i feel like they did it for forza 3 too...
  • Spybreak8 - December 16, 2010 8:17 p.m.

    I didn't watch the trailer. I don't even know why they're making a Forza 4, 3 is pretty damn good. What is Forza 4 going to have 3 or 4 discs of content!?
  • PiTzI - December 16, 2010 7 p.m.

    what would you expect? It's Microsoft, after all...
  • FoxdenRacing - December 16, 2010 4:41 p.m.

    Wasn't happy with my tone in the last one, so an addendum: It wasn't right to use the video, but fanning the flames as if some huge majority of the trailer was from Turn9 isn't right either. I'm excited about Forza 4; 3's "quirks" are wearing on me after a little over a year. I also wasn't trying to say the render job is bad...far from it...but there are the subtle hints that it's a game and not real footage. You've gotta look very close, and have experience with 3D graphics [which as gamers, we all do], but there is proof [both subjective and objective] that the FordGT is a render, not a real car. Apologies if I came off as anything but intended in the first post.
  • FoxdenRacing - December 16, 2010 4:24 p.m.

    So...3 pictures of a face and half a second of a skyline shooting into the distance? Cynicism aside...Suck it up MS, apologize, and pay the guys for their footage. Somebody ****ed up. One thing that grated me in the original article's comments (and is starting to pop up here) was people gloating that they can tell the huge majority of shots aren't in-engine. Of course they're not...have a banana sticker. There is, however, some in-engine footage in that video; the FordGT. Subjectively, the environment's too clean (0:41-0:43), the reflections too sharp (0:18, 0:22), and the pavement texture (0:44-0:46) still needs work. Objectively, the reverse light bit of the taillight shot (also 0:18) is a texture...the shading doesn't change as the viewing angle does [compare to the red section of the taillight], and the reverse light is translucent on an actual GT [see: for a real one]. Aside from a walk in the uncanny valley, if that's what we can expect, F4 has the potential to be prettier than GT5. Now if we can just get more than 8 cars on-track at once, timed races that actually work like timed races [time runs out, finish your lap, not 3...2...1...SUDDEN STOP!], and a tweak to the PI system to put more importance on handling, we're in business.
  • SideOfBeef - December 16, 2010 2:33 p.m.

    This seems odd to me. I really, really doubt interns would be lifting video without permission, but I wouldn't think Forza too low on the scale for the producers not to go shoot their own video, especially just a couple seconds of it. Maybe they had a deadline to hit and it was raining on their demo car?
  • HereComesTheHypeTrainCHOOCHOO - December 16, 2010 2:21 p.m.

    Also, I think it is misleading to insinuate that this was done by some misguided interns like what John Leaned did in his final sentence. Microsoft has engaged in these pratices enough in the past to show a consistent pattern of intentionally trying to pull the wool over our eyes and hoping not to be called out on it.
  • HereComesTheHypeTrainCHOOCHOO - December 16, 2010 2:19 p.m.

    I called it but nobody believed me. Always take these trailers with a huge grain of salt, especially when the publisher claims it to be "in-game footage" that is clearly NOT being controlled by the player.
  • MJHAYLETT - December 16, 2010 11:59 a.m.

    Microsoft takes someone elses work and pretends its their own. Never heard anything like that before :D
  • Xobi - December 16, 2010 8:03 a.m.

    Shame Microsoft Shame.............
  • therawski - December 16, 2010 7:36 a.m.

    Micro$oft will have no problem affording the settlement with the money we waste on it's shitty platforms. @chrisat928 you thought microsoft couldn't fail anymore? how?
  • AntistaChris - December 16, 2010 6:35 a.m.

  • AntistaChris - December 16, 2010 6:34 a.m.

    Game Trailers are way too over-reted these days...
  • CoryRX8 - December 16, 2010 5:07 a.m.

    Ha! Remember, it's only copyright infringement if it's an individual copying footage owned by a large corporation. If it's a large corporation ripping off an individual, then it's A-OK.
  • AntiGuardian - December 16, 2010 4:47 a.m.

    No backsees.
  • chrisat928 - December 16, 2010 4:32 a.m.

    Just when you thought Microsoft couldn't fail anymore.

Showing 1-17 of 17 comments

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