The Tale of How Project Chronos Teased Their Main Character Design Featuring Stolen Artwork of Rex from Xenoblade

The Tale of How Project Chronos Teased Their Main Character Design Featuring Stolen Artwork of Rex from Xenoblade

What a way to start today’s news, huh? In October, an unknown company created a Facebook page promoting their brand-new “idle game” titled Project Chronos. While the page itself is in English, the fact the description says “perfect combination of easy play and straightforward cultivation” reeks a lot of machine translation. Still, I digress because that’s not what we’re discussing here today. Instead, we’re talking about…this:

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The above picture was posted a few days ago. The post claimed that the image consisted of concept maps and a teaser of the character image design that would be shown in the game, but well, do you notice something…familiar? Well, that’s because the supposed character is none other than the property of MonolithSoft. Specifically, it’s Rex from Xenoblade Chronicles 2. But hold on! Keep on reading because there is more to this.

As it turns out, the art was, unsurprisingly, stolen. In particular, the image was literally copy-pasted from this artist on pixiv. Now, the original artist only drew Rex from his waists and above, so to add insult to injury, whoever copied the image also badly traced the rest of his legs and shoes in an attempt to look somewhat convincing. But it doesn’t take a trained eye to notice how badly the top and bottom halves mesh together.

A couple of hours later, after many comments on social media, the page published yet another post with the same caption, but this time, Rex was replaced by the image below, this time featuring what I assume to be the “correct design” for the character:

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Finally, they posted this morning a disclaimer post showing the “design process,” merely stating that Rex was a character used for reference purposes only and that it “does not represent the final design of our role, nor does it represent commercial behavior,” while showing an assortment of different characters, such as the Xenoblade Chronicles 2 DLC costume for Link in Breath of the Wild, and a character from Gran Saga, another title that has its fair share of controversy due to the similarities of Cygames’s Grandblue Fantasy.

They say plagiarism is a form of flattery, but I don’t think this qualifies here, even if they claim that Rex was just used as a “reference.” This whole situation amuses and puzzles me in equal proportion, but looking back, we covered a Trails series ripoff in April that ripped off Nihon Falcom. Unfortunately, even after some research, I could not find the company behind this Project Chronos, but in fairness, perhaps it is best we do not know.

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