Ancient News – Borderlands and Codehunters

Whew, I have got to get back on track here. Been arguing with the crud and scheduling issues and everything feels like it’s wrong now.

I noticed a headline yesterday that I wanted to go back and take a look at, if only because I’ve discussed the Fortnite dance case previously. It was one about Epic Games responding to someone saying they stole art. Found it on Forbes. Between then and now the article has been updated to say that the artwork and facebook page have been removed, and that it was allegedly fake. I suppose this shouldn’t surprise me, given what day it is.

This did include a link to a much older article from 2013 about the original Borderlands and the short film Codehunters. It was already old news then, it would seem, as there’s a Kotaku article from 2010 referencing a presumably older reddit thread.

I watched the first few minutes of Codehunters, and if I remember I intend to watch the whole thing in its entirety once I get home. There are certainly some strong similarities, the opening scene with the bus bear some strong resemblance, as does the art style and some of the characters and movement. It also shares some scenes with the opening of Borderlands 2, though I’ll have to actually go back and watch it again to be sure.

The underlying question would be if Borderlands stole these scenes or were inspired by them. The art style itself is of little consequence, since I’m fairly sure you can’t copyright an art style itself, and an art style could include more than just visual appearance, but also character shape and movement. In a way it almost feels like saying Cyberpunk 2077 is ripping off Shadowrun. Dystopian cyberpunk is a pretty recognizable style.

I can’t quite pin down what style Codehunters or Borderlands would be though. I don’t really have a name for it. In fact, I just assumed Borderlands was inspired more by Mad Max and was mostly a combination of luck and good timing in it’s success.

I don’t feel like I’m going anywhere with this, though. I seem to be running in circles. I found a version of Codehunters posted by the animation studio. Watch it and decide for yourself. This is old enough that I suspect any legal challenges that might could have been brought are now moot. I just thought it was an interesting view at how one thing came to be.

Y’all take care.

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