In the new story trailer for Uncharted 4: A Thief's End, it seems Nathan Drake may be stealing items besides ancient artifacts: The trailer allegedly features concept art from Assassin's Creed 4: Black Flag, according to Ubisoft.
At the 1:36 mark, the trailer — which you can watch below — zooms in on a framed piece of artwork hanging on Nathan Drake's wall. (You can see a screencap of the moment above.) Aymar Azaïzia, head of content for the Assassin's Creed franchise at Ubisoft Montreal, pointed out in a series of tweets that the artwork in question is actually concept art from Assassin's Creed 4: Black Flag, the 2013 entry in the action series.
Woooow Uncharted 4 using one of ACIV artwork in their trailer... I get the "thief" title now! https://t.co/rholpuvw9I lol at 1:36— Azaïzia Aymar (@AymarMtl) February 24, 2016
Searching Google with that image indeed turns up results for Black Flag concept art. Plus, a December 2015 article on the website Perception8 featuring work from Black Flag senior art director Raphael Lacoste and concept artist Martin Deschambault includes the same illustration that appears in the trailer — albeit with the figure standing on the beach removed, as Azaïzia points out.
The official Assassin's Creed Twitter account retweeted Azaïzia's initial accusatory tweet. (Update: The Assassin's Creed account un-retweeted that tweet shortly after we published this article.)
We've reached out to Ubisoft, Naughty Dog and Uncharted 4 publisher Sony Computer Entertainment for comment, and will update this article with any information we receive.
Update: A Ubisoft representative declined comment to Polygon.
Update 2: Sony took down the trailer this afternoon and replaced it with a new version of the video that features a difference piece of framed artwork. Naughty Dog, in a post on its website, owned up to stealing the artwork and apologized for having done so.
"In our eagerness to get the story trailer out we made a regrettable mistake and didn't thoroughly vet the art work used for an in game painting. We've already updated the trailer," said Naughty Dog. "We hold all artistry in high regard and take full responsibility for having allowed this to happen."
"We want to sincerely apologize to everyone at Ubisoft, the Assassin's Creed team, the original artist, and our fans."
You can check out the new art in the screencap below, as well as the updated trailer.