Boston-based industrial rock group Powerman 5000 called out Final Fantasy 14 on social media for what the band alleged is "a straight-up rip-off" of its work.
"Got to say that the level of unimaginative theft that was used in creating this music for #finalfantasyXIV is mind blowing!" the band wrote in a Facebook post. "I mean, this is When Worlds Collide! Using something as inspiration is one thing but a straight up rip off is another! Did they really think no one would notice?"
You can listen to the piece below; it plays in the background of a battle against Sephirot, who first appeared in Final Fantasy 6 and returns as a boss in Final Fantasy 14. The song in question follows a reprise of Sephirot's theme from the earlier game and starts around 5 minutes in.
Powerman 5000 claims the song is similar to "When Worlds Collide" from their 1999 album Tonight the Stars Revolt! "When Worlds Collide" was featured on the soundtracks of Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 2 and WWE Smackdown! vs. Raw; listen to it below for a proper comparison between the Powerman 5000 original and the Final Fantasy 14 score.
The similarities between the two were first pointed out by a poster on the Final Fantasy 14 forums, who started a thread on Feb. 23 — the day before Powerman 5000's Facebook post — noting the background music's familiar sound. A member of the development team for Final Fantasy 14 later responded to the allegations in the thread; you can read producer/director Naoki Yoshida's response in full below.
Regarding the Music for the 2nd Phase of Containment Bay S1T7
I have read through your comments concerning the BGM for the 2nd phase of the Containment Bay S1T7 battle with Sephirot, and I would like to personally explain how the track was conceived.
As most FINAL FANTASY fans already know, Sephirot (the Fiend) is a legacy boss character who originally appeared in FINAL FANTASY VI. When considering how to portray Sephirot's return in FINAL FANTASY XIV, we decided to pay tribute to FFVI by working VI's "Battle to the Death" track into the Containment Bay S1T7's first phase, while opting to create an FFXIV original for the second.
Building upon the motif of Sephirot as a representation of the World Tree, to create this FINAL FANTASY XIV original track, we further incorporated story-driven themes of death and a warped obsession with life, all while utilizing a musical genre─industrial rock─which we believed would provide substantial emphasis to the message.
Industrial rock is a popular genre that can be further divided into numerous sub-genres. Countless songs from these genres have been released worldwide, and I have been made aware of an allegation regarding similarities between an existing track and the track created for the 2nd phase of Containment Bay S1T7. However, track composer Masayoshi Soken, has also stated to me that he was unaware of the track in question while working on this FINAL FANTASY track.
We hope that you continue to enjoy FINAL FANTASY XIV battle content.
We've reached out to a representative of Powerman 5000, whose most prominent member is Michael Cummings, otherwise known as Spider One and brother to musician Rob Zombie, for a response and will update when we receive one.
Correction: Spider One's full name was previously misstated; the frontman's given name is Michael Cummings. The text above has been corrected.