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  • Sonic Origins Artist Releases Statement Addressing ROM Hack Sprite Plagiarism

    That Super Sonic looks familiar...

    Andy Collins, an artist who has contributed to the Sonic 3 & Knuckles remaster in Sonic Origins, has published a statement that confirms the presence of fan-made sprites from the ROM hack 'Sonic 3 Complete' within the final release of Origins.

    "It has come to my attention that several sprites of Super Sonic from Sonic 3 Complete ended up being used in Sonic Origins," Collins, also known as A+Start, wrote on his Twitter page. "This was an honest mistake on my part. They were used as reference [images] during production and due to my way of working, went unnoticed amongst already completed sprites. I believed they were sprites I'd already started, and kept working them until I thought they were complete."

    "Obviously, this isn't ideal and doesn't reflect my work," the statement continues. "I can only apologise and hope this doesn't incite any ill will towards myself or Headcannon [the developer of the Sonic 3 & Knuckles remaster within Sonic Origins]."

    Collins is a well-known artist within the community, and his sprite and pixel skills are showcased well in the Sonic Origins compilation package - most notably for us, within the intro sequence for the New Blue Spheres game mode, which features an impressive 3D Sonic leaping towards the screen.

    The artist published the above statement on April 1, leading some to believe this may have been an April Fools prank. But with no follow-up message and many commentators corroborating Collins' words about lifted Super Sonic sprites, it seems like this is a genuine notice addressing a genuine mistake.

    If there's any other detail to come from this, we'll let you know. In the meantime, check out the full statement here.

    The Sonic Stadium may link to retailers and earn a small commission on purchases made from users who click those links. These links will only appear in articles related to the product, in an unobtrusive manner, and do not influence our editorial decisions in any way. All proceeds will go to supporting our community and continued coverage of Sonic the Hedgehog. Thank you in advance for your kind support!

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    The title of this thread is EXTREMELY hyperbolic, almost to a clickbait degree. It wasn't plagiarism', it was merely a mistake he made and didn't intend.

    Fuck, I didn't even realize he 'plagarized' anything until some random twitter person said he did, and even then it just looked like a coincidence more than anything else. I sincerely doubted that A+Start even intended to copy the sprites and merely did it by accident, which is basically what he did.

    They're not all even the exact same sprites like you're alluding to, some of the sprites have very apparent differences. It was a case of just making them look a little too similar.


    I'm honestly a little disappointed that you're, even if unintentionally, making this seem worse than it actually is. Yes, this wasn't the right thing A+Start did, but at the same time some people are kind of blowing it out of proportion.

    If this makes me a shill then so be it, btw.

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    I don't know anything about this controversy since I don't really care about Sega attempting to sell people stuff to fix a shitty rerelease; but you're not doing your case of Dread being "hyperbolic" in his reporting any favors by presenting two sprites that are seemingly completely identical and two sprites that are obviously edits of work that isn't Sega's.







    That's even ignoring the fact that plagiarism doesn't require intent; and his apology saying it doesn't reflect his work is pretty wishy-washy if he can't delineate his own work between fan stuff that was grabbed wholesale from a ROM hack whose purpose was the same as what Origins was. If it doesn't reflect his work and "obviously isn't ideal", what is going to be done about it?

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    @DaBigJ We haven’t ‘alluded to’ anything. If you read the story content itself you will find that there is very little material in our write-up besides the statement that A+Start himself published. That is an intentional choice, because we wanted to present the story entirely neutrally. What do we write that could possibly ‘allude’ to anything other than A+Start’s own words?

    I feel like you are the one attaching emotional value to a simple headline used to efficiently convey what has happened here. What single word would you use, exactly? I’m curious.

    It was clear in the story itself obviously, but to be extremely clear; we have not accused A+Start of plagiarism, in fact we have gone so far as to state it was a genuine mistake (so in effect you agree with the story?).

    I’m sorry, your accusations of clickbait here don’t hold water.

    EDIT: I just wanted to take a step back and clarify that I do of course take all feedback on board and if there’s any criticism of how we report on stories I’m more than happy to listen to it if it will improve how we do things.

    But in this case, I don’t really see any feedback related to the story itself or how it is written. The criticism has entirely come from a specific reading of a word in a headline, which isn’t something we can really control…

    The real problem here is that it was assumed that our use of the word ‘plagiarism’ in the headline was intended to be malicious ( it wasn’t). That then bled into an overall criticism of the story content itself, even though we could see nothing wrong with it.

    I don’t want to stop people from offering feedback (although I’d argue the comments section isn’t really the place to do it - I’m always available on DM), but it helps to be descriptive about what the issue actually is, and to not use post-truth era “anti-media” language to make the point. 🙂 

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