Body of assassinated Russian diplomat used in Telltale's Batman game.

The thing about placeholder art? You should make it super obvious it's placeholder.

Like literally, put bright red text saying 'placeholder' in a huge font right across the image.
This is the standard in the industry.

"Placeholder," "FPO," "NOT FINAL ART," or some variant is how professionals handle it. There is no issue with using random art as internal placeholders. The problem is when you publish with it.

If they paid royalties for it, I see no problem. I doubt they paid royalties though.

To the people saying that they probably thought it was a stock photo... that's one hell of a picture to mistake for a stock photo, it won the most important photography award in the world.

Or BioWare.
Not sure why people keep bringing up BioWare as a "bad" example.

Unlike the ND issue, BioWare actually paid for the rights to the image it used. BioWare did things the correct way.

No it really is that big of a deal if you are Russian. Imagine a game using a picture of one of the people killed by the terrorist in Las Vegas... yea, no apology would help.
This. Or imagine the reaction in the US if an image of Gabby Giffords (right after being show) or another politician was used. Just because the deceased is not from your country doesn't mean that his death doesn't matter to those of his country.

How...

How does this happen?
Designers and artists taking shortcuts. Or, to use a trope, "lazy devs."

It's not likely intentionally malicious, but it is a case of someone not taking the correct steps to ensure that the entire art pipeline is properly cleared.

I would google for "body floor" and take the picture with good enough resolution that has the right angle for my composition.

That´s of course still assuming that this was always meant to be replaced or painted over.

Looking at the pic I don´t find it entirely unrealistic that this was outsourced work actually.

Or maybe that was just a mood board and never meant to make it into the game what so ever, but someone thought it looked cool?

A lot of assumptions - I know.
Yes, but you would probably mark it as placeholder art before dropping it into a scene. No one is going to mistake placeholder as final if it is marked. And if someone really likes a specific piece of placeholder art, they can call it out and get it cleared for use.

It's not an issue that placeholder art was used during development. It's that the art wasn't marked/cleared and made it into production.
 
I´m 40 so..... no.

Now let me try. I think you are young and very naive.

You have no experience in graphic design / game making / film making / content creation.

Because it´s not unusual at all to use an image like this as a place holder.

Sorry to say, but I´ve been working in a production company for almost 20 years now.

If you need an image of dead guy as a place holder - guess what!

YOU USE AN IMAGE OF A DEAD GUY.

Of course you have to replace it before you ship it, of course they have to apologize. But that´s about it.
Your take on it is very unusual, and I'm coming from the position that GAF's (America's?) fixation on avoiding pictures of dead people in context of reports on said people dying while the pictures aren't particularly drastic is nonsensical. Unless I have no idea how Telltale games work now, this picture has no particular gameplay value, it always appears as a whole illustrating the fictional robbery results; so putting a realistic cadaver on it during the placeholder generation phase is a huge waste of effort. The whole texture is one overkill of a placeholder if any, while at the same time lacking placeholder markings.

An alternative is that it's a WIP take on the final texture, which is a great difference from a starting placeholder. Why did artist need that body there? Did they plan to just retouch it more? It would still offend most of the same people. And if it was supposed to be an inspiration for the feel of rest of the scene, well I'm not buying it as the actual photos clearly show that the actual context is completely different, so it had to be retouched somewhat already. And frankly, regardless of that, if they knew what they were doing they would use a temporary mark anyway. Capcom's leftover portraits from 3DS Ace Attorney have these all over everything despite the only changes compared to final being minor costume stuff, and I'm talking about Capcom here.

My take on it, subject to change, is that artist thought they could get away with using a stock image without clearing the rights, and used something that was too recognizable, not imagining it was an actual photo due to the rather unusual setting and atmosphere. Without clearing the rights, because it would obviously arise what that is during the right clearing.
 
I doubt they give a shit about morals, they're busy pumping out 5 different episodic games at the same time. At worse, they'll apologize and try to save face and the most trouble they're likely to get into is for using that image without approval since it's not a stock photo.
So you just assume they're awful people with no morals because they make video games you don't like?
 
I´m 40 so..... no.

Now let me try. I think you are young and very naive.

You have no experience in graphic design / game making / film making / content creation.

Because it´s not unusual at all to use an image like this as a place holder.

Sorry to say, but I´ve been working in a production company for almost 20 years now.

If you need an image of dead guy as a place holder - guess what!

YOU USE AN IMAGE OF A DEAD GUY.

Of course you have to replace it before you ship it, of course they have to apologize. But that´s about it.
Nope, 36 and a physician. Despite that I don’t think I place a higher value on human life than anyone else, and I don’t think that changes anything that this is super fucked up. If you need an image of a dead person, why could you not just use any of what must be hundreds of thousands of images from film and television that don’t involve actual deceased people? The argument holds no water and if you’re doing it, you should fucking stop.
 
so putting a realistic cadaver on it during the placeholder generation phase is a huge waste of effort. The whole texture is one overkill of a placeholder if any, while at the same time lacking placeholder markings.
Taking an element out of a photo and putting it in to the asset is the easiest thing in the world. That "huge waste of effort" probably took 30 seconds at most if he had to coax the quick select a bit?
 
Well they issued a statement saying it will removed but didn't explain how it happened in the first place.

"An update to the game has been submitted this morning that will be removing the image across all platforms. We regret this incident occurred, and we are taking appropriate action internally to ensure that we continue to maintain our high standards in Production and Quality Assurance."
Source: https://www.gamasutra.com/view/news/307188/Telltales_Batman_seemingly_shows_real_image_of_assassinated_ambassador.php
 
An asset oversight that should have been picked up before publishing but wasn't. Insensitive in the context of the photo and resulting situation but not as horrific or malicious as people would make up.

Just another excuse for the torches, like the Bungie one.
 
Taking an element out of a photo and putting it in to the asset is the easiest thing in the world. That "huge waste of effort" probably took 30 seconds at most if he had to coax the quick select a bit?
Nope. You have to even consider to put it there, and more importantly you have to have something to put it on, this not a cut out on a flat background or something like that. Given that the entire function of this thing appears to be visual with little effect on rest of functions, this is clearly not a todo type placeholder, this was work in progress.

Anyone has a shot of the new version?
 
Telltale said:
"An update to the game has been submitted this morning that will be removing the image across all platforms. We regret this incident occurred, and we are taking appropriate action internally to ensure that we continue to maintain our high standards in Production and Quality Assurance."
 
So not really an explanation or apology. Just ”we messed up, we wont again”. Makes me sick, this was no small mistake. Will vote with my wallet as a reaction how they handeled this.
 
Well they issued a statement saying it will removed but didn't explain how it happened in the first place.



Source: https://www.gamasutra.com/view/news/307188/Telltales_Batman_seemingly_shows_real_image_of_assassinated_ambassador.php
Would've liked to see a Bungie style dissection of how exactly that made it into the game, but Bungie also did an unusual amount of work removing and explaining the alt-right thing so I guess I can't fault Telltale for defaulting to the usual game industry response.

Still, wow, someone is definitely getting disciplined internally.
 
Back in the day, when I needed a placeholder, I did this:



Ain't no way the game would ship with that :)
Reminds me of an article Riot published about placeholder splash images for LoL after accidentally they shipped a character with the place holder image so after that they made it a rule to, until the final art is done, calling a member of the team with no artistic ability to draw something intentionally crappy in MS paint that could not possibly be mistaken for finished art.
 
Wait, is that second photo real shot of the crime scene? Could da mistook it for a scene from a Bond movie
That was the joke on the internet when it happened. The assassination happened during an event at a museum with really good lighting and really good cameras recording it, plus the entire thing was very "hollywood looking".

It's tragic and horrific, but it is still the most photogenic assassination.
Humor is my coping mechanism
 
That was the joke on the internet when it happened. The assassination happened during an event at a museum with really good lighting and really good cameras recording it, plus the entire thing was very "hollywood looking".
The photographer who took these just happened to go to an art gallery showing where this ambassador was speaking. He put himself in great danger to get in a position to get these shots and had nerves of steel to take them with a gunman a few feet away.

I think that's part of what gets under my skin about this. This photo captured a horrific event, taken by a guy who put his life on the line for it, and ended up as placeholder art (giving them the benefit of the doubt) in a Batman game by a studio who put out a trite and meaningless apology when they got caught. No explanation, no intent to donate a portion of the game's proceeds towards a relevant charity, just some empty words and a hope that it will all blow over.
 
Nope. You have to even consider to put it there, and more importantly you have to have something to put it on, this not a cut out on a flat background or something like that. Given that the entire function of this thing appears to be visual with little effect on rest of functions, this is clearly not a todo type placeholder, this was work in progress.

Anyone has a shot of the new version?
What's the difference between a placeholder and a work in progress? Both are supposed to be replaced by the time the game ships.

"I'll paint the background, and get to painting a human in later. For now I'll put a placeholder image in that spot" <- not an unreasonable line of thinking.