Gears Of War 4 May Have Used Stolen Art Assets, Prompts Microsoft To Investigate
(Last Updated On: October 13, 2016)

An artist going by the name of Mariana “Haku” Villanueva is being accused of having plagiarized art from DeviantArt regular Martin de Diego. Keen users made comparisons between the official art used in the Mexican launch of Gears of War 4 and Martin de Diego’s works and discovered undeniable similarities, prompting Microsoft to make an official statement on the matter.

Spanish gaming website reported on the incident, which they picked up from a Facebook post made by a certani Mario S. Nevado, who did a breakdown and comparison of the art that “Haku” supposedly made for Gears of War 4 and the work by Martin de Diego. You can check out his comparison below, which he posted on October 12th, 2016, to see the similarities.

It’s hard to deny the similarities after taking a look at the images. The teeth in the skull from Diego’s piece seem to be replicated over the Juvie Swarm member in the Gears of War 4 promo piece.

The teeth making up for the entrance and exit in Diego’s “Hells Gate” cover and back also seem to be almost identical in the promo piece for The Coalition and Microsoft’s new Windows 10 and Xbox One third-person shooter.

According to, Mariana “Haku” Villanueva originally denied the accusations of plagiarism and simply stated that she was inspired by Diego’s work and that it wasn’t plagiarism. After certain individuals showed the diagrams with red lines on them (the bane of fact dodgers), “Haku” deleted her comments and ducked out of the conversation.

This led people to take the issue up with Microsoft, who made an official announcement on the Xbox Mexico Facebook account on October 12th, 2016, six hours after Nevado posted the comparison, where they wrote…

“Intellectual property is a strategic asset that provides significant value for Microsoft, their customers and partners. In Microsoft we are in favour and in favour of respect for the intellectual property and that is why we will investigate and take the necessary steps to fulfill and to respect the rights of authors and artists related to our products.”

Gears of War 4 recently launched for the Xbox One and Windows 10 on October 11th, so we’ll see how they deal with the issue of plagiarism or if they’ll bother to commission Mariana “Haku” Villanueva to do work on future iterations of the series, especially after they had her work on Gears of War: Ultimate Edition.

(Thanks for the news tip Bitterbear)

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Billy has been rustling Jimmies for years covering video games, technology and digital trends within the electronics entertainment space. The GJP cried and their tears became his milkshake. Need to get in touch? Try the Contact Page.

  • Ben (Broken)

    I can understand being “inspired” by the work of other artists and redrawing aspects of the piece in question where the similarities are still pretty obvious. But just changing the filter and tracing over the exact lines? Eh,how soulless.

    Often being honest enough to say “Ey,this illustration/illustrator inspired me!” is a nice way of acknowledging one’s peers without coming off as an ungrateful plagiarizing douche. That & making sure your own work isn’t an identical copy with enough originality injected to still stand on its’ own.

  • C G Saturation

    >plagiarized art from DeviantArt

    The usual, then.

    • EH

      Mexicans are not the only ones that plagerize. So please do not be a racist and lump an entire country in your post. Talking about plagerism remember Trump’s wife plagerized parts of Michelle obama’s speech word for word? Does that prove that US is also rampant with plagerism?
      Also, I don’t know which picture your looking at, she looks pretty white to me but again, what does sex have anything to do with this topic? You’re really making yourself to be a cynical loser white male that’s all complain and zero action. Please take your cynicism and go cry somewhere else.

      • tcnitsni

        Did you even read his post?

        • C G Saturation

          The scary part is realizing people like that vote when they clearly have no idea what’s actually happening. Or he’s intentionally trolling.

        • Bitterbear

          He/she/zhe drank the Univision Koolaid.

      • C G Saturation

        Uhh. Learn to read. You may want to get those mental issues fixed, too, as you clearly have some.

        I quoted a Mexican friend word for word. If you got a problem with that, maybe talk to them and not me. But I guess that wouldn’t fit into your “white male” narrative.

        • EH

          Don’t twist your stupid logic and try to justify what you implied.
          1. Mexico has nothing to do with the topic. So don’t go smearing a whole country based on your friend’s anecdotal experiences.
          2. Your comment “I hope they didn’t employ her just because she fits into their agenda for “diversity” by being a non-white female.”
          Company hiring based on “Diversity” has nothing to do with this topic.
          So get a life and stop getting off topic.

          • C G Saturation

            1. Linked the article to Mexican friend, Mexican friend says “is she Mexican? I bet she’s Mexican” and tells me what I quoted. The topic is plagiarism, so it is relevant. But you wouldn’t know that because you didn’t read anything on this page.

            2. It does have something to do with the topic, which is plagiarism. There are plenty of people who get hired for “diversity” reasons when they don’t actually have the skills to do the job. I’ve met plenty of those kinds of people myself, and regret helping them.

            So get a life and stop being a Social Justice Warrior.

          • EH

            You are so messed up! The established fact is Mariana Villanueva aka #ladyplagio:
            1. (More than likely) committed plagiarism
            2. Is a female
            3. Is a Mexican

            Based on the above you went on a racist rant on how “Mexicans plagiarize a lot” including “famous Mexican artists who plagiarize everything”. That’s racist because as I’ve already pointed out plagiarism occurs everywhere not just in Mexico.

            Then you inserted sexism by commenting on “they all happen to be women” and that you “are not surprised”. So according to you, guys don’t commit plagiarism? Want to look that up? I thought not!

            As for your friend, I don’t care if he claims to be Mexican and it doesn’t matter if they’re brown, black, yellow, white, blue, or whatever. Bottom line is you are wrong with your racist and sexist remarks.

            Now bugger off and try not to embarrass yourself in your future posts.

          • Andrea

            Dude, even if a “mexican friend” told you about how we “commit plagiarism a lot”, that’s pretty much subjective, and is based on his own experiences, which seem not positive.
            A lot of us commit something we call “Malinchismo”, so it’s pretty common to hear stuff like “Oh, he was mexican” or “She was just mexican” even between us.
            I’m not telling you that you are an asshole, or how much you are wrong, just please, try to don’t make generalizations.
            Not all of us are like that.

          • C G Saturation

            I wasn’t trying to make generalizations, I was just saying what I was told by a Mexican friend. It’s up to the reader to perceive the information. If the reader takes info and generalizes it, that is out of my control.

            I simply quoted what a Mexican friend told me, and I said that, didn’t I? I never said it was absolute fact or that all Mexicans are the same. I don’t understand why people would even think that.

            I don’t generalize based on whatever info I get, so it’s not a problem to me. Do I really need to write “obviously this doesn’t apply to every single person and is not absolute” on everything I say? It should be obvious to anyone who isn’t a racist.

    • Mexicans are already punishing her and destroying her reputation.
      In Mexico they don’t hire anybody for “diversity”, but they could have hired her for the hope of fucking her.

      • C G Saturation

        Mexican friend often complains to me about the rising obsession with progressiveness spreading to Mexico, so I thought “diversity” became a big thing there too. It seemed like something Microsoft would do.

        • Mr.Towel

          As someone living in a third world country, I can confirm that. Shitty cosmopolitanism at its finest.

        • Bitterbear

          As always, it’s a thing rich kids and (sadly) female politicians would do.

        • no, we don’t have groups of people demanding special privileges for not being white.
          Besides, this was made by Gameplanet, not Microsoft.

    • Bitterbear

      My advice? Ask your friend if there’s evidence in the internet. That way you can shut up annoying white knights.

  • Hawk Hopper

    The 50% opacity overlay is very damning. I don’t know how Microsoft will end up handling this.

    I remember when the remake of Oldboy came out, there was a poster that an artist said the ad agency stole from him. They used his idea for the poster with a couple of changes. I think they worked it out, but why steal for something as unwanted as a remake of Oldboy? Or the new Gears of War?