Hong Kong-based Game Hollywood and Proficient City released Dragon Awaken back in 2017. The browser-based game is available through the company’s official web portal as well as on the Steam store as a free-to-play game.
The company has been promoting Dragon Awaken since its release with occasional seasonal updates and events, using a variety of means to advertise the title to new audiences. Some of these methods include using CGI trailers consisting of footage… taken from other games.
It started with a tweet from Upper Echelon Gaming on May 24th, 2019. They pointed out that one of the sponsored ads that Game Hollywood was using to promote Dragon Awaken was taken from the Cygames’ upcoming hack-and-slash title, Project Awakening for the PS4. He showcases Game Hollywood’s sponsored ad using the footage from Project Awakening and puts up next to Dragon Awaken‘s actual gameplay, revealing that not only did they lift the footage from another game in their sponsored post but the real game looks nothing like the ad.
On the left, an ACTUAL mobile ad…. and on the right… the real game.
Can we just nuke the mobile market at this point? What do you even call advertising this false? pic.twitter.com/9IC3dLWZvC
— Upper Echelon Gaming (@UE_UpperEchelon) May 24, 2019
For reference, you can see what the original Project Awakening trailer looks like over on the official Project Awakening website, where they have hi-res screenshots and the teaser trailer available for viewing. Alternatively you can check out the original teaser trailer below.
For comparison’s sake you can check out the trailer for Dragon Awaken below, featuring the actual in-game play.
There’s a pretty stark difference between both games, and it seemed like Proficient City and Game Hollywood figured they could lure gamers in with an ad featuring Cygames’ title due to how dynamic and visually stunning it looks.
But that isn’t the first time that they’ve done this.
If you head over to the YouTube page for Dragon Awaken you’ll note that they uploaded two CGI promotional trailers for the game on December 29th, 2017. The two trailers probably look awfully familiar to people once they take a look at the visuals. Check them out for yourself below (and in case they get removed or deleted, there are Bitchute backups of the first CGI trailer here and the second CGI trailer here).
If they look familiar to you it’s because those two clips were low-res snippets taken from Capcom’s initial announcement trailer for Monster Hunter: World.
The original trailer debuted back during E3 2017. Specifically the trailer was made available on June 12th, 2017, a full six months before Game Hollywood and Proficient City reused the footage in their two promo trailers for Dragon Awaken.
For further clarification, the lifted footage is not used on the official website nor on the Steam store page for Dragon Awaken. So far they’ve limited their use of this footage to promotional ads on their YouTube channel and for sponsored posts.
After being alerted to the alleged plagiarism, I did attempt to reach out to Proficient City about the issue. You can’t directly contact the company from their official website without first registering for their game, though. So I attempted to fish around for a press contact.
However, the PR contact for Proficient City is no longer reachable, so I attempted to reach out to their parent company in Hong Kong, Game Hollywood, to ask about the footage of Monster Hunter: World and Project Awakening being used in the promotional ads for Dragon Awaken. If they choose to respond I’ll update the article with their response.
(Thanks for the news tip Lyle)