Jay Tholen, creator and lead designer of the indie hit Hypnospace Outlaw, has called on Crafton for a PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds (PUBG) cosmetic bundle called Hypnospace Diva, which appears to share many similarities with his game.
For starters, both have hypnosis to their name.
Well, I guess I’ll tweet another direct quote and say it sucks that PUBG stole the name of Hypnospace to sell a flashy outfit. The color choices seem to pull from our dominant art as well. https://t.co/OIkioEHWRN pic.twitter.com/hJrMdIwvxP
— Jay Tholen (@jaytholen) 22 July 2021
Speaking to Tholen, Tholen said: “When I initially saw the image and it was titled “Hypnospace Diva”, I assumed that someone created a more feminine fan art version of the golden yellow figure in our major art. The colors, even extending to the background, match quite closely.” Tholen originally saw the image on his social media in the morning before any hypnospace outlaws got into controversy and posted the full reference.
That’s when Tholen realized it was a commercial project.
Tholen explains that hypnospace was a mash-up of hypnos, the Greek incarnation of sleep, and space – meaning place. “Hypnospace itself is a kind of geocity that you access while you sleep, so it makes sense,” Tholen said.
“The Hypnospace Diva Bundle appears to be a set of cosmetic items that you can do some sort of lootbox-y random gambling shenanigans to unlock?” Tholen says. “I’ve seen a few YouTube videos of this and it’s obviously a little confusing.”
Tholen alleges that such an association could be detrimental to a small indie studio. “As an indie developer I feel the association is potentially damaging to the reputation of my studio – there have been many people who have seen this before and assumed we had used Tencent’s name/visual style to do so. Have some sort of deal with us. Using the name of our game to effectively promote gambling is not something we want to be known for.
“I really don’t want to be connected to that world at all. The name of my game is to be inside their game, to adorn a cosmetic set. Yuck.”
We have reached out to Crafton for comment. Hypnosis Outlaws is now available.