We’ve all done it before. You need a picture for a function or presentation, you head to Google and find the perfect image. But it has a big watermark on it. Not that it will be used for profit or seen by thousands of people, so it can be good.
The stakes are a little different when it comes to the £50 game from the best-selling international franchise. And unfortunately for someone at Square Enix, that job was Crisis Core Final Fantasy 7 Reunion.
Shortly after the game’s release yesterday, the eagle-eyed writers at Kotaku noticed a Getty Images watermark on one of the in-game images.
The picture in question can be found in chapter eight where you visit Shinra Manor. It is used not once, but three times on the wall. Kotaku did some searching on Getty Images itself and found that the image matches a Fleet Street preview of Ludgate Circus, London, 1881 by John Crowther. The in-game image has been tweaked to match the abandoned nature of the housing, but the watermark is clear if you zoom in far enough.
According to the Design and Artists’ Copyright Society, paintings enter the public domain in the UK 70 years after the artist’s death, but reproductions of the painting can be copyrighted. In this case, the particular reproduction used in the reunion is from Getty, and you may need to purchase a license to reuse their image. The licensed version will remove the watermark. Oops.
Embedding from Getty Images
The image can be folded by Square Enix at some point, so if you want to see it for yourself, you can find it in Shinra Manor at the end of the game. If you’re not already playing Reunion, we recommend that you do. In his review, Ed likes the game’s smaller scale, a trailer from its original debut on PSP, and what Zack’s reintroduction means for Final Fantasy 7 Remake Part Two.