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Fans Think The Walking Dead Blatantly Ripped Off Resident Evil

The "Resident Evil" franchise has been going strong for 25 years now, and it's only natural that a few imitators have risen in response to its success. What fans of the undead-blasting survival horror series didn't expect, though, was that another prominent zombie franchise would apparently try to rip off its advertising.

A sponsored ad for mobile game "The Walking Dead: Survivors" has been circulating on Instagram and causing fans of "Resident Evil" to do a violent double-take. In a post that has gained a ton of traction in the last few days, Twitter user @uwebollocks has shared a side-by-side comparison of the "Survivors" ad and the front cover for 2019's "Resident Evil 2" remake. Regarding the image, @uwebollocks wrote, "This isn't even 'wow this is similar' they literally just overlayed characters on the 'RE2' cover."

The image appears to be exactly the same, only with the characters from "The Walking Dead: Survivors" literally pasted over Leon Kennedy and Claire Redfield. As pointed out by historian Kevin M. Kruse in the comments, Claire's gun and part of her hand can be clearly seen beneath those of the female character pasted over her.

One of the theories concerning the creation of this ad is that it may have been a placeholder for the developers to test out what kinds of imagery fans were more likely to click on. Whatever the reasoning behind the ad was, it seems to have made it into the wild before it was intended. 

Fans are divided by this bizarre Walking Dead ad

Fans were taken off guard by the new ad, with many being shocked by the blatant copy and others trying to explain away its existence. One person was convinced that the ad shared by @uwebollocks was a funny fake, and shared some official artwork from "The Walking Dead: Survivors." Shortly thereafter, the same Twitter user discovered that the Instagram ad was indeed real, and said that they were "absolutely baffled."

There has been some debate over whether or not Capcom could sue over the ad. Of course, some members of the fanbase might find such a lawsuit to be deeply ironic, considering the fact that Capcom is currently in legal hot water for allegedly using a photographer's assets in its games at length.

Other gaming fans have remarked that this is far from the first time that a video game advertisement has been little more than a re-skin of existing promotional material. For instance, as pointed out by one commenter, the original NES cover art for "Contra" featured characters seemingly modeled after Arnold Schwarzenegger, Sylvester Stallone, and a Xenomorph from the "Alien" franchise.

According to a report by TheGamer, the ad has been removed from Instagram. While the ad itself may be no more, the jokes and confusion surrounding it will live on, shambling through Twitter like an oddly hilarious zombie.