January 20, 2021
Players with a keen eye will note that a recognizable feature of New York City’s skyline is missing from the new blockbuster video game “Marvel’s Spider-Man: Miles Morales”.
As reported by gamesradar, the famous Chrysler Building was excluded from the game’s detailed replication of New York City due to copyright issues. Players will instead find a nondescript rectangular office building in its place on Lexington Avenue. A representative from Insomniac, the game’s developer, reportedly stated that they “wanted to include as many landmarks as [they] could to add to the sense of immersion”, but the Chrysler Building represented an instance in which copyright negotiations simply “didn’t work out”.
Structures that have uniquely artistic architecture may receive some form of copyright protection. Once a building is protected by copyright, its likeness can no longer be freely used without first obtaining approval from the owner of the copyright (usually the building’s owner).
In this case, Insomniac entered into negotiations with SIGNA Group and RFR Holding LLC, the co-owners of the Chrysler Building, in an effort to have the building depicted in its game, but was unable to reach an agreement in advance of the game’s release.
Authors: Larissa Fulop and Sasha Seeber