Red Dead Redemption Fan Finds Shoe Company Using John Marston on its Branding

It’s not at all uncommon to see promotional tie-ins between real-world brands and video games these days. However, finding a legendary character like Red Dead Redemption‘s John Marston being used to sell shoes is something out of the ordinary.

Red Dead Redemption is perhaps the most well-known game franchise set in the old west. It would make sense, then, for a tie-in to the series to sell cowboy and western-styled gear, but it’s highly unlikely that this particular connection is a legitimate one.


Shared on the Red Dead Redemption subreddit by Ancient-Mix1988, a photograph taken in a western clothing store reveals an image of John Marston, hat and head tipped down, prominently emblazoned on the side of a shoebox. No official branding tied in to Red Dead Redemption or Rockstar Games can be seen, as makes sense, considering there’s no way that this is a legitimate branding partnership.

While the exact brand and type of shoe is unclear, the original poster says the shoes originated from Mexico. Those in the comments discussed how this likely happened, pointing out that it’s plausible that a graphic designer simply searched for a cowboy or outlaw and settled upon this image. It may have been believed that Marston wouldn’t be recognizable, and thus it would be safe to use the image. The picture is notably even flipped, possibly in a further effort to obscure its origins. However, it’s still a violation of copyright law, and one that could get the shoe brand in trouble if Rockstar Games or parent company Take-Two learns of it.

Rockstar Games itself is no stranger to interesting advertisement and product tie-ins with its games. The Grand Theft Auto series has seen the release of things like a brass knuckle GTA 3 mug. Rockstar itself also sells a pair of candles based off of Red Dead Redemption, shaped like a barrel and stick of dynamite from the games. Most notably, a clothing line for Red Dead Redemption 2 was released to celebrate the game in the past, featuring items like shirts, bags, and a jacket. However, with MSRP starting at $75 and rising as high as $325, it’s clear that if the brand did have a tie-in with a real boot company, they would very likely be quite expensive, and probably not sold in a general western clothing store.

Video game characters and designs have been utilized by third-party groups for ages, and not always with permission. As time goes on and the medium continues to prosper, it’s likely that more will continue to crop up. However, as games continue to generate massive profits, pursuing legal action against items like these also become more likely. Perhaps Rockstar will consider releasing its own brand of boots when Red Dead Redemption 3 launches.

Red Dead Redemption 2 is available now on PC, PS4, Stadia, and Xbox One.

Source: Gamerant

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