A property developers who used a screenshot from computer game SimCity and pretended it was their new real estate project have offered a humiliating apology after being outed.
The Dubai Metro City project by developer Visionary Property was billed at this year’s CityScape property event in Dubai, a city in northern United Arab Emirates, as a "futuristic urban hub combining business, retail, residential and visitor attractions and facilities".
Covering over 20 million square feet, the "unique, eco-aware and designer city" promised to house over 40,000 residents by its completion in 2017, and would have more than 20 5-star hotels.
But a keen-eyed industry professional noticed that the images used by the firm were actually screenshots from the popular computer game SimCity.
Chairman of Dubai Metro City, Abdul Al Turk, released a statement backtracking on his earlier statement that the company had worked with "the world’s most renowned architects" in preparing the images, and admitted that all the images were from the computer game.
He added: "But we’re still determined to make this iconic project a reality should anyone be interested in investing."
In SimCity, players are given the task of founding and developing a city, while maintaining the happiness of the citizens and keeping a stable budget.
Players start from an undeveloped greenfield, cars are the default form of transportation, earthquakes happen, zoning separates residential, commercial, and industrial land uses, and one can enact policies such as declaring one's city a nuclear free zone.