Activision is back from its bullshit, and by that I mean the massive game publisher is once again suspected of taking ideas from outside artwork to create the skins it sells in. Call of Duty: Vanguard and war zone. This time it seems that the company was directly inspired by a skin made by an ex-Codfish employee who in the coming supposed Duty killer Deaddropwhich is being developed by Herschel “DrDisrespect” Beahm’s studio Midnight Society. Speaking of Sue.
Forefront and war zone began its fourth season, Mercenaries of Fortune, with the usual gear: new Operators like Carver Butcher from 2017’s WWII, additional weapons, some map changes, and a new event that spawns zombies continuously, among other things. Mixed in season 4 are some more skins for different operators from both games, including one, as we reported last week, that was clearly ripped off from another artist’s concept art. After pulling that skin, Activision apologized in a statement to polygoncalled the plagiarism a “misstep” and said it has “the utmost respect for creativity and content creation.”
Read more: Activision pulls cute but stolen Duty Skin, apologizes for ‘misstep’
Unfortunately, it seems that “greatest respect” for the content creator community is turning out to be unfounded. Robert “vierzerotwo” Bowlinga former creative strategist at Infinity Ward and now studio head of Midnight Society, began sharing art for a skin he made for a soldier in the upcoming game Deaddrop.
The skin has a nice sci-fi aesthetic, with an ice blue holomask, a black hooded cape or cloak, and what looks like some sort of mecha bullet armor. It really does look like a palette swap for GR-74/Jack, the player’s character in the first person slasher Ghostrunner. That is, although the design itself is not so original, the “Doomsayer” skin Activision started selling this week in the Duty save for the Shadow faction Operator Shigenori Ota seems far too close to Bowling’s creation to be a coincidence.
The similarities are eerie. Sure, the Duty skin has a more pronounced blue, looks a little more electric than ghostly, but you can’t deny that the two are eerily similar. From the blue mask to the black hood to the mecha body armor, it seems very likely that the… Forefront and war zone developers were at least “inspired” by Bowling.
Bowling told Kotaku that he has nothing more to add his recent tweet regret that Activision and Infinity Ward “at least” [named] it after me.”
“I found out about this as my mentions came up from our community and tagged me in their replies,” Bowling told Kotaku. He then sent a photo of a legendary layer Duty sniper rifle called ‘Corporate Theft’. Wild.
Kotaku has contacted Activision for comment.
It is unclear whether Activision, which has become widely known for its ongoing legal troubleswill move to show the clear similarity between the new Duty skin and Bowling Deaddrop work.