Activision Blizzard might be spending too much time at the court at this rate.
Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati, a law firm, wrote that the suit was filed in the US District Court for the Southern District of California back in November last year, but it took some time for the court to dismiss Brooks Entertainment’s suit. The company had accused Activision Blizzard of stealing the identity of the founder and the IP of their games in Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare.
The founder of Brooks Entertainment is Shon Brooks. He said Activision Blizzard created Sean Brooks in Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare based on him, adding that he believes there are similarities between Call of Duty and the studio’s games Stock Picker and Save One Bank. Both games are said to have “scripted game battle scenes [that] take place in a high fashion couture shopping centre mall”, and both characters go to Mars.
In early 2022, Activision Blizzard’s lawyer said the allegations were “both factually and legally frivolous.” Still, on July 12, the court dismissed the lawsuit with prejudice: “Plaintiff’s counsel failed to conduct a reasonable pre-filing inquiry into the relevant facts. [Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare] is a first-person shooter game, not first-and third-person as alleged, and Sean Brooks does not conduct a scripted battle scene in a high fashion couture shopping mall. Plaintiff’s counsel could have easily verified these facts before filing the factually baseless Complaint, just as the Court easily verified them within the first hour and a half of playing the game.” For these reasons, the plaintiff must reimburse the publisher for its litigation costs. So Brooks Entertainment got a slap on the wrist…
Meanwhile, Polygon reports that Activision Blizzard has removed a cosmetic skin, Loyal Samoyed, from Call of Duty: Vanguard and Call of Duty: Warzone, because the publisher took it without permission or compensation from a concept artist, Sail Lin, who has accused the publisher of justified plagiarism. The artist has published several Monster Army concepts on ArtStation, depicting various armed soldiers and police officers with animal heads.
The artist believes that one of the creations, Samoye Medical, was used to create the Loyal Samoyed skin, where the character has much the same equipment as in Lin’s work, and the head is that of a Samoyed. In a statement on ArtStation , Lin said, “Even though I am also a COD player, I am very disappointed to see my work being plagiarized by a big company like Activision in this way.”
Activision Blizzard has since removed references to the Loyal Samoyed skin from its website and social media and confirmed to Polygon that it had removed the plagiarized content: “We have the utmost respect for creativity and content creation: We love the Loyal Samoyed, but regrettably we erred in our process and have removed this imagery from the game. We apologize for the misstep.”
Maybe something should be paid to Lin, no? They have enough cash…