Activision has removed a Call of Duty: Warzone and Call of Duty: Vanguard operator skin after being accused of plagiarizm.
The publisher had been promoting the release of an upcoming cosmetic called “Loyal Samoyed” that would let players turn Warzone and Vanguard character Kim Tae Young into a giant, fluffy dog.
As noted by Polygonthe skin was due to launch as part of season four of Warzonebut promotional images showcasing the cosmetic landed developer Raven and publisher Activision in hot water when they began to circulate.
After spotting the marketing promo, concept artist Sail Lin called out Activision on Twitter for allegedly copying a piece of artwork called Samoye Medical they published on Artstation around two years ago.
“I am the original artist that the upcoming Call of Duty: Vanguard Samoyed skin was plagiarized from. I only just found out at the time of the announcement that my work was plagiarized. Even though I am also a Call of Duty player, I am very disappointed to see my work being plagiarized by a big company like Activision in this way,” wrote Lin.
“I have reached out to Activision for an explanation and/or compensation, and hopefully the situation with be settled soon. As an individual artist, I can only do so much, and I have to speak out about this to stop things like this happening again in the future.”
Lin also attached an image to his statement highlighting various similarities between his original artwork (on the left) and the promotional images for the Loyal Samoyed skin.
After Lin went public with his findings, Activision and Raven removed images referencing the Loyal Samoyed skin from its website. Shortly after, Activision issued an apology that suggested some of its own internal policies had been broken during the creation of the cosmetic.
“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,” it wrote in a statement sent to Polygon.
It remains unclear, however, exactly how the company “erred” in its process and what, if any, compensation Lin received.