Activision Took Down a Steam Game for Stealing Call of Duty Assets

The artist responsible for the stolen Call of Duty assets has been fired from production on Orion.


Earlier this week, Call of Duty publisher Activision removed a game from Steam because it featured allegedly stolen Black Ops 3 gun assets. This was brought to light shortly after, when Orion developer David Prassel released a post on the game's Steam forums, asking people to rise up and protest the DMCA takedown. However, Prassel has since updated the post, saying that he got proof from Activison which made the stolen assets "immediately apparent."

"Last night I received evidence directly from Activision regarding assets not even mentioned in public yet," Prassel explained. "Upon receiving this, it became immediately apparent that blatant rips were made. While the artist offered to remake any assets at no cost, he has now been fired immediately upon learning this. This will slightly affect production, and I will get into that later."

Comparison image | Courtesy: Low-G on NeoGAF
Comparison image | Courtesy: Low-G on NeoGAF

The similarities between the two games' assets were first made apparent by NeoGAF user Low-G, who shared a comparison image of the guns. Prassel and some of the community were under the assumption that these comparisons were the only infractions until Prassel received the aforementioned evidence from Activision.

Prassel said this occurred because his company, Trek Industries, hires remote developers who live in different time zones and work different hours of the day. He added that he doesn't design the weapons and can't cross-check freelancers' work with every other game: "I don't get to play other games, I am working on this full time," he wrote.

This isn't the only time this has happened with Orion, either. Prassel himself notes four instances where stolen assets were used in the game, including art from armor from Natural Selection 2; artwork from Primal Carnage, another dinosaur shooter; audio from Counter-Strike; and achievement images, which Prassel took responsibility for.

"This is my [censored] image design, of which I used Google images for things we were referencing, such as Turok," he said. "I understand looking back this was wrong, and once it was brought up to us it was immediately removed."

Prassel ended the post, saying the team needed to "bunker down" and work on replacing the stolen assets. It seems like they have, as Orion is now back on Steam.

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