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.

32 Comments

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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nickb1980

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why is it just the artest like no one else knew about it seems to me like there just throwing somone under the bus to save themselfs

this is a veary shady componey . and yes my spelling is bad

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Noctbane

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Maybe if companies actually stop trying to be cheap and hire actual competent professional designers/developers who understand the difference between copying and being influenced by design...this wouldn't be a problem but can't pass up that good ole $5/hr overseas wage. The greed is real.

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KarlvonBahnhof

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@noctbane: Activion rip off scenes and graphic design from the movie for decades and nobody ever cared .

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maitkarro

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@noctbane: Good point, but One Punch Man was entirely drawn by freelancers, well by various different artists even in a single episode.

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ArabrockermanX

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As others have pointed out, it can happen when you're outsourcing this kind of work... Of course I believe others have pointed out that they rarely try to correct it and that there's other shady business going on as well...

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Redsyrup

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Edited By Redsyrup

Couldn't help but think of this quote from Picasso: "Good artists copy great artists steal". Leaves speculation as to where do we find true originality?

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almatha

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that is such BULL. you guys need to do your homework if you had BOTHERED to read any of the reddit posts users have pointed out that this shady company has KNOWN they have done this.........thank God activision finally made them take the game down. seriously they should sue them. they KNEW they KNEW the assets were stolen they were POINTED OUT and yet they did NOTHING about it.

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ello432

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Edited By ello432

These Orion Devs are the worst in the industry. That twice now they have been caught using other high profile games assets. Then the Dev when on to say the DMCA take down was unfair because that they didn't infringe on the DMCA and that they broke other laws and should have been a court case not a DMCA take down was extremely dumb. Then because this all happened in a Steam sale to recoup the money lost they have started a kickstarter and donated their goal amount to themselves. So now no matter what they can say they had a successful kickstarter and wont have to refund any money if they don't make their goal because they donated the goal anyways. They have also been guilty of banning users on steam and deleting reviews and negative comments and taking games down with poor reviews and reuploading them under new names to have a fresh start. This Dev is scum I hope activation drags them through the coals

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Zerofrust

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Thieving basterds.

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deactivated-57dad3185020b

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Doesn't Call of Duty have everything stolen from Pokemon and World of Warcraft? How do they sue others

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ethanm1834

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@doflamingogt: I..Don't understand where you are going with that comment.

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Belz

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@doflamingogt: what??!

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ExoticCharm

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While I don't approve of stealing assets like this, I can't get over the irony of the publisher for Call of Duty suing someone for being unoriginal.

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BeantownSean

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@ExoticCharm:

Being "unoriginal" is one thing, this appears to be flat out plagiary...not the same.

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deactivated-5a3920d6b9003

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Generic assets should be free for everyone. The DMCA law is limiting game developement.

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Pelezinho777

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That feeling when Call of duty sues you...

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LouiXIII

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Edited By LouiXIII

Thief...that's his favorite game lol His second fav is GTA xD

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cornbredx

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Edited By cornbredx

Sounds like this guy has a history of stealing other people's work and then pretending he either didn't know it is wrong (ya, ok, I guess he's 3 years old) or blaming it on other people.

Gotta remember that name so I never buy anything related to this guy. He seems really shady.

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R4gn4r0k

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@cornbredx: "It wasn't me" - Shaggy

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ThePlantain

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@R4gn4r0k: In a recent interview, Shaggy admitted that it was actually him.

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_Silent_Jay_

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@cornbredx: It's a common thing when outsourcing, and using freelancers. It's way easier to track in other forms of software development, but game development is a whole different ballgame. Most times it's accidental, especially with shared personal folders on a server at a studio, but plagiarism does happen, especially when your freelancer lives a continent away, and they've lifted something from a property that you're unfamiliar with.

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jaoman9

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The military should shut down all of duty for using assets of their real guns.

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streamline

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@jaoman9: I think the developers have to pay the gun mfrs to use the gun's name and exact look in a game. Kind of like how Gran Turismo have to license the use of the cars in their games.

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_Silent_Jay_

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@streamline: Activision and EA have both stopped doing that, which is why they're all made up names, or historical ones, and why CoD's gone sci-fi. (Probably why DICE went WWI, too.)

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streamline

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@_Silent_Jay_: okay, but i was tying to explain to jaoman that having real guns in the call of duty games doesn't mean that it needs to be shut down by the military.

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R4gn4r0k

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Orion, the game that has changed name 2 times now.

Nothing shaddy going on there at all !

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Lord_Sesshy

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@R4gn4r0k: Well they probably got sued by Sky.TV for the name Every Man's Sky lol. Though seriously they probably had to change it because it was obviously an attempt to steal some fame from No Man's Sky.

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R4gn4r0k

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Edited By R4gn4r0k

@Lord_Sesshy: You are thinking of No Man's Sky being sued.

This game was called Orion: Dino Hunter first, then something else, now Orion: Prelude.

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Lord_Sesshy

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Edited By Lord_Sesshy

@R4gn4r0k: No I wasn't thinking of when No Man's Sky was being sued, but I was using that as the base of the joke that went completely over your head....And if you look at the pictures it was called "Every Man's Sky (An Orion Project)".

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R4gn4r0k

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@Lord_Sesshy: lol, you are right xD

That's 4 names for this project, hahahaha

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BabeNewelll

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Was last years CoD

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