Activision is yet again being accused of stealing content. A couple of days ago, the Call of Duty publisher released the new Doomsayer skin into Vanguard and Warzone. However, some have accused Activision of plagiarizing the skin, noting its similarities to the work of a former employee, Robert Bowling.
Bowling was not impressed by the new skin reveal. He posted a Tweet that reads: “At least name it after me,” showing his clear disapproval. Bowling previously worked as both Infinity Ward’s creative strategist and community manager. He is currently working on Deadrop alongside former Sledgehammer Games community manager Guy “Dr. Disrespect” Beahm.
Very quickly, people began to post about the similarities between the new Doomsayer skin and Variant Four Zero Two from Deadrop. The Deadrop character was first shown in an announcement tweet back in July, well over a month before the Call of Duty skin released.
Activision has yet to comment on the accusations, and depending on the community reaction it may not need to. Although there are a lot of similarities between the skin and Variant Four Zero Two, they are not identical. The Doomsayer skin has a different shaped hood, less pronounced armor, and a completely different face. It does appear as though inspiration was taken from Deadrop, but we’ll see if that’s enough to pass as plagiarism.
The Doomsayer skin is not the first time Activision has come under fire for plagiarism. Just a few weeks ago, the Samoyed Call of Duty skin was revealed and quickly became the topic of a plagiarism case. In that instance, the design very clearly looked like art from Saillin5, an independent artist. Activision apologized for the incident and removed any reference to the skin from its promotional material. This incident isn’t as obvious, and unlike the Samoyed skin, the Doomsayer skin is already available in-game for players to purchase. This could make it more difficult for Activision to backtrack.
At least name it after me.
— Robert Bowling (@fourzerotwo) August 16, 2022