It’s been a whirlwind month for Hi-Rez Studios. After finally launching their hero-based shooter Paladins out of Early Access in early May, they have come to a minor PR setback: one of their contracted art studios pretty obviously plagiarized Paladins’ heaviest competitor, Overwatch.
Seen in the gif above (created by Redditor Arcieth) you can notice the obvious artwork rip of Overwatch‘s Lijiang Tower art. Meanwhile, Hi-Rez’s artwork simply blurs the background and adds Lex in a new skin along with the game’s logo.
Obviously plagiarism this blatant wouldn’t go ignored — especially with the drama blowing up in both the Paladins and Overwatch community. With this in mind, Hi-Rez did give an initial response about where the fault lies for this slip-up. According to Hi-Rez’s Art Director:
This art was created by a overseas partner studio for paladins strike and had not much in the way of oversight in its content creation by anyone internally at Hi-Rez. We will be looking into this immediately.
Not only did they take a moment to explain the situation, but they also gave a promise to the community on increased quality control for both in-house and contracted work:
Moving forward we are well underway in a bit of a shift in how I plan to see our splash art executed to make things feel a little more unique to paladins that should hopefully allow us to control content creation better with a larger quality of output to boot, stay tuned.
There has been no official comment from Overwatch’s developer Blizzard over this situation, however DualShockers has reached out. Obviously, they are busy given they are celebrating its second anniversary with new maps and cute stop-motion cake baking videos.
Paladins is available immediately as a free-to-play game for PC, PS4, and Xbox One; meanwhile, Paladins Strike is available for mobile devices.