Call of Duty publisher Activision recently removed a game from Steam for allegedly using stolen Black Ops 3 assets.
After the dinosaur themed action game The Orion Project was yanked down, David Prassel – the developer behind the project – released a post on the game’s Steam forums, asking people to rise up and protest the DMCA takedown.
Unfortunately, it seems Prassel jumped the gun a bit. He has since updated his post, after receiving evidence 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. 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.
The similarities between the two games’ assets were first brought up by NeoGAF user Low-G. They then put together a comparison image, which you can see below.
Prassel put this unfortunate incident down to the fact that his company, Trek Industries, hires developers who live in different time zones and work different hours of the day as a result.
He argued that because he works on Orion full time, he doesn’t play other games and never has a chance to cross-check freelancer’s work.
To be fair to him, you’d hope the people you hired weren’t in the business of pinching assets in the first place.
This isn’t the first time that Orion has been hit with accusations of theft though. Prassel himself has admitted to a few instances, including pilfered audio from Counter Strike, and artwork from another dino game; Primal Carnage.
Prassel did take full responsibility though:
I used Google images for things we were referencing, such as Turok. I understand looking back this was wrong, and once it was brought up to us it was immediately removed.
Prassel ended the post by promising to replace the stolen assets with original work. Orion is now back on Steam, so I’d imagine he’s done just that.
Ewan Moore is a journalist at UNILAD Gaming who still quite hasn’t gotten out of his mid 00’s emo phase. After graduating from the University of Portsmouth in 2015 with a BA in Journalism & Media Studies (thanks for asking), he went on to do some freelance words for various places, including Kotaku, Den of Geek, and TheSixthAxis, before landing a full time gig at UNILAD in 2016.