Hi-Rez Studios has gotten into a little trouble as eagle-eyed Reddit users noticed that it used art assets from Overwatch in one of its promotions.
A lot has been made of Paladins‘ similarity to Overwatch. The comparison between the two titles is easy to see even at a cursory glance. Several characters around the start of the game certainly looked like analogues for Overwatch heroes. At the same time, the game has gone forward to forge its own identity and decent community, with the comparison to Blizzard’s title feeling a little further away as the game has evolved.
That’s why stories like this won’t help. Paladins Strike is a mobile spin-off of the game that came out at the end of last year, and it is getting out there with ads. Unfortunately, as spotted by Reddit user Arcieth, one of those ads has seemingly stolen art from Overwatch. The background, while blurred in the ad is unmistakably from Overwatch‘s Lijiang Tower map. You can see the similarity here:
Hi-Rez responded to the realisation saying:
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.
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.
Like I said, Paladins has actually done a decent job of becoming its own experience and being a cool free-to-play team-based arena shooter. These kinds of associations will inevitably bring a little controversy to the title.