NFT Game Caught Misappropriating Art On Multiple Occasions, Quits Social Media
By Mikelle Leow, 16 Sep 2021
Screenshot via Epic Hero Battles
With the non-fungible token (NFT) market gaining precedence, there have been growing concerns of art theft also being on the rise. One video game whose gameplay largely involves purchasing NFT art mirrors all these fears.
According to Kotaku, players of the blockchain-based Epic Hero Battles would first have to purchase a randomized character design and a pet as an avatar, out of 10,000 variations, to go into battle.
It goes without saying that, when you pay for art, it usually comes with the assurance that it’s an original piece. However, Twitter users have stated that the pets in the imagery seem to have hailed from elsewhere.
Even more alarming, less care was given on the Epic Hero Battles website and social media accounts, which appeared to have used the artwork of others without consent.
It was Dan Hindes, creator of platform game Wildfire, who pointed out that the background used in the Epic Hero Battles homepage was identical to the one in his promotional visual. The appropriation was so blatant, he said it was “personal.”
OK NFTs you've made this personal now pic.twitter.com/Q7aKeGhMxT— Dan Hindes 🔥 Wildfire Out Now 🔥 (@dhindes) September 11, 2021
Shortly after, the makers of Epic Hero Battles removed the background and issued an apologetic statement, writing, “Hi guys! I want to tell you about the art that was used on the site. We got it from the web dev, but we didn’t check it, our mistake. This won’t happen again, honestly.”
Only thing, it did happen again. Kotaku notes that one background from the site is originally from pixel artist Boki Boki, while another was downloaded from the blog of Tumblr user thankingtheacademy.
After being called out, Epic Hero Battles epically removed its Twitter account. It also tore off all the artwork from its site, leaving behind a plain sea of gray. Click here to see what it looks like now, and here to take a look at what it was like before.
They even changed their roster gif (notably only removing the sprites that they were explicitly and publicly told were stolen) to this humiliating shit pic.twitter.com/weZ11Cgvrq— The D-Pad (@downrightdpad) September 12, 2021
[via Kotaku, images via various sources]
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