Call of Duty drops Operator skin amid plagiarism claims

Heidi Nicholas - August 1st 2022

Call of Duty: Warzone and Call of Duty: Vanguard have had the Loyal Samoyed Operator skin removed, along with all imagery of the humanoid canine after it was accused of being a plagiarised character. [updated]

Update: Activision has now removed the Loyal Samoyed skin from both Call of Duty: Warzone and Call of Duty: Vanguard. In a statement sent to Polygon, the developer and publisher said: “We have the utmost respect for creativity and content creation. We love the Loyal Samoyed, but regrettably, we erred in our process and have removed this imagery from the game. We apologize for the misstep.”

Original: As noted by Polygon, Raven's initial blog banner (shown below, and captured by Sail Lin) showed an image of the Loyal Samoyed skin for operator Kim Tae Young. Sail Lin has since shared an image of their own artwork and said that Activision had plagiarised it.

Activision accused of plagiarism

Sail Lin's piece was shared to ArtStation in 2019, while Raven Software published a blog post including images of the Loyal Samoyed last week — also noted by Polygon is the fact that it seems that Raven Software's blog has since been updated and the images removed.

Sail Lin's initial tweet noted that they were disappointed "to see my work being plagiarised by a big company like Activision," and they'd reached out to Activision to find out more. Since then, Sail Lin has tweeted to say that Activision has now contacted them — while we're not told any specifics, they do say that they "hope to have a result as soon as possible."

We'll update this story when we learn more.