**UPDATE: May 22, 2018**
Well, that didn’t take long…
Hi-Rez Studios has reportedly severed ties with the overseas contractor responsible for using Overwatch’s map loading screen in some of Paladins Strike’s promotional skin art. According to a piece published by Kotaku earlier today, Paladins brand manager Alex Cantatore relayed to them via email that after a (admittedly short) investigation, they’ve let the contractor in question go.
“We are very disappointed that a contractor for our mobile hero shooter, Paladins Strike, made use of artwork from another game in the splash art for our Covert Ops Lex skin. Unfortunately as this piece came from what was previously a trusted outsourcer, it did not go through a full internal review cycle at Hi-Rez and made it to the public.”
**Original Post: May 21, 2018**
Hi-Rez Studios learned an important lesson this weekend: pay attention to everything that’s going into one of your games — even if you’ve shopped the work out to someone else. (And yes, before I get started… I know we’re covering another mobile game today.)
Yesterday, an Overwatch player posted an image of some splash art in Hi-Rez’s mobile game Paladins Strike on Reddit, comparing it to Overwatch’s Lijiang Tower. To be honest, no comparison was needed, because other than some blur and the addition of the Paladins Strike logo and a character in the foreground, it’s literally the same piece.
Of course, someone crossposted the comparison to the Paladins subreddit, and the game’s Art Director was immediately on the case. According to their post, the artwork was something they had done by an “overseas partner studio,” and Hi-Rez apparently trusted them enough to be (really) lax on their oversight of the project — meaning the piece got into the game without anyone looking at it closely.
It’s a messed up situation to be sure. On the one hand. You should be able to trust people you’re paying to create something for you to not steal from someone else in order to do it. On the other, you probably shouldn’t trust them that much and do some cross checks before using what they give you. … Just to be safe.
It does seem Hi-Rez has learned their lesson, if the response on Reddit is anything to go by, as it promised a “shift” in how splash art is handled, allowing them to “control content creation,” resulting in higher quality work at the same time.