UPDATE — June 30: Trek Industries developer has admitted that they did in fact copy Call of Duty assets in their title and are working hard to remove it from their game.

“Last night I received evidence directly from Activision regarding assets not even mentioned in public yet,” he writes. “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.”

Their entire new statement is available here.

Original Story:

Activision filed a DMCA takedown notice against Trek Industries’ ORION video game, which has resulted in their title being removed from Steam. Orion is an open world-sci-fi shooter title, but Activision claims that company has used assets that were in Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare and Call of Duty: Black Ops 3 in their game without permission.

Activision’s request stated that they filed the notice “on behalf of Activision, who alleges that the game Orion uses weapon art content from Call of Duty: Black Ops 3 and Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare. The weapon art in question includes the M8A7 rifle, the Haymaker rifle, and the Bal-27 rifle.”

Trek Industries developer took to the Steam Community page in anger over this, but looking at comparison images…they assets look very similar…

cod_orion_comparison

Furthermore, a user on Reddit posted more comparison images, which appears to show the independent developer’s game featuring weapons with the exact same sights as Advanced Warfare and Black Ops 3.

orion_guns

The developer claims that they did not use any assets from Activision, but the similarities are hard to pass over. The developer has posted an angry comment on the Steam forum, stating that Activision is “taking away” from their revenue opportunities.

We’ve made Steam our primary platform, but this has put a definite scare into us going forward considering our entire livelihood can be pulled without a moments notice, without any warning or proper verification. I cannot even confirm that the representative from Activision is a real person as absolutely no results pop up in any of my searches.

We have worked VERY hard for many years to not only ensure our community and products were great and supported, but we made sure that we were doing a great service to Steam as a platform and programs like Early Access. This is extremely evident in any of our Product reviews.

We need everyones help and support to rectify this immediately as this erroneous claim has already costed what is a very small team a significant amount of money and we need it remedied ASAP so we can get back to work on real content, something that Activision should take note of.
#OrionNeedsYou

Activision has not issued a statement about this yet.

Valve sent the developer this full comment regarding what was happening:

*REDACTED*, on behalf of Activision, alleges that the game Orion uses weapon art content from Call of Duty: Black Ops 3 and Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare. The weapon art in question includes the M8A7 rifle, the Haymaker rifle, and the Bal-27 rifle. Use of this weapon art content without permission infringes Activision’s copyright in Call of Duty: Black Ops 3 and Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare. https://www.activision.com/games/call-of-duty/call-of-duty-black-ops-3,https://www.activision.com/games/call-of-duty/call-of-duty-advanced-warfare.

As a result, we have removed your posting from Steam.

Valve follows the procedure set forth in the Digital Millennium Copyright Act. The DMCA is a United States copyright law that governs online service provider liability in case of copyright infringement. When we receive a DMCA notice, Valve must take down allegedly infringing copyright materials; otherwise Valve could be subject to a claim of copyright infringement.

SOURCE: Steam

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98 COMMENTS

  1. I can see why Activision would see it as their own since they are VERY similar, but to ruin an indie developer over it? At least come to a bloody agreement or contact the developer first before taking action ffs -_-

    • “but to ruin an indie developer over it?”

      If it’s only a takedown, and not suing someone, it could be much worse. Also, we don’t know if Activision tried contacting them first or not. (at least according to this article)

      I mean I’m ALWAYS for the little guy, and yeah Activision is greedy AF, but “in this particular case” I feel that no matter what Activision did, they were gonna look like the bad guy because……. Well it’s Activision… *shrugs*

      • I’m just going off what we know. It could be worse, but from the statement Trek Industries has publicized, they sound in turmoil over this. Their game gets taken down which means they’re losing revenue from a game they produced, even though some assets look visually similar to Activision’s. If that was my game, I’d be devastated, confused and destroyed knowing my livelihood has gone in seconds. The gaming industry is a scary place sometimes.

        • Assuming they did copy some of the “weapon art content”, I feel as though they got what was coming to them. I dislike Activision as much as anyone, but if you “steal” content from someone, don’t expect to get away with it. If that was my game, I would try to come up with something original before even thinking about trying to copy someone else 🙂

          • That’s true. If they indeed stole property off of Activision without their consent, then karma came back on these guys. As I said they do look visually similar.

        • “they sound in turmoil over this.”

          ^ Were you expecting them to be happy?

          Listen I’m really not on either side in this particular case, but from what you just wrote with the rest of your post it seems like you’re on the indie’s side just for the sake of being on the idie’s side.

          IDK man.. It’s like you’re being the judge, jury, and executioner, against Activision before hearing the full story…

          • I’ve studied being an indie developer, pitching ideas and looking at the business side of things, so my thoughts were instantly on the developer’s side. I’m not sympathising with the devs, but I can imagine how it feels to have your game removed from the face of the earth in a matter of seconds. But from what I hear, they’ve done an act of theft before, so I no longer show pity towards them.

        • If it was my game I wouldn’t shamelessly steal another games assets and pull the victim card when I get exposed for it. Also, read up on these guys history – they are known for firing their devs and stealing many other assets from other games, such as Natural Selection 2.

  2. Activision is 100% right on this one, they copied waaaaaay to much assets from activision-created futuristic weapons & sights
    As much as I hate activision, supply drops & IW, they are right
    Since the indie developers isnt exactly harming ATVI or stealing their money, personally I wouldnt mind it if I were ATVI(unless a competitor like Battlefield or Titanfall did it), but its their call.
    END OF STORY

      • Why man?
        Activision got robbed and are perfectly in their right.
        In a few years by your logic if a someone gets robbed, you will be mad at the police because they arrested the thief

          • Nah man, IMO if it was one thing, OK fine honest mistake, but there’s MULTIPLE straight rip offs.

            Take Activision out of the equation, and look at this objectively…

          • And objectively speaking this is small petty shit. Activision is overreacting. I understand an entire game stealing Call of Duty assets, but this is, like, 3 things we’re talking about here… Has anyone played the full game?

        • That might have been funny if it wasn’t the most nonsensical and moronic thing I ever read. You tried way too hard.

          • It was a pretty casual post, actually, I think you’re the one who is trying too hard by insulting anyone who simply don’t have the exact same opinion as you. Hostility is NOT a form of intelligence, you just make yourself look like an arrogant asshole.

          • Look this is theft bc they took something that doesn’t belong to them, therefore they stole activision’s ideas and tried to play it off by changing little but not enough things about the wepons.

          • ????????????????????????????????????????

            Hostility has NOTHING to do with intelligence. No matter how hostile I am or I’m not, it doesn’t affect the point of the post or the message in it. Sounds like you just can’t stand criticism and you’re too full of yourself to think anyone but yourself is right. Hence, you’re a moron. Good job.

            Edit: I’m still laughing that you think hostility and intelligence are related. Where did you even get that from? It makes no sense. There is no logical thought that could ever bring you to that conclusion.

          • Lmao, is that what you really believe? You’re even dumber than I thought. Grow up. The fact that you always overreact and jump on someone’s nuts for simply disagreeing with you is the point, that’s a sign of ignorance. It’s funny that you talk about “logic” yet your toxicity completely disposes of such a concept. Practice what you preach.

          • You’re so stupid it’s unbelievable. I didn’t know humans came this dumb. Guess I was wrong.

            Person A: 2 + 2 = 4

            Person B: 2+ 2 = 4, you dumb goof

            Both are correct. Person B added in hostility, but he’s still correct. And just for good measure, you’re still a moron, and I am still right.

  3. I can see why they got into this mess but activision went a little too far this time. They should at least have them remove the weapons instead of completely removing their game from steam.

      • Yh true I guess they did steal a lot of weapon art from activision. Even though I still don’t like activision I guess they made the right choice this time around.

    • Maybe there’s more to the story, maybe Activision will let them put their game back up if the weapons get removed.

      That’s why I’m not on either side, I feel like there’s even more to this story before I fully take one side, but for now IMO it doesn’t look good for Trek Industries…

      • I agree. Trek Industries look like they are in deep shit. I’m not so sure on act I vision allowing them to put their game back up if they remove the guns but I think Trek Industries would be more than happy if they were willing to put it back on steam.

      • “Stole is an exaggeration. There are, like, 3 things. This is an overreaction. CoD “steals” other studios’ ideas all the time, is that excused?

          • If it’s real stolen assets from the code in these games, then I overreacted. If you or anyone else can show me that that is the case then I don’t mind admitting it.

          • “Trek Industries developer has admitted that they did in fact copy Call of Duty assets in their title and are working hard to remove it from their game.”

          • Thanks, that’s what I was looking for, I guess they wouldn’t be shut down if they didn’t carbon copy the code.

  4. While this is kind of a dick move by Activision, as a business they did reserve the right to do this. Many people overlook this sort of thing when it comes to copyrighting. And I do believe that this indie publisher is in the wrong for making these weapons look so similar. It may have been on accident, but the resemblance is there.

    • There’s NO way that all the stuff in these pictures are “accidents” most if them are exactly the same and in the same spots… Just look at the M8 at the top… Literally mostly everything is in the same spot.

    • A dick move? So, if somebody robs my home, and I press charges on the criminals, I’m a dick?

      Bottom line is that they clearly stole from Activision, and now they are paying the consequences.

  5. Let’s be real here, if Activision was a small company, would you still be hating on them for this – if so then why?

    I hate Activision myself at times, but (based on what we know up to this point) Activision is getting hated on for protecting their product. and “being real” any of you guys would have done the same thing…

  6. Don’t feel sorry for these guys. They have a history of plagiarizing game assets and the leader has fired his employees many times for no reason.

    Also all of you guys blowing this out of proportion – it’s just a takedown, not a lawsuit, so they got lucky.

  7. People are probably gonna attack Acti over this like how people attacked Ubi for revoking all those steam keys that were bought with stolen money after they returned all that money to the rightful owners. Its 100% in their right to do this.

  8. I would just like to point out that the company behind Orion is extremely shady and has been called into question multiple times including for using stolen assets. After David Prassel’s history with the modding community and having known someone who worked for the guy I do not put it past him.

    Here’s some info:

    – David Prassel, creator of Orion: Prelude recieves $20,00 from kickstarter then fires team without warning or compenstation

    -It was alleged that they used stolen assets from Natural Selection 2 and traced over concept art from Primal Carnage along with overworking employees

    – The result of the above got Spiral Studios banned from Polycount, which is pretty much the top forum for professional 3D graphic artists

    – Orion started out as a Source engine mod and had been making a push on the then new IndieDB side of ModDB with Orion Prelude but following the above took down the IndieDB page for about half a year so as to lose the negative press it was generating.

    – Praz (aka David Prassel) was somewhat infamous on ModDB for stealing borrowing other mods artwork and having public meltdowns when people called him on his BS

    – Was banned from NeoGAF for self promotion

    -Orion: Prelude named changed to Orion Dino Beatdown to lose negative press and Metacritic score

    – Had a meltdown on his own games announcement page with everything from quoting himself to screencaps of emails of him spamming game press then getting mad when one responded thinking it was a mailing list

    – Renamed the company from Spiral Studios to Trek Industries to lose the negative press the company had associated with it (Their twitter account is even still @SpiralGames)

    -David Prassel was recently threatened with a libel lawsuit. He received an application for his “Galactic Council” which made fun of the game, and it happened to frequently mention Star Citizen. Basically, he assumed the email was from a dev and publicly tried to shame them on the Steam forums.

    I do not buy David Prassels BS for one minute. Do NOT feel bad for these guys.

    • Yeah, for once Activision is actually doing the right thing by protecting its assets. Prassel should’ve known better not to fuck with big corporation..

    • but its okay if indies do it

      fuck activison for literally suing someone for taking their assets right?

      anyone who supports activison is a shill, right?

      These assmad 10 year olds attacking Activison for this is beginning to get hilarious.

    • You can’t really copyright a game mechanic unlike other sectors like animations, concept art, 3D models etc.

    • Pretty much what JB said.

      To put it in perspective with wall running, that’s kinda like saying didn’t Activision copy Doom by using the “First person point of view”, blood, guns, bullets, ETC?

      What Trek Industries did was pretty much one step below putting “Captain Price” in the game, and making him the main character…

      (& yeah I know there were earlier FPS than Doom, just using Doom as an example).

  9. tbh, it does look similar, but not the same… And the developers of Trek Industries are better than Activision lel.
    I can guarantee that the game will come back easily. Cause the weapon artist is already makin a new weapons

  10. Holy shit. This is actually disgusting. Did they really think they could get away with this? The gun shown literally looks like a combination of various BO3 gun parts. This time Activision’s act was 100% justified. You cannot even hate them for this. Those “developers” stole stuff from their games.

  11. Asset flipping and theft is rife especially with early access or fringe titles on PC. Small developers/crooks think they can get away with things and remain under the radar whilst relying on the sheer ignorance of major publishers who may not notice or even care. It’s a pretty deadly culture whereby these small devs gamble with kickstarter funds; basically someone elses money, half arse their project and just hope to rake in as much sales as quickly as possible before any poo its the fan in future. Many indie devs aim to reap a quick buck, liquidate their company and re-emerge under a new name with more stolen assets in the future. The only people that get burned are the ones who invest in the project and/or buy it when the developers even if they get sued; can just have time off and rebrand themselves for future kickstarter extortion.

  12. I like how Black Ops III’s own developer doesn’t even know that the Haymaker 12 is a shotgun and not a rifle XD.

  13. The fact that they only care about losing money and don’t like Steam for pulling their game doesn’t sit well with me and makes me side for the “Big guy” in this scenario. Great argument Orion. Spare us the pity party.

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