Activision invoked DMCA law to remove Steam game that stole assets from Call of Duty

After receiving proof of the theft, Orion's director fired the artist responsible... but not before uncovering more stolen assets.


After discovering that Orion contained stolen assets from Call of Duty: Black Ops 3, Activision had the game removed from Steam (via GameSpot). The kicker: Orion director David Prassel seemed unaware of the theft.

Prassel made a post on Orion's Steam forums asking fans to rally behind the company and oppose the DMCA takedown. Activision reached out to him with definitive proof that Orion had purloined Call of Duty assets.

"Last night I received evidence directly from Activision regarding assets not even mentioned in public yet. 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."

NeoGAF user Low-G was the first to point out similarities between certain assets, such as Black Ops 3's M8A7 and Orion's copycat gun. While the body of Orion's weapon held some distinctions, the top section was overtly similar.

In his post, Prassel explained that he overlooked the duplicity because his company hires freelancers, and he isn't able to cross-check and verify every asset they turn in due to their varying schedules.

More troubling for Orion, Prassel's digging turned out several more instances of stolen assets. "We are shutting down social media. I don't find the results from when it's positive large enough, and when it gets bad it's just horrible. We really need to bunker down to catch up on what was removed and we just want to focus on the game."

Further updates on this and other Orion issues will be published on

Long Reads Editor

David L. Craddock writes fiction, nonfiction, and grocery lists. He is the author of the Stay Awhile and Listen series, and the Gairden Chronicles series of fantasy novels for young adults. Outside of writing, he enjoys playing Mario, Zelda, and Dark Souls games, and will be happy to discuss at length the myriad reasons why Dark Souls 2 is the best in the series. Follow him online at and @davidlcraddock.

From The Chatty
    • reply
      June 30, 2016 4:48 PM

      So every Call of Duty game afterwards?

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      June 30, 2016 7:58 PM

      This is how DMCA is supposed to work - right?

      And lol at not reviewing assets from freelancers. Clearly a high ethics shop right there.

      • reply
        July 1, 2016 11:17 AM

        It's fine that they don't have time, but it's not going to change the outcomes of these types of things. Better find a way to make time

    • reply
      June 30, 2016 10:52 PM

      We talking copy-paste duplication, or very similar but not identical geometry and style?

      • reply
        June 30, 2016 10:59 PM

        It's copy and paste. Like a lot.

      • reply
        July 1, 2016 1:25 AM

        somewhere between those two.

      • reply
        July 1, 2016 6:55 AM

        We had a thread a day or two on it. There were links to a big reddit post where someone dissected how they did it.

        One of the shotguns used parts from 3 or 4 different COD:BLOPS3 guns and put them together to make something that wasn't a perfect copy of the BLOPS3 shotgun, but you could easily tell it was copied parts. Too much fine detail was precisely the same, and these are fantasy guns, not some real world gun even if they were realistic-ish looking. Way too much detail was precisely equal to be any sort of coincidence.

        So at least on that point they looked like they ripped models right out of game files. A few other items looked like copy rips, where they just used source material and remodeled them.

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          July 1, 2016 7:57 AM

          What I don't get is why they copied guns from that game. The gun models were by far the weakest part of the game. All of them looked like taking a modern day gun and slapping 10 pounds of metal onto it.

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        July 1, 2016 7:11 AM

        Basically they took a bunch of COD blops3 guns, took pieces off each model, and then made new guns out of the pieces, then retextured them.

        Initial glance is that the guns don't look alike at all, but when you break down the parts of the Blops3 guns you notice that the Orion gun parts are basically identical to the point where it couldn't have been accidental.

    • reply
      July 1, 2016 2:01 AM

      ArenaNet / Guild Wars has a similar problem going on ATM also. Chinese pro hockey team KHL are under investigation for stealing a GW2 asset:

      Their logo:
      Guild Wars 2 logo:

    • reply
      July 1, 2016 5:07 AM

      Just as bad was the list of stolen achievement pictures.

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      July 1, 2016 6:35 AM

      It isn't just game models but some games have been lifting textures/Art from existing games. Naughty Dog was caught lifting a few assets from Assassin's Creed Black Flag for use in Uncharted 4 trailer.

    • reply
      July 1, 2016 11:23 PM