At first glance, Call of Duty and anime may seem like they have little to do with each other, but fans of the dark fantasy anime Goblin Slayer have noticed a disturbing similarity between a shot in the show's opening and an advertisement for a new anime-themed pack in Call of Duty: Modern Warfare. The possibility that Activision deliberately plagiarized another property has some fans agitated.
As of this writing, the State of California recently expanded the scope of the Activision Blizzard lawsuit, adding new amendments to the lawsuit filing and alleging that Activision Blizzard is attempting to interfere with the investigation. This may not be the ideal climate for a serious plaigerism issue, but a quick glance at the Notice Me IV Blueprints Item Store Bundle soon reveals that its banner image is almost identical to a frame from Goblin Slayer's opening. The two images can be overlaid near-flawlessly, with only minor perspective changes and separate color schemes to differentiate them.
The image in question is a close-up on the huge, thickly-lashed eyes of a young woman with what appears to be a large blade covering the lower half of her face. In the Goblin Slayer anime, this woman is Priestess, one of the series' main characters, which may explain why fans immediately recognized her in the anonymous woman on the banner for the Notice Me IV pack. The Call of Duty: Modern Warfare bundle gives players a poster girl who looks exactly like Priestess, with blue hair instead of blonde and a grey-blue wash over the top of her face. Not only is she not in the full game, she's also not featured in the bundle itself, which instead features several other girls with brightly colored anime aesthetics.
Twitter user @HUSK3RGAM3R soon caught on to the similarities between the two images and shared them with the internet, where they appear to have caught some attention from the Call of Duty fanbase–specifically, Call of Duty: Modern Warfare fans, who were already encouraged to pay close attention to the franchise's direction. The user went on to question if this has happened before, and it appears that this isn't the first time the franchise has come uncomfortably close to copying art. Twitter user @Nine029 shared a screenshot of a story that caught Activision Blizzard using what appear to be promotional images from Bravo Company USA and Black Powder Red Earth.
It appears that the news has been, if not well-received, then not argued against by Call of Duty fans, who appear to be as unhappy with Activision Blizzard as the company's investment group is. While some Twitter users argued that possible art theft wasn't the worst thing Activision Blizzard has been accused of, there hasn't been any real defense of the company as of writing.
Call of Duty: Modern Warfare is available now on PC, PS4, and Xbox One.