Former wrestling entertainment star Booker T Huffman filed a copyright infringement suit against the publishers of the video game franchise Call of Duty, Huffman’s lawyers at Potts Law Firm announced on Wednesday. This directly affects Activision Blizzard (ATVI) as the parent company owning the title.
According to the law firm, the Call of Duty: Black Ops 4 prequel releases in 2018 depicts a character “Prophet” which allegedly bears striking similarities to comic book action hero “G.I. Bro,” a character created by Booker T based on one of his early pro-wrestling personas.
“The 2018 release Call of Duty: Black Ops 4 prequel depicts the pre-cybernetics Prophet which bears striking similarities to G.I. Bro, a special operations soldier created and copyrighted by Mr. Huffman from the Houston suburb of Friendswood,” read the statement from Potts Law Firm.
“When seen side-by-side there can be no question that this character was copied from G.I. Bro. From the hair, body type and clothing, right down to facial expressions, the similarities are too profound to be an accident,” alleged Micah Dortch of the Dallas office of the Potts Law Firm.
According to the statement, Huffman is being represented by Dortch and Houston attorney Patrick Zummo with the Law Offices of Patrick Zummo.
Booker T has dressed up as G.I. Bro in various events to promote comic books featuring the character.
“Booker T has devoted a significant amount of time and money creating and organically growing his G.I. Bro character,” added Dortch, “that entrepreneurial investment should not be erased by such a blatant act of copyright infringement by a gaming juggernaut.”
The case Booker T. Huffman v. Activision Publishing, Inc., Activision Blizzard, Inc., and Major League Gaming Corp. has been filed in the US District Court for the Eastern District of Texas.
LITIGATION HITS EARNINGS GLAM
Earlier this week, the gaming giant Activision Blizzard posted that it swung to a profit in the fourth quarter from a loss last year, on lower costs and expenses as well as a decline in income tax expense. Non-GAAP earnings soared 84% year-over-year.
Net revenue jumped 16.5%, while net bookings grew 7.6% compared to last year.
The gaming company also noted that number of developers working on Call of Duty, Candy Crush, Overwatch, Warcraft, Hearthstone and Diablo in aggregate was expected to jump about 20% over the course of 2019.
For the fourth quarter, Activision had 53 million monthly active users, growing double-digits quarter-over-quarter.
Call of Duty was the number-one selling console franchise worldwide for the year for the company, a franchise feat accomplished for nine of the last 10 years. According to the company statement, Call of Duty: Black Ops 4 sold-through more units than Call of Duty: Black Ops III, with PC units more than tripling.