As if Hi-Rez studios needed more Overwatch clone accusations chucked their way, right? Anyway, it turns out that recently released artwork for Paladins Strike, mobile edition of the co-op shooter, straight up rips off Blizzard's Overwatch.
Hi-Rez Studios' official explanation is that the artwork in question was made overseas and not for Paladins, but its mobile version Paladins Strike. As such, the company didn't really oversee the process properly, which gave way to such a blunder.
Many users suggest that the image was simply a placeholder, meant to be replaced later during development or whatnot, only to be overlooked later. What you may not see from the image we've assembled is that Hi-Rez's version has been slightly rotated, which is a common trick to try and fool Google's image recognition. We're not sure what to think about this.
To make matters even worse, a menu from Paladins Strike is yet another obvious rip off, although not of Overwatch but of Blizzard's MOBA Heroes of the Storm. As you can see yourself, these aren't just similarities.
To be fair, Hi-Rez apologised and said they take the matter very seriously, claiming it has been a learning process in quality control. They thanked the community for noticing it too, which is perfectly understandable considering the potential for furious backlash from Blizzard.
In response, Hi-Rez announced a "shift" in how they'll be handling splash art, so as to ensure Paladins get a more unique feel to them. They said they'll be going for 2d images, which will "expand the world and lore of Paladins a bit".
It's pretty unfortunate for Hi-Rez Studios though, because just when it seemed as if the Paladins vs. Overwatch debate was subsiding, they had to once again. We just wonder why they choose to be inspired by Overwatch at all when developing their mobile game, seeing as how they surely don't lack the creativity to make their own stuff.
You've beat Blizzard to the mobile table and even saw them steal Brigitte - how about you start insisting on doing your own thing Hi-Rez? You're good at it when you do.