The Elder Scrolls Online accused of plagiarising artist’s work

The Elder Scrolls Online accused of plagiarising artist’s work
Bethesda | Twitter - Daevath

Written by 

Joseph Kime


12th Apr 2023 11:41

We imagine that there's a lot that goes into making a Bethesda game. The game studio has offered some pretty intense gaming experiences that span huge swathes of lands, packed with monsters, humans, weapons, and dungeons alike.

It makes you wonder - how exactly can Bethesda make titles of this scale in good time? The short answer is, it's not that easy, as recurring delays to Starfield have proved. Now blame is turning to the team, as The Elder Scrolls Online is accused of using artist's work without so much as asking nicely.

Bethesda pinches artist's work without credit for ESO

One artist made some fantastic fan art for The Elder Scrolls back in 2020, and they've now taken to social media to reveal that they think they've noticed that same art in the game itself, presented without consent or payment.

Artist Daevath has shared a look at a side-by-side of how the work appeared on character models in the game. It simply looks like a tribal-style tattoo at first look, but closer inspection shows that the art on the characters' bodies looks very similar.

"I know that all rights to the characters belong to Zenimax etc, but using someone's fanart through copy-paste without notifying the author is also not very nice," they say in response to a tweet in the replies. " I would be flattered by such an assessment of my work if I were asked. But I wasn't…"

ESO responds to claims of plagiarism


This tweet quickly circled the internet and brought it to the attention of Bethesda itself, which has released a short statement about the issue on Twitter.

"We are aware of the situation with the ESO Fan Artist," a tweet from the ESO account reads. "It was never our intention to include any community fan art without proper credit. We are in contact with the artist and will work with them to make sure that there is a proper resolution."

Thankfully, it sounds like some sort of agreement is in the works, and hopefully, the artist will be reimbursed for the supposedly stolen work. Come on Bethesda, you're better than that.

Joseph Kime is the Senior Trending News Journalist for GGRecon from Devon, UK. Before graduating from MarJon University with a degree in Journalism, he started writing music reviews for his own website before writing for the likes of FANDOM, Zavvi and The Digital Fix. He is host of the Big Screen Book Club podcast, and author of Building A Universe, a book that chronicles the history of superhero movies. His favourite games include DOOM (2016), Celeste and Pokemon Emerald.

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