Booker T has lost his lawsuit against Activision. The WWE wrestler, whose full name is Booker T. Huffman, had alleged the publisher had used his character G.I. Bro as the model for Prophet in Call of Duty: Black Ops 4 without paying for licensing. According to Sportico, a court has found these claims to be unfounded and has ruled in favor of Activision.
Huffman had alleged there were too many similarities between Black Ops 4 character Prophet and his comic book character G.I. Bro. The former is a “cybernetically enhanced soldier” whose body comprises 70% technology. The latter was described as “a retired special operations soldier, fighting an old enemy he thought he had finished off years before, with the support of his old military friends” in the court filings. Despite the different descriptions, the characters do have a similar hairstyle, hat, facial expression, and pose in promotional material.
Activision had countered the allegations by claiming Huffman had exaggerated any similarities between the promotional poster and the game’s character. Their argument was that both were simply black military men standing in a “generic military pose”, something disputed by Huffman. The publisher also argued any Booker T promotional material, rights to images, and other depictions of G.I. Bro had been contracted to WWE, although Huffman countered this was only for use within pro wrestling and not for any other sectors. By this, he stated the comic book character was not licensed to WWE.
The court found in favor of Activision. E. Leon Carter from the publisher’s Trail Counsel Carter Arnett released a statement:
We are pleased with the outcome. Bottom line, to call this a frivolous case would be a massive understatement. Activision creates games with the utmost integrity and is extremely proud of everyone involved with the development and creative process for all of our games including Call of Duty: Black Ops 4, including the incredible talent like William Romeo who helped bring our vision to life. Today, the jury validated that process.
Activision was similarly sued recently for alleged copyright infringement by the Mara character in Modern Warfare and Warzone. That case is still under litigation, though Activision denies any wrongdoing.