Breaking down the latest CS:GO skins controversy
The Revolution case caused a stir with its eye-catching skins, driving player numbers through the roof. However, the excitement was short-lived as some of the skins became the subject of heated discussions. Accusations on Twitter claimed that the artists behind the M4A4 | Temukau and AWP | Doodle Lore stole the artworks, which made Valve take action by removing the AWP skin and replacing it with the AWP | Duality.
This incident surely raised questions about the integrity of skin design in CS:GO, harking back to the infamous Howl and Griffin from years ago.
The First Accusations
It all started when Danidem, a well-known artist in the community, tweeted about the M4A4 | Temukau being stolen, providing strong evidence to support his claims.
The evidence was not focused on the M4A4 but on other skins within the same collection that were submitted to the workshop.
It doesn’t take a sharp eye to notice the spot-on similarities; however, The artist f0rnez replied by saying:
”I have clearly not copied straight up. I have collected inspiration YES. But I also have the original HAND drawing of the artwork on the M4A4 | Temukau. I have a degree in Graphic design and I know copying artwork is NOT okay, it looks similar yes, but it is NOT the same”.
The debate over the stolen artwork in the M4A4 | Temukau continued to rage on, with each side supplying more evidence to support their claims. However, despite the mounting evidence, the situation remains unclear, and a question mark hangs over the artwork's origin since Valve has yet to take any action against it.
Confirmed and Changed
The AWP | Doodle Lore faced the same accusations but with a different twist. The artwork wasn’t simply copied and changed but rather stolen detail for detail.
vexx, the original artist, confirmed that it was indeed his artwork, and Jimmba stole it without any attempts of hiding or even slightly changing the design, which made filing for a DMCA a possibility, according to Danidem.
Before this update, the AWP | Doodle Lore owners were concerned about the skin's future. While some thought it would get contraband like the M4A4 Howl, many well-known skins enthusiasts rejected that idea and predicted it would likely change to something else. That came into reality after Valve had no option but to change the skin and present the new AWP | Duality in their latest update.
It’s worth mentioning that this isn’t Jimmba’s first skin in-game but his MAC-10 | Monkeyflage was added as part of the Recoil Case back in July.
With all this drama, it’s expected that Valve might take extra precautions when adding community skins in the future, as stolen art has been a recurring issue ever since the M4A4 | Howl. For example, the M4A4 | Griffin, which in 2014 was the subject of a copyright strike. Each time Valve has redesigned the skin itself to avoid any further issues. However, as this becomes more prevalent, Valve’s responsibility to stop it becomes more serious. At present, the company is clearly not doing enough to stop these skins from making it into the game. With the kind of money involved in the best CS:GO skins, Valve must ensure that due diligence is completed before skins are added. It’s a situation that could put great artists off designing skins for CS:GO, which would be terrible for players.
This is a reminder of the importance of creativity and originality in skin design. As the popularity of skins continues to grow, developers need to ensure that their designs are not only visually appealing but also ethically sound and their own work.