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Shadowverse Apologizes For Taking Magic: The Gathering Art

Illustration for article titled iShadowverse/i Apologizes For Taking iMagic: The Gathering/i Art
Image: Cygames, Wizards of the Coast, LiangZimou

Similarities between a new Shadowverse illustration and an older Magic the Gathering card had fans wondering about artistic infringement. Today, the makers of Shadowverse issued an apology, explaining that the art in their new Holy Purebomb card was indeed taken from Magic the Gathering.

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It’s easy to see the similarities.

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Here is the Shadowverse Team’s official statement:

A Report on Holy Purebomb’s Illustration

On March 9 Holy Purebomb, a card from the upcoming Dawnbreak, Nightedge card set, was revealed on a Taiwanese web program and the official Shadowverse Twitter account. Our investigation has revealed that a part of the card’s illustration was taken from another company’s content. Please allow us to express our sincerest apologies to players and all other parties involved, and also apologize for the amount of time it’s taken us to issue this report.

A detailed explanation of the issue is as follows:

On March 9, the new card Holy Purebomb was revealed on the Taiwanese web program Shadowverse School and the official Shadowverse Twitter account. Viewers then alerted us that a part of the card’s illustration was nearly identical to a card in Wizards of the Coast’s game Magic: The Gathering.

Upon conducting an internal investigation, we confirmed that a part of Holy Purebomb’s artwork had, in fact, been taken from another illustration.

CAUSE

Some Shadowverse cards are produced with the help of commissioned illustrators from outside our company. The card in question, Holy Purebomb, was produced by an external commissioned illustrator.

In a discussion with the card’s illustrator, we were able to verify that another company’s content was used in the production process. Ideally we would have been able to recognize the fact when the artwork was delivered to us, but we regretfully made the artwork public without noticing.

We believe that one major reason that this issue occurred is because the artwork was not adequately checked upon delivery.

GOING FORWARD

We are currently revising the illustration for the card, Holy Purebomb. To our knowledge there are no other cards that violate IP rights or make use of content from other companies. If any come to light, we will respond appropriately and give a detailed report like this one.

We will also notify in-house and external staff members to make a careful decision on whether legal clearance is necessary during the production process, and then act accordingly if and when it is. In addition, we will strengthen our delivery confirmation procedures and work toward the prevention of any future issues.

Shadowverse Team

Originally from Texas, Ashcraft has called Osaka home since 2001. He has authored six books, including most recently, The Japanese Sake Bible.

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DISCUSSION

Im more curious as to what they could have legitimately done to prevent this. If no one on their staff had seen the original image before then it’d be pretty difficult to spot plagiarism unless the artwork looks nothing like the artist’s previous work. In that case, you’d still have a hard time locating the original if you don’t recognize it.