An optional skin for League of Legends character Lucian has been deemed by a court to bear a likeness to Dutch former footballer, Edgar Davids.
As reported by Dutch outlet, Het Parool, and translated by PC Gamer, Davids brought the case to court over the use and monetisation of the Striker skin, which representatives believed to bear a resemblance to the former Tottenham, Juventus and Barnet forward. The character even mentions in his bio that he is a fan of sports, namely soccer (football). Developer Riot Games argued that the likeness was not as clear cut as Davids believed.
However, this was countered by social media. A former Riot QA analyst named Baconhawk (at the time, tweeting as RiotBaconhawk) tweeted on June 4th, 2014: "For all you wondering, Striker Lucian was inspired by soccer pro Edgar Davids." The judge awarded the case to Davids, who will receive compensation.
The compensation will be based on sales of the Lucian Striker skin that must now be disclosed to auditors. This is not the first time that a video game likeness suit has been successful.
In 2014, EA was forced to pay millions in compensation to former NCAA college athletes for use of their likeness in the NCAA branded sports games developed by the company. Other lawsuits that have been less successful include Lindsay Lohan’s dispute with Grand Theft Auto V developer Rockstar Games and former dictator of Panama, Miguel Noriega who filed a case against Call of Duty Black Ops II publisher Activision Blizzard.