Ex-professional football star Edgar Davids has won a lawsuit against League of Legends developers Riot Games over their Striker Lucian skin, which Davids has alleged is based on his likeness.
The skin is a purchasable cosmetic item that players can purchase in League of Legends for Riot Points, the League of Legend currency purchased for real money. The striker certainly has a resemblance to Davids, even wearing the orange goggles that are Davids’ signature, worn due to his glaucoma.
Riot mounted a defence stating that League of Legends players would be more likely to recognise the character of Lucian than the former Dutch footballer Edgar Davids. However the court ruled against this, and now Riot will have to pay Davids compensation.
How much is still to be determined, but Riot will now have to reveal how much money the Striker Lucian skin earnt in the Netherlands, before a percentage is marked out to go to Davids as compensation for the use of his likeness. This could be quite a substantial fee, seeing as League of Legends is a free to play game and most of Riot’s cash comes from these microtransactions.
The company made £1.2b last year in revenues. If any other skins in the company’s library are inspired by real people, you could expect to see some minor redesigns. Once bitten, twice shy, as the adage goes.