Bungie credits artist whose fan art was mistakenly used in Destiny 2: The Witch Queen trailer

Destiny 2: The Witch Queen
(Image credit: Bungie)

The newest Destiny 2: The Witch Queen trailer accidentally used a bit of fan art that one artist posted nearly a year ago. 

As Twitter user Zyron Kai flagged over the weekend, one of the many jump cuts on the wall of evidence shown in the trailer features an image of Xivu Arath, the Hive god of war, which artist Mal E posted on Twitter back on October 30, 2020. It's been gussied up a bit for the trailer, but the resemblance is uncanny. You can see it for yourself around the 42 second mark, though only for a brief moment. 

Mal E responded to their art's reappearance shortly after it was noticed, agreeing with the popular theory that it was probably a mistake that slipped through production without being updated, and jokingly celebrating that their art was good enough to make it into a trailer despite not winning a fan art showcase. 

Destiny community manager Cozmo followed up on the situation today. "There was a mix-up when creating this post and @relay314's art was accidentally used," he confirmed. "We have reached out to them and got permission to use their work and are now crediting them for this awesome community depiction of Xivu Arath."

Even before this resolution, Mal E repeatedly stressed that they didn't feel Bungie used their art intentionally or maliciously, at one point tweeting that "I can’t for the life of me imagine something so blatant as this is anything but a weird mistake," and swiftly adding that it is important to flag situations like this when they come up – as they occasionally do in this industry. But especially now that Bungie's formally reached out, it's clear there's no bad blood on either side.

The big Witch Queen interview: Bungie on making Savathun Destiny 2's best villain yet and turning seasons into gripping TV shows. 

Austin Wood

Austin freelanced for the likes of PC Gamer, Eurogamer, IGN, Sports Illustrated, and more while finishing his journalism degree, and he's been with GamesRadar+ since 2019. They've yet to realize that his position as a senior writer is just a cover up for his career-spanning Destiny column, and he's kept the ruse going with a focus on news and the occasional feature, all while playing as many roguelikes as possible.