Elder Scrolls Online developer ZeniMax Online is in contact with a fan artist who claims the studio used their work without their consent.
In a recent Tumblr post, Relan Daevath said they were "shocked" to find art they had shared three years ago had apparently become an Elder Scrolls Online cosmetic, available for purchase from the in-game Crown Store, which accepts real-life money. The complaint made its way to Reddit, where a user going by BluntieDK created a comparison image showing that the cosmetic seemed to have been copy-pasted from Daevath's art with virtually zero changes:
"Well I know that all rights to the characters belong to Zenimax etc. But using someone's fanart through copy-paste without notifying the author is also not very nice," Daevath said. "I would be flattered by such an assessment of my work if I were asked. But I wasn't..."
A day after the artist called out ZeniMax Online on Twitter, the developer responded and said they're working on a solution. Daevath also confirmed today that they had received communication from the studio.
"We are aware of the situation with the ESO Fan Artist," reads a tweet from the official Elder Scrolls Online Twitter account. "It was never our intention to include any community fan art without proper credit. We are in contact with the artist and will work with them to make sure that there is a proper resolution."
It's disappointing to see an artist's work be used without proper accreditation, but it's also encouraging to see the folks at ZeniMax Online move quickly to resolve the situation. We'll update this story as we learn more about how the studio plans to make things right and avoid a similar situation in the future.