The firm behind NBA Houston Rockets player John Wall’s NFT may have blatantly stolen from one of the popular online game Fortnite’s backgrounds.
On Sept. 21, Wall announced that he would produce a line of “Baby Baller” non-fungible tokens, to raise $100,000 for charity and the “Ballers community.” However, social media fans were quick to remark that the background appeared to be ripped from Fortnite after he provided a glimpse of the tokenized artwork on Twitter.
The image, which can be found in Epic Games’ Fortnite season 5, depicts a basketball court next to a building surrounded by coconut trees. Many others thought Wall’s preview artwork, which featured one of the Baby Ballers on the court spinning a basketball on his finger, was a lame attempt to get into the NFC game.
John, why is the background of your NFT ripped directly from a Fortnite screenshot? pic.twitter.com/tgcV8XeYaq— themariokarters.eth (@themariokarters) September 22, 2021
“If you’re putting a 600 ETH ($1.7 million) valuation on your project, you might want to make sure all your art is unique,” said Twitter user hotlneblng_.
If you have tons of money yet you still steal your NFT’s background from Fortnite, you really NGMI lmao— fxnction (@0x_fxnction) September 22, 2021
“Celebrity cash-grabs like this John Wall NFT coming out show that these celebs think they can take from the community,” said 0x_fxnction. “Celebs really think they can come into an industry they know nothing about, never interact with the community, then launch a scam project they’ll abandon in 3 months?”
The alleged plagiarism of art in the crypto realm by Wall’s NFT creation is not the first time such an allegation has been made. Dan Hindes, the designer of the indie game Wildfire, accused the team behind Epic Hero Battles — which he described as “10K animated NFTs fighting in a never-ending battle” — of stealing his artwork earlier this month.
After garnering widespread attention on the internet, Hindes later stated that the game had been deleted from the internet, with the company blaming a “web developer” for the purported error.
Individual authors are not the only ones who engage in the activity of copying. Many have attacked Solana and Polygon for duplicating CryptoPunks and rebranding them as SolPunks and PolygonPunks, respectively, as a result of their actions.
According to reports, certain NFT marketplaces have taken down the NFT artwork in response to a campaign stating that users would be misled about whether or not the punks were real.