Yesterday, Blizzard officially confirmed that Overwatch hero 27 is Brigitte Lindholm, a support and tank character who also happens to be Torbjörn’s daughter. But while most Overwatch fans were delighted with the reveal of the character and are excited to get a chance to play as her, one game developer took to social media to raise questions about Brigitte’s design.
On Twitter, Stew Chisam, the president of Hi-Rez Studios, the developer of Paladins: Champions of the Realm, highlighted the similarities between Brigitte and a Paladins character named Ash. Ash and Brigitte’s designs do indeed look very similar; both women are clad in bulky, angular armor that includes the same shapes (the chest plates are both pointy, for example), both have stern expressions, and both women wield huge weapons too.
The two women also have similar abilities. In Paladins, Ash has abilities such as Shoulder Bash which can knock back her opponents, while in Overwatch, Brigitte has a move called Shield Bash which performs a similar function. Both characters have shield-based abilities (Ash has Siege Shield, Brigitte has Barrier Shield) and both have abilities that increase their movement too (Brigitte has Rally, Ash has Assert Dominance). The similarities are stark, whether they are just a coincidence or not.
Quick poll: If I happened to notice and point out any similarities between these two characters, would that make me the Pot calling the Kettle black, or the Kettle calling the Pot black? This will keep me up tonight unless I get a clear answer. pic.twitter.com/rt9j3NT0S0
— HiRezStew (@schisam) March 1, 2018
It should be noted that when Chisam raised the point on Twitter, the developer was doing so in a funny way and this isn’t a serious accusation of plagiarism. Chisam asked Twitter if this is a case of the pot calling the kettle black, in reference to the suggestion that Paladins itself copies Overwatch.
In the replies to Chisam’s tweet, Andee Cantatore, a public relations specialist at Hi-Rez Studios seemed to jokingly reference the saying that people in glass houses shouldn’t throw stones, as if to say that it’s ironic that Chisam is making the point about similarities between the two games.
As noted by Chisam in another follow-up tweet, the comparisons were made as a “comment on the absurdity of modernist life as a game designer in the post-TF2, post-DOTA era,” rather than being a thinly veiled insult. While there are games that have directly cloned Overwatch and its character designs, the situation between Paladins and Overwatch is less about being a rip-off and more that game designers play the same games, take the same courses, and follow the same trends and this is reflected in their work.