A pen-and-paper RPG adventure released in promotion of The Elder Scrolls Online's upcoming Elsweyr expansion has been pulled after facing accusations of plagiarism. Dungeons & Dragons writer and designer Paige Leitman, following the release of the Elder Scrolls adventure, produced substantial evidence that it had been copied from her original work, the Dungeons & Dragons adventure "The Black Road". Bethesda confirmed that it had pulled the Elsweyr adventure while it investigates the matter.
The scale of the alleged plagiarism is expansive. Leitman produced a slideshow presentation comparing selections from each text showing that while The Elder Scrolls Online adventure replaces certain words and names, it otherwise copies The Black Road sentence by sentence for its entirety. One NPC proper name is even copied verbatim between the two. Looking at the materials Leitman produced, it's very understandable that Bethesda responded so quickly to the accusations.
Bethesda has yet to follow up since it announced its investigation. What's known is that the adventure was sourced from Bethesda Netherlands, but beyond that, the responsible party will ultimately be dealt with within the company to its own standards. Leitman and Elder Scrolls fans are only waiting for the company to accept responsibility and apologize.
Leitman has yet to offer further comment, likely waiting for Bethesda's response. After producing her evidence, she was quoted as saying, "Enough fuss has been kicked up and the right people have probably noticed by now and I'm going to see what they do." They've since followed through to ensure that all availability for the The Elder Scrolls Online's Elsweyr adventure has been taken down.
It's unclear how this instance of alleged plagiarism came to be. Perhaps a Bethesda team or employee was under a deadline to produce an adventure for Elder Scrolls Online to use in its marketing, so copying another adventure seemed like a faster alternative. Whatever the reason, it's clearly an unacceptable solution. Hopefully, Bethesda doesn't just solve this issue and apologize for it, but also puts into place a system by which it can't happen again.
Meanwhile, Dungeons & Dragons RPG players might want to check out The Black Road adventure. Perhaps it could inspire players to make their own Dungeons & Dragons homebrew.
The Elder Scrolls Online is available now on PC, PS4, and Xbox One.
Source: Ars Technica