For MONTHS after the first screenshots of Warhammer Online were released there was the argument about whether WoW copied Warhammer or the other way around.
People who saw only WoW and thought Warhammer was a copy and people who claimed to know better said that it was Blizzard to have copied and pillaged Warhammer for years.
Both kinda true.
True that Blizzard didn’t invent anything. Not just in gameplay, but also the setting and its style. Copied from Game Workshop, copied from Giger. Mostly because, as it happens with many franchises, the original games were bland and with no depth. Derivative. Ultima started derivative as well. Then all games, when successful and spawning series and consolidated settings, start to acquire a personality.
But rarely they are truly original or don’t have roots somewhere.
Now the point is: WoW came before even the concept of Warhammer Online. Graphically, WoW has ITS OWN distinctive style. That people easily recognize. It’s not just a general setting style. It’s a visual style all-around. You can see at a glance if a screenshot comes from WoW. It goes FAR BEYOND being “cartoonish”. It’s WoW. Everyone recognizes it.
*Then* Mythic takes the concept of bringing Warhammer to an online version. They do have WoW under their eyes. They aren’t oblivious. They know its style. When the screenshots of Warhammer appeared on the internet they said they weren’t copying. Defended their choices saying that Warhammer came first. That Blizzard copied that style.
Now I ask you to look at this.
If the artist(s) who produced that say that they went for an original style that wasn’t trying to replicate *precisely* WoW’s style… Well, they would be some of the bigger and shameless liars in the world.
And this isn’t just about artists “taking inspiration”. This is a blatant CORPORATE MANDATE. To make Warhammer look AS CLOSE AS POSSIBLE to WoW in the hope to overlap the market and try to reach exactly that target.
I’m not saying this is a bad or unacceptable move. I’m saying they are COWARDS who won’t admit what they are doing. And it is under everyone’s eyes.