It hasn't been a good day for gaming company Activision Blizzard. The company laid off hundreds of employees Tuesday, Kotaku reported. And now, Activision has been sued by a retired professional wrestler.
Booker Huffman, the man who wrestled as Booker T, has filed a complaint against the company, claiming they included a character similar to his "G.I. Bro" alter ego in Call of Duty: Black Ops 4, The Verge reported Tuesday.
The Black Ops character, David "Prophet" Wilkes, bears features similar to G.I. Bro, a character created by Huffman during his wrestling career. Booker first wrestled as G.I. Bro in independent wrestling circles in the early 1990s, and later resurrected the persona in World Championship Wrestling, when he was part of a wrestling stable called Misfits in Action, and all of the members used military-themed gimmicks.
Booker T went on to create comic books based on the G.I. Bro character, including one called G. I. Bro and the Dragon of Death. Black Ops 4 was released last October.
In the complaint, which was uploaded to Scribd, Huffman states that "in creating his wrestling personality and the stories for his performances in the ring, Booker T. realized that he could create characters and stories beyond professional wrestling. He conceived a character like his wrestling personality who would be a retired special operations soldier, fighting an old enemy he thought he had finished off years before, with the support of his military friends."Furthermore, Huffman argues that the gaming company infringed on the G.I. Bro copyrights in creating David "Prophet" Wilkes, and that Huffman is therefore entitled to relief.
The suit was filed in U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Texas, as that is where Huffman lives, and he believes the company has done business and committed infringment in that state.
Booker T began his wrestling career in the 1980s, first becoming prominent as part of the tag team Harlem Heat, which consisted of Booker and his brother, Lash "Stevie Ray" Huffman. The two used that moniker despite coming from Houston and not Harlem.
As he mentions in the lawsuit, Booker T was a five-time world heavyweight champion in WCW, and went on to win the WWE's world heavyweight championship once, after he moved to WWE as part of the infamous "Invasion" storyline in 2001. Booker, who eventually transitioned into commentating and general managing roles, was inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame in 2013.