Suspicious NFT game found nicking art from indies vanishes from Twitter

A fantasy adventurer looks out over a mountainous landscape
(Image credit: Humble Games)

Epic Hero Battles, an NFT game that was trying to shift 10,000 randomly generated heroes, has all but wiped itself off the internet after indie developer Dan Hindes accused it of stealing art from his game, Wildfire.

Appearing over the weekend, EHB is another crypto game that, while not quite ready for launch, was already offering to sell procgen wizards and sidekicks as NFTs in its planned hero-battling duels (or, more likely, to resell on crypto markets). But as Hindes quickly noticed, there was something awfully familiar about the key art used on the game's site.

"Love to see the thing you've put the singular most amount of effort into in your life get appropriated for a techbro-born planet-destroying pyramid scheme," Hindes wrote in a follow-up tweet.

In response, the EHB developer wrote that it was an honest mistake, saying it forgot to check the art sourced from its web dev and that it wouldn't happen again. Unfortunately, the incident alerted other artists who found EHB had nicked pixel art for its development roadmap and twitter header (via Kotaku). Epic Hero Battles has since deleted its Twitter account—and while its website is still active, it's been stripped of all art assets.

The shamelessness of Epic Hero Battles' theft speaks to a truth behind the bulk of NFT projects—that for all their talk of empowering artists, the crypto community is more than happy to steal from them, even scraping images off Twitter in attempts to make some (fake, online) cash. It's a handy reminder that NFTs are an environmentally damnable scheme that doesn't offer safety or security to artists, only the potential of profit for those willing to exploit creators.

That said, it's not only crypto folks who are guilty of stealing art. Anyone else remember this Ford dealership's less-than-legitimate tie-in with wilderness walking sim Firewatch?

Natalie Clayton
Features Producer

20 years ago, Nat played Jet Set Radio Future for the first time, and she's not stopped thinking about games since. Joining PC Gamer in 2020, she comes from three years of freelance reporting at Rock Paper Shotgun, Waypoint, VG247 and more. Embedded in the European indie scene and a part-time game developer herself, Nat is always looking for a new curiosity to scream about—whether it's the next best indie darling, or simply someone modding a Scotmid into Black Mesa. She also unofficially appears in Apex Legends under the pseudonym Horizon.