WWE Hall of Famer Booker T will have a jury trial regarding the civil lawsuit he filed in February 2019 against video game publishing companies Activision Publishing, Inc., Activision Blizzard, Inc., and Major League Gaming Corporation.
In the lawsuit, which Booker T filed in the United States District Court for Eastern Division of Texas, alleges the character David “Prophet” Wilkes in the video game of Call of Duty: Black Ops 4 was based on the comic book version of his former pro wrestling persona G.I. Bro, which he used for a brief period of time during the late 1990’s in World Championship Wrestling.
Booker T noted in the lawsuit that owns the copyright to the G.I. Bro image, and that Activision began utilizing the G.I. Bro image in Call of Duty: Black Ops 4 in late 2018.
In the nine-page filing, Booker T stated the following:
“This is an action for copyright infringement. Booker T. created two comic books based on his character “G. I. Bro.” G.I Bro is a special operations action hero. Defendants published a series of multiplayer, first-person shooter games under the general title “Call of Duty.” In 2018, defendants released Call of Duty: Black Ops 4, a “prequel” to the prior videogame Call of Duty: Black Ops III. In Call of Duty: Black Ops III, one of the “specialist” characters was David “Prophet” Wilkes, who had replaced 90% of his body with “cybernetics” to enhance his fighting ability. For the “prequel,” Call of Duty: Black Ops 4, Defendants chose to depict “Prophet” as he was before he remade himself. They could have drawn him any way they wanted. But they chose to steal Booker T.’s “G. I. Bro.”
Booker T also alleges the defendants infringed on his character without permission and that he was never contacted to give permission. The lawsuit claims the video game is thought to have made over $1 billion since its initial release.
Booker T requested a jury trial and that he be awarded whatever relief is determined by the court. Jury Selection is set to begin on April 19.