×

‘Elder Scrolls’ Tabletop Game Pulled, Facing Plagiarism Accusation

Bethesda pulled a tabletop RPG game based on “Elder Scrolls Online” on Wednesday after concerns were raised that the adventure was plagiarized, as reported by Ars Technica.

“We have pulled a previously shared [“Elder Scrolls Online”] tabletop RPG adventure while we investigate the source,” Bethesda shared via Facebook. “Thank you to those who reached out with concerns.”

The tabletop game’s writing is incredibly similar to a Dungeons & Dragons adventure published by Wizards of the Coast, which was written by Paige Leitman and Ben Heisler.

Leitman shared her concerns that the Elsweyr adventure was plagiarized from her co-created work in a Facebook post which has since been removed.

“Hey, ‘The Elder Scrolls Online,’ would you please let your legal team know?” Leitman wrote in the post, according to Ars Technica. “This is REALLY not cool.”

The full files are archived on Ars Technica’s website, including side-by-side comparisons. Overall, it’s definitely too close to be coincidence, as it appears to have been patchwritten, with mostly words swapped out or sentences slightly adjusted.

At least one character name was exactly the same: A “Chandra Stol,” which is a priestess character in The Black Road. For comparison, there is a priest named “Chandra Stol” in the Elsweyr game.

Popular on Variety

Even without that example, though, just reading the scenarios and descriptions for the two adventures show plenty of similarities.

Here’s a sample from the introduction of the D&D adventure, The Black Road:

“There’s nothing like the desert to make people feel small and insignificant. In every direction, huge dunes roll across the landscape, and an even bigger sky looms above. The oasis of Vuerthyl is a motley collection of sun-bleached tents in the vast Anauroch desert.”

For comparison, here is a segment from the Elsweyr adventure intro— note that several names and adjectives have changed, but the sentence structure is still largely intact:

“Nothing beats the desert to make people feel small and unimportant. In every direction enormous dunes roll across the landscape, and an even larger empty air skies above it. The oasis on the border between Cyrodiil and Elsweyr is a colorful collection of sun-drenched tents in the vast desert of Elsweyr.”

Bethesda did not immediately respond to Variety’s request for comment.

“Elder Scrolls Online” is getting an expansion of the same name, Elsweyr, soon.

More Gaming

  • Call of Duty The Campaign

    Watch the First Episode of New Call of Duty League Docuseries 'The Campaign' (EXCLUSIVE)

    Even a new league comes with history. That’s one of the takeaways from the first episode of “The Campaign,” which follows the Chicago Huntsmen in the lead-up to Activision Blizzard’s new franchised Call of Duty League. Variety is debuting the first episode exclusively, which details some of the narrative that follows the Huntsmen (based in [...]

  • Vindex - Imax

    Imax Jumps Into Esports in Exclusive Pact With Startup Vindex

    Hold on to your popcorn: An Imax location near you could soon be beaming live competitive video-game action onto its big screens. Imax has inked a partnership with Vindex (vindex.gg), an esports infrastructure startup formed by Major League Gaming co-founders Mike Sepso and Sundance DiGiovanni, under which Vindex will create esports events and experiences exclusively [...]

  • Corinna Kopf

    Corinna Kopf Leaving Twitch to Stream Exclusively on Facebook Gaming

    The battle for gaming creators has cost Amazon’s Twitch another notable streamer: Corinna Kopf, a popular Instagram model, digital influencer and “Fortnite” Twitch streamer with millions of followers, is moving to Facebook Gaming under an exclusive agreement. On Facebook, Kopf’s first stream is scheduled to take place Dec. 30 at 4 p.m. PT at facebook.com/gaming/corinnakopff. [...]

  • Pokemon-Tower-Battle

    Facebook Launches Two Exclusive Pokémon Games

    A pair of Pokémon games is hopping exclusively to Facebook. The social network on Monday launched “Pokémon Tower Battle” and “Pokémon Medallion Battle” — the first time the Pokémon Company is bringing games based on the mini-monster franchise to the Facebook Gaming platform. “Pokémon Tower Battle” is available worldwide while “Pokémon Medallion Battle” is initially [...]

  • Littlstar Ps4 app

    Littlstar Adds Content From Whistle, New Form, Sliver.tv to VR and PlayStation Subscription Service

    UPDATED: A+E Networks-backed video aggregator Littlstar has teamed up with Whistle, New Form, esports network Sliver.tv and others to launch premium content channels for its paying subscribers. The new partnerships will bring esports and other types of short-form content to the PlayStation and VR devices supported by Littlstar. The new partnerships will give Littlstar subscribers [...]

  • Google Stadia Gets Typhoon Studios Game

    Google Buys Typhoon Studios for Its Stadia Cloud Gaming Service

    Google is looking to grow the catalog of its Stadia cloud gaming service: The search giant has acquired Montreal-based game studio Typhon Studios, and will integrate it into its Stadia Games and Entertainment studio. “We’re always looking for people who share our passion and vision for the future of gaming,” said Stadia Games and Entertainment [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content