Call of Duty has been attempting to go down the Fortnite cross-IP rabbit hole with a series of licensed promotions, adding famous characters as operators in the game. We’ve previously seen John McClane, Judge Dredd and Rambo, but now we’ve veered into anime territory with a new Attack on Titan bundle, coinciding with the release of that show’s final batch of episodes.

While some of the items in the Attack on Titan bundle are cool, one aspect of it is being roasted pretty hard by players/Attack on Titan fans, the operator itself.

At first, everyone thought it was simply a bad, live-action version of Levi Ackerman, one of the most well-known human heroes from the show. But Call of Duty clarified the Vanguard operator was instead existing operator Daniel Yatsu dressed up as Levi, complete with his little scarf and his signature haircut.

It…doesn’t look great:

Fans have dubbed this “cosplay Levi,” given the dress-up concept, and it shows that games like Call of Duty have a hard time integrating a wider variety of crossover IPs into their game, unlike Fortnite. Fortnite has no grounded “realism” style to stick with. When it introduces animated characters like Rick Sanchez or the cast of Naruto, they appear more or less exactly as they do in their own series. It’s easy to imagine an Attack on Titan crossover in Fortnite that would have had more show-accurate versions of the characters appear.

I also wonder if Fortnite has to enter bidding wars for these kinds of crossovers against Call of Duty, Epic versus Activision to see who can add Judge Dredd or Levi to their game, while the contract stipulates the other can’t. I can only think of one time where a licensed IP may come to both games, as it’s currently rumored Captain America may show up in Vanguard at one point.

Anime fans are even more protective over their own favorites than most, so the Levi skin is especially attention-grabbing, in a bad way, for Vanguard. But Activision seems determined to keep doing these. Scream, Donnie Darko, Jigsaw. We’ve gone some weird places already, and there does not seem to be an end in sight.

Fortnite ends up doing this much more often, and its list of licensed IP crossovers is absolutely bursting these days with a new one every other week or so. I don’t know if Call of Duty will try to modify the Levi “costume” skin in some way to make it less cursed, but that horse may have already left the barn.

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Pick up my sci-fi novels the Herokiller series and The Earthborn Trilogy.





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