The Overwatch League has modified an art contest based on concerns from the gaming community.
On March 30, the Overwatch League Twitter account announced that there was a fan art contest underway. The five winning submissions would win $500 and have their artwork featured on a limited product collection.
The response was largely negative, with the esports industry calling out Blizzard for not offering royalties to the winning artists. The contest was seen as a cheap way to get artists to create work without Blizzard having to put in any effort or money.
Other individuals from the gaming industry noted that Blizzard's terms and conditions for the contest allowed the company to use submitted fan art even if artists didn't win. This meant they would be able to do whatever they wanted with the artwork without having to even pay the $500.
As the backlash continued, the Overwatch League account decided to quickly updated the contest. The Overwatch League Twitter account thanked fans for coming forward with their concerns, stating that submitted art would no longer be used on any products. The contest will continue with the five winners receiving $500.
"We will work better to champion artists in the future," the account said.
The Overwatch community thanked the OWL community team for the quick response and professional handling of the backlash. The contest rules have also been updated on the official website. While the fanbase is still weary about Blizzard — for numerous reasons — the apology and swift solution to the issue was applauded.
It was still seen as fishy, however, that Blizzard was unwilling to pay royalties to the artists and instead opted to stick to the low $500 prize despite making billions in revenue in 2021.
Artists have until April 13 to submit artwork.
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