A prominent tattoo artist is suing 2K Games, the minds behind the popular NBA 2K video game series, for using his tattoo designs without permission. According to TMZ, James Hayden is claiming ownership of several tattoo designs that appear in the game: A tattoo of LeBron’s mother’s name which reads "Gloria,” another that says "Lion Design,” and the stars on the King’s shoulder.
“I’ve worked with LeBron and a lot of different athletes throughout my years as a tattoo artist. I’ve been doing about this 20 years now. Those are my dudes,” the 42-year-old told Complex. “There’s levels to it, how these games are using images...they’re kinda overstepping a lot of boundaries. It’s our work.”
He went on: “They’re almost like stealing in a way, taking your art and just saying, ‘Hey, this is ours now, we are going to do what we want to do with it,' regardless of who you are and what you’re doing.”
The attention to detail in NBA 2K17 is so precise, anyone can clearly view the tattoos that show up on the players. The game sold more than 8.5 million copies, according to Venture Beat.