The trailer for the upcoming sci-fi brawler Aeon Must Die! has been taken down from YouTube following a copyright claim from animator Arsen Shakhbabyan.
Originally shown during the August 2020 State of Play, the trailer was re-released by the game’s publisher Focus Home Interactive last month. Shakhbabyan, who worked on the trailer as animator, had his lawyer file the copyright claim to take the video down.
When Aeon Must Die!, developed by Limestone Games, was first announced back in 2020, eight Limestone Games employees resigned, accusing the executive team of creating “unbearable work conditions.” The former devs also claimed that the company and the entire IP “were covertly taken from the founder.” As for the announcement trailer, they said it violates the rights of artists who were outsourced without a contract and who were not paid for their work. At the time, Limestone Games denied transgressions alleged by its former employees.
When the trailer re-emerged last month along with the game’s release date announcement, the former devs reiterated that the IP remained disputed, while last month’s announcement trailer continued to violate the rights of the artists who created it.
“I was very angry, they had the audacity (or lack of brains) to upload the same trailer to YouTube, without any changes and new fragments, as well as delete comments from any people who write the truth about them,” Shakhbabyan told Eurogamer.
In the meantime, the former Limestone Games developers are now working on a game called Immortal at a new studio called Mishura Games. The remainder of Limestone Games and Focus Home continue to develop Aeon Must Die! with the intention of releasing it later this year.