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Stellaris mobile beta pulled offline over stolen Halo artwork

Stellaris: Galaxy Command is down on launch day

A phone with Stellaris: Galaxy Command on the screen Paradox Interactive
Nicole Carpenter is a senior reporter specializing in investigative features about labor issues in the game industry, as well as the business and culture of games.

Mobile game Stellaris: Galaxy Command has been pulled offline after players found Halo 4 artwork in the game.

Stellaris: Galaxy Command is a mobile iteration on space strategy game Stellaris, which launched in 2016 for Windows PC and in 2019 on console from developer Paradox Interactive. Stellaris is often heralded for its single-player experiences — but Stellaris: Galaxy Command is centered on the multiplayer experience. The limited beta launched today on iOS and Android in Australia, Canada, New Zealand, and Sweden — but the game was taken off the platforms in less than a day. The mobile game was developed by Gamebear and published by Paradox.

Players found Halo 4 artwork originally created by 343 Industries technical art director Kenny Kagnusson. The art features a number of iconic Halo franchise vehicles, including its Scorpion tanks and Warthogs, clearly emblazoned with the UNSC logo — the United Nations Space Command. Stellaris: Galaxy Command appears to overlay a character model over the image of Halo 4’s vehicles, as seen in screenshots posted to Reddit.

“We have learned that artwork inside Stellaris: Galaxy Command was taken from another source,” publisher Paradox wrote from the game’s official Twitter account. “We are immediately removing this content from the game and we are deeply sorry to our fans and to the affected creators.”

Paradox is doing a “full content sweep” to check the game for further issues.

The Stellaris: Galaxy Command team declined further comment beyond its tweeted statement. There is no timeline for the beta’s return.

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