Tattoo artist successfully sues WWE 2K wrestling games for using Randy Orton’s tattoos

RANDY Orton’s former tattoo artist has successfully sued publisher Take Two Interactive for illegally using the wrestler’s body art in the WWE 2K games.

Catherine Alexander designed and tattooed the famous wrestler’s distinctive tattoos between 2002 and 2008.

Randy Orton is one of the greatest legends in WWE.


Randy Orton is one of the greatest legends in WWE.Photo credit: Getty – Contributor

In 2009, Take Two Interactive approached Alexander to use her designs in his WWE 2K series and offered her $450 (£400).

Alexander rejected the offer and the two parties never reached an agreement.

However, the publisher chose to use the artist’s designs in the games despite not owning the rights to her artwork.

As reported by VGCRandy Orton and his body art were included in WWE 2K16, WWE 2K17 and WWE 2K18 without proper rights.

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In 2020, the courts ruled that Alexander had the legal right to damages for lost revenue for not being paid for the rights.

The judge stated, “WWE would have rejected Orton’s video game persona if she appeared without his tattoos or with tattoos that differed from Orton’s actual tattoos.”

Alexander was awarded US$3,750 (£3,300) in damages, which the jury felt was the value of the rights to her artwork.

She wasn’t entitled to a higher payout, as they decided that Take-Two probably stopped selling more copies of the game just because of using Alexander’s designs.

Although the amount awarded to Alexander is small, it sets a precedent for other tattoo artists to demand payment if their designs are to be used in games.

However, this isn’t the first time Take-Two has been taken to court for unlicensed use of tattoo art in its games.

In 2016, Solid Oak Sketches sued the company for using tattoo art that appeared on the in-game models for Lebron James, Kenyon Martin, and Eric Bledsoe.

In this case, the court ruled in favor of Take-Two because the publisher had paid the NBA for the rights to the player’s likeness.

The judge ruled that in this case the player’s likenesses contained their body art designs.

It seems that such cases have to be judged on a case-by-case basis.

Written by Georgina Young on behalf of GOOD LUCK AND HAVE FUN.

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