Call of Duty: Modern Warfare introduced a new character in 2019, an operator named Mara. A writer and photographer is alleging that Activision Blizzard modeled Mara after his character, Cade Janus. The full complaint was first reported on Polygon and can be viewed online, and alleges that Activision copied an original character from defendant Clayton Haugen's short story November Renaissance. The character, named Cade Janus, is a female soldier. Haugen had hired a Twitch streamer and model named Alex Zedra in 2017 to model Janus. Interestingly, Alex Zedra was also used as the model for Mara in 2019 for Call of Duty: Modern Warfare’s first season.
Activision Blizzard allegedly knew what they were doing
The writer’s lawyers claimed that the copying of Janus to create Mara "was deliberate, intentional, and comprehensive." The lawsuit also says that Activision used Haugen's photographs "as guides" for Mara’s images and hired the same talent (Zedra) to portray Mara. “In addition to hiring the same talent, they also hired the same makeup professional who had prepared the talent for Haugen’s Cade Janus Photographs,” lawyers wrote in the complaint.
“They instructed the makeup professional to prepare the talent exactly as she had done for Haugen’s Cade Janus Photographs. They instructed her to style the talent’s hair exactly as she had done for Haugen’s Cade Janus photographs, even using the same hairpiece extension.”
The character Mara, alongside another character named Nikto, was added to Call of Duty: Modern Warfare in 2019. The character was available as part of the Call of Duty: Modern Warfare season one battle pass, which was available originally for 1,000 COD points, or around $10. Since her release in Modern Warfare, Mara was also introduced to Call of Duty: Mobile in Season 9 The Hunt.