back to article Clone wars: Wrestler sues Microsoft over Gears of War character

A former football player, professional wrestler, and motivational speaker is suing Microsoft, claiming an iconic character in Redmond's Gears of War game ripped off his likeness. Lenwood "Hard Rock" Hamilton claims that he provided photos and voice recordings in 2005 for the character who would become Augustus "Cole Train" …

  1. John H Woods Silver badge

    This must be one of those infrequent occasions when a black man actually needs of a jury composed mainly of members of the "I'm not racist but they all look the same to me" brigade.

    1. Destroy All Monsters Silver badge

      What do Chinese have to do with any of this?

    2. Voland's right hand Silver badge

      What does Google picture identification algo say

      I wonder what does Google picture identification or "show similar" algo say for either.

  2. Player One

    Only thing the same, he's as dumb as a video game character

    Going by those 2 pics,

    Eyes different

    Nose different

    Ears different

    Mouth different.

    Yep, he's sure got a case there.

  3. Vimes

    At least one other case seems to suggest he'll have an uphill struggle.

    1. Sorry that handle is already taken. Silver badge

      It's possible, but something feels different about this one. That one would have had a satire defence, surely?

      Either way, other studios pay their likeness models. I can't see the game screenshot to decide for myself though.

      1. Richard 81

        ...except that he looks nothing like the game character, besides being big and black.

  4. Destroy All Monsters Silver badge

    Two muscular blacks are looking like muscular blacks. Ok.

    and a striking resemblance of both physiognomy and body build

    I actually misread this as "body fluid" at first. Weird.

  5. Anonymous Coward

    Excuse me while I try to understand this.

    He provided photos and voice recordings of himself in 2005, presumably freely and not under any form of coercion. Now he is suing because they where actually used when making the game.

    There seems to be an air-gap in the logic somewhere.

    1. AnoniMoose

      Re: Excuse me while I try to understand this.

      There seems to be an air-gap in the logic somewhere.

      Only air gap, is between his ears..

    2. Robert Carnegie Silver badge

      Re: Excuse me while I try to understand this.

      Audition material is one thing, actually having your likeness used in the product.

      Mind you, for me the graphic could be meant to be Scottish actor Robbie Coltrane with a very deep tan.

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    "voiced by actor Lester Speight"

    Erm, if you look at Lester Speight.... He's a black man who looks to have a similar build to Cole Train and also played American Football in 1983 (though apparently never made it to the NFL) before becoming a wrestler. Good luck with the lawsuit, given that most of the traits the suit is based on are shared by the guy actually playing the character.

    "Seven years later, Hamilton alleges, he again discussed playing a character, but turned it down over concerns the game would be too violent."

    Ah... there we go. It finally dawned on him that his morals cost him a lot of money, so now he wants the cash he'd have got if he worked for it. Good luck with that.

  7. frank ly

    The only black avatar in the series

    And his name is Cole Train. Which comedian thought of this? They were going to call him Token but that joke has already been done.

    1. Novex

      Re: The only black avatar in the series

      He's not actually the only black character in the series. In Gears 3 there's also Jason Stratton, a COG soldier, and Aaron Griffin, a 'civilian'. Both available as 'skins' to use in multiplayer as well as being story characters.

      Also, Gears has a history of having a number of ethnic characters around so it's not like they don't pay attention to what are increasingly inaccurately called 'minority' ethnic types.

  8. Chris Jasper


    Lester Speight looks way more like Cole Train than this guy

  9. ClubPit

    No case to answer

    Watch Speight as Terry Tate and it's obvious who is more like Cole Train

  10. Cuddles


    "third-party audio analysis that concludes Hamilton's voice is the same as the in-game voice of the character"

    Surely this is grounds for the whole thing to be thrown straight out, since it's an unarguable fact that the character does not, in fact, have Hamilton's voice?

  11. Dabooka



    Just no.

  12. Erroneous Howard

    Bad luck but....

    ....Google image search Lester Speight and literally the first image it displayed was a photo where he looks almost the spitting image of the screenshot on the article. So this guy is apparently filing a suit based on that fact that the two of them look VERY vaguely similar.

  13. earl grey

    he's just unhappy

    he missed the gravy train

  14. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Dude in the game looks and sounds like me too. Should I sue? The lawyers are the only one who will win this one.

    1. Steve Davies 3 Silver badge

      The lawyers are the only one who will win this one.

      The lawyers are the only ones who profit from civil lawsuits in the USA

      There fixed it for you.

  15. Luiz Abdala

    Fine print.

    Some companies reserve the right to use the image, likeness, whatever, of anyone they AUDITION, and NOT say it belongs to someone, (or something to that effect), even when that person is not hired, as long they don't relate the character directly to someone.

    Or any employee, regardless being auditioned or not.

    For example, they could copy your face and place over a random NPC in any game if you ever worked for a game company.

    It would usually be in Fine Print, in a loooong contract. You could have one of those for yourself, RIGHT NOW, and not be aware of it.

    Without a contract, it usually doesn't work, like Lindsay Lohan tried. Did this guy make a contract protecting his image, before audition or motion capture? Nope?

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