Those familiar with Microsoft and Epic Games’ Gears of War series are probably familiar with Augustus “Cole Train” Cole. The flamboyant former thrashball (the Gears of War version of American football) star turned Gears soldier is one of the most recognizable characters in the game. Unfortunately for Microsoft, a former professional football player and professional wrestler named Lenwood Hamilton recognizes a bit too much of himself in the character, and he is suing Microsoft for stealing his likeness for the character.
For comparison’s sake, here is Lenwood Hamilton:
And here is Augustus “Cole Train” Cole:
The lawsuit claims that Gears of War copied Hamilton’s look, including elements of his professional wrestling getup, such as his “derby hat, wristbands, a front gold tooth, and a striking resemblance of both physiognomy and body build.” It also includes other similarities between the characters: “In addition to both being black, Hamilton notes that both he and the Cole Train avatar “played professional football (although in Gears of War the game is called ‘thrashball’), [and that] Cole Train’s number is 83 (same year that Hamilton played for the Philadelphia Eagles 1983).”
Interestingly, one of the teams Cole Train played for in the Gears of War universe is the Eagles, the same name as the team Hamilton suited up for in the NFL.
Hamilton also notes that the character in the game also copies his “voice and tag lines” from his wrestling persona. Lester Speight, who voiced the character in the game, actually worked with Hamilton as a professional wrestler in the 1990s.
Hamilton claims that he is not familiar with video games, and was only recently made aware of the character through a friend of his son. He is seeking punitive damages for the unlawful use of his image.
Do you think Microsoft stole Hamilton’s image for Augustus Cole? Or is this a far-fetched lawsuit? Let us know in the comments below.