The problem here, though, is that CI¬G has a history. Not only have they followed a path of strictly derivative minimum-effort artwork, brazenly copying ideas and designs from wherever without a shred of creativity or actual artistry, but they have engage in outright art theft and copyright violations. They've used unlicensed trademarked real-world company logos, unlicensed stock art, assets stolen from deviantart, and very poorly painted-over original works of unaffiliated (and unpaid) artists right in their commercial product and in the marketing material for the game. “Archering” has become a project meme for a reason. And that's before we even get into the engine lawsuit…Well software patents are in my opinion ridiculous, and stall the development of everything. I understand that code itself can be copyrighted, and say assets can be copyrighted, making lets say cloning of say ED's ships for other game no-no. But apart from that it should be perfectly lawfull to copy mechanisms and workflows, and mathematical algorithms.
As such, at this point, it is by no means a stretch of the imagination to suggest that they've outright stolen some design outright, only adding the most minute amount of greebles to call it their own, just so they can meet some minimal legal requirement of distinction well enough not to have the work yanked out of the code. Ridiculing them for blatantly steeling art and incompetently covering it up is just par for the course — it's part and parcel of this (ostensibly creative) company's overarching incompetence and inability to… well… create. Anything.
They're creatively bankrupt in every way imaginable, be it code, design, art, or any other aspect of game-making you can think of. Theft is in their genes.