This one is going to be quite the mess. I can already feel it.
While playing through Harmony Quest yesterday, imagine my surprise when I ran across the screen shot in the game showcasing a show style Star Swirl the Bearded. However, when I showed the image to Silver Quill, he pointed out that there was something familiar about the piece, as though he had seen it before but couldn't place where he'd seen it.
One google search under the image tab for "Star Swirl the Bearded" later and the very first result that popped up was the piece featured above on the right by Emkay-MLP. The piece of art from her Deviant Art page is dated October 16th, 2012. Budge's game came out a couple of days ago.
It should be noted that there are a number of very small differences between these two Star Swirls, leading me to believe that the piece from Emkay was used as a reference rather than a straight up copy and paste. Furthermore, as a licensed game, all aspects had to have been approved by Hasbro prior to release.
When reached for comment, Emkay confirmed that she was not contacted by Budge Studios for using the art in question.
Aside from that, Equestria Daily has no further information about this issue. No idea if an artist at Budge did a google search on Star Swirl the Bearded and used the first thing he came across making the assumption that the art was actually used in the show at some point.
Budge Studios was unable to be reached for comment at the time of this article's publication. This is unsurprising since today is Sunday.
Twitter: The Illustrious Q