Update, June 28: Warner Bros. has responded after Bethesda filed suit for similarities between Fallout Shelter and a new Westworld mobile game.
Last week, Bethesda filed suit against Warner Bros. and Behaviour Interactive over the similarities between Fallout Shelter and the recently released Westworld mobile game, calling the latter a “blatant rip-off” of the vault management game. It’s not just similarities in look and design in the suit – both games were contracted out to Behaviour, and Bethesda alleges that the studio “utilized its restricted access to Bethesda’s intellectual property” in creating the game.
Now, Warner Bros. has responded with a broad denial of Bethesda’s claims, saying that “the assertions by Bethesda Softworks that Warner’s Westworld mobile game improperly used source code from Bethesda’s Fallout Shelter are as surprising as they are unsubstantiated.”
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“Warner Bros. has been assured by the game developer, Behaviour Interactive, that Bethesda’s allegations are untrue and that none of Bethesda’s code was used in the Westworld game,” the company says in a statement to GamesIndustry.biz. “Moreover, contrary to Bethesda’s baseless accusation, Warner Bros. at no time ‘induced’ Behaviour to use the Fallout Shelter code in Westworld.”
The Westworld mobile game launched last week for iOS and Android, allowing you to build your own park and satisfy the “many human appetites” of your guests, with all the AI hosts you might expect given the license. It does feature an art style, side-view perspective, and management gameplay similar to Fallout Shelter, though Bethesda’s suit is much more specific than a concern over design similarities.
Specifically, thesuit filed June 21 in Maryland– uncovered byIGN-argues that “Behaviour breached its contract with Bethesda and utilized its restricted access to Bethesda’s intellectual property, including Bethesda’s copyrighted code, trade secrets, and other rights, to compress its development timeline, reduce costs, and quickly bring the Westworld mobile game to market, and offer players the widely popular gameplay experience found in Fallout Shelter.”
Bethesda says that under the terms of their contract with Behaviour, all elements used in the making of Fallout Shelter – including code, design, and artwork – are owned by Bethesda as “works made for hire.”
Among other things, Bethesda cites a specific bug in support of their argument that code has been inappropriately reused. In the Westworld game, there’s a camera glitch where “the view is out-of-focus and the scene that appears is far to the right and below the targeted landscape image.” Bethesda says an identical glitch was present in pre-release version of Fallout Shelter, and indicates the reuse of code in the Westworld game.
Bethesda seeks actual and punitive damages, and for Warner and Behaviour to “to remove each and every version of the Westworld mobile game from distribution and to cease developing and supporting the game.”
Representatives from Bethesda did not respond to a request for comment.
Behaviour has worked on many contracted games in the past, developing mobile games like Pacific Rim and Monsters University over the years. They’re better known on their own terms for games such as Dead by Daylight, as well aiding development on titles ranging from Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor to Star Citizen.
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