“The Westworld Game Is a Blatant Rip-Off of Fallout Shelter”
Game developer Behaviour Interactive has been accused by Bethesda of using Fallout Shelter code in their new Westworld mobile game. As such, the company is suing Behavior and Warner Bros. what they are calling a “blatant rip-off.”
In their lawsuit, Bethesda claims that Behaviour inappropriately used code commissioned during the development of Fallout Shelter. The company hired Behaviour back in 2014 to help develop the company’s mobile game based off their best-selling franchise. Bethesda cites this fact in the court documents filed with the U.S. District Court for Maryland on June 21st. The files then go into detail on how the developer commandeered code and assets for use in Warner Bros new Westworld mobile game.
Basically, Behaviour breached their contract with Bethesda. A simple inspection of Fallout Shelter and Westworld will reveal glaring similarities. Both are management simulators with a side-view of player-built communities, zoom-in capabilities, and they share gameplay mechanics. Meticulous details, down to the shading of in-game characters, are hard to miss.
According to Bethesda’s suit, the Westworld game clearly uses “code, designs, artwork, layouts, and other assets and materials” that the company legally owns. All for the sake of delivering a game to Warner Bros. in a brief development window. Side-by-side comparisons, initially discovered by website Kotaku, were even used in the lawsuit as Exhibit L. But, the damning similarities of both games go beyond the surface level.
For once, Bethesda glitches actually worked in the company’s favor. Why? Because the exact same glitches found in an early build of Fallout Shelter were found in the Westworld mobile game, which is remarkable. Bethesda spells one example in their game’s “demonstration” mode: “Specifically, the view is out-of-focus and the scene that appears is far to the right and below the targeted landscape image. It is as if a camera capturing the scene had been inadvertently pointed to the lower right foreground and then slowly refocuses on the central image. The identical problem appeared in initial versions of Fallout Shelter but was addressed before Fallout Shelter was released to the public.”
Bethesda has provided a multitude of explanations, examples, and evidence favoring their claims against Behaviour Interactive. They’re asking for an undisclosed amount of financial compensation for damages and demanding that Warner Bros. stop selling the game. Time will tell where the suit goes, though it looks to favor Bethesda. Last year, parent company ZeniMax sued Oculus for stolen intellectual property and won. The cases are identical, albeit not as identical as Fallout Shelter and Westworld.