Westworld Game Uses Stolen Fallout Shelter Code, Lawsuit Alleges

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The recently released Westworld mobile game is a "blatant rip-off" of Fallout Shelter and uses the latter's stolen code, according to a new lawsuit filed by Bethesda Softworks against Warner Bros. earlier this week. Submitted with a U.S. District Court in Maryland, the litigation states that the Android and iOS versions of Westworld infringe on its intellectual properties related to the hit 2015 management sim. Both games have been created by Behavior Interactive, an independent Canadian studio specializing in experiences based on popular IPs. After concluding its work for Bethesda, Behavior went on to create Westworld for Warner Bros. and did so by reusing the code it wrote for Bethesda, thus breaking the terms of their contract in an effort to accelerate its development timelines, according to the lawsuit.

The gameplay, art style, miscellaneous features, and animations of both mobile games are extremely similar, as was already pointed out by numerous media outlets and players, with those common points not escaping Bethesda either. As the company's lawsuit was launched only a day following Westworld's international release on the Google Play Store and iOS App Store, the litigation was presumably in the works for some time now. While the U.S. law doesn't allow for any entity to copyright an entire game genre, Bethesda is trying to prove Behavior illegally reused code it was paid to create exclusively for the owner of the Fallout franchise. The lawsuit specifically mentions a camera bug that sometimes happens near the start of a new Westworld game as evidence to back those claims, stating the same problem was present in an early Fallout Shelter build before eventually being fixed.

Bethesda is hence suing both Behavior and Warner Bros. for copyright infringement, trade secret misappropriation, and breach of contract, demanding damages and a trial by jury. Neither defendant has yet responded to the litigation in any capacity. The competent court is expected to consider hearing the case later this summer.

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