Recently, Warner Bros launched a game app called Westworld to match its popular TV series of the same name. Not surprisingly, Bethesda Softworks is now suing Warner Bros and Fallout Shelter co-developer Behaviour Interactive over the recently released game, saying that this particular title is a “blatant rip-off” of Bethesda’s own hit game Fallout Shelter.
Westworld was launched recently, and it is a fact that you will notice certain similarities in the gameplay elements of the new game and Bethesda’s Fallout Shelter. Bethesda owns the rights to the Fallout series as intellectual property. Generally speaking, the games in the Fallout series take place in a post-apocalyptic world destroyed by nuclear war, hence the title. Main characters are usually ones who live in an “underground vault” that protects them from dangers of the nuclear wasteland above.
Fallout Shelter as a game was built around this premise – the player manages a vault with people in it. The game allows you to control what kind of rooms you build in the vault to facilitate life within it. Bethesda claims in the lawsuit that Behaviour Interactive “breached its contract with Bethesda and utilized its restricted access to Bethesda’s intellectual property,” pointing out similar gameplay elements including “cartoonish 2D characters in a 3D environment” and the underground facilities that players explore and build, in both Fallout Shelter and Westworld.
When you play Westworld, this game allows you to control nearly every major aspect of the park – as in the TV series. This includes the maintenance of an underground area that looks quite similar to the different compartments in Fallout Shelter. The robotic hosts you create are fully customizable and can be sent out to “satisfy desires” of the human guests in the park, an element not found in Bethesda’s Fallout Shelter.
But Bethesda is bringing more than just this – it alleges that Westworld is actually based on the same code as Fallout Shelter. From the lawsuit, Bethesda admits that there was a specific bug in a pre-release demo version of Fallout Shelter. The bug was fixed before the public release of Fallout Shelter. But surprisingly, the exact same bug appeared in a demo version of Westworld.
The suit was filed in a Maryland U.S. District Court, and Bethesda points out that Westworld “has the same or highly similar game design, art style, animations, features and other gameplay elements” as Fallout Shelter. The company is now suing for copyright infringement, breach of contract and misappropriating trade secrets. The publisher is seeking a jury trial and damages.