Fans of the popular space-themed MMO role-playing game EVE Online have frequently claimed that the long-awaited video game Star Citizen was borrowing heavily from the earlier franchise, if not outright ripping-off aspects. The argument found new ammunition this week, when EVE Online fans noticed a striking resemblance between the Drake Vulture - a new unique ship for use in Star Citizen's solo-player mode, which costs $140 - and EVE Online's Venture.
This is only the latest of many controversies involving the content created for Star Citizen. The ultimate goal of the design team, under legendary game designer Chris Roberts, was to craft a space simulation that allowed for multiple forms of gameplay. The finished game would have solo and multiplayer modes, allowing players to explore the galaxy, manage resources, establish trade routes, and fight other players in a first-person-shooter, not to mention engage in ship-to-ship combat and play through a cinematic adventure game akin to Roberts' Wing Commander series. Many have decried the game as being too ambitious at best and some have accused Roberts of running a scam, delaying Star Citizen's release date as he continues to raise millions of dollars from fans paying in advance for special privileges, in-game money, and rare ships to be used once the game finally comes out.
Eurogamer reported on the controversy, which quickly led to pot-shots being fired by fans of both franchises. Star Citizen players contend that the resemblance is an unfortunate coincidence, pointing to spaceships from other science-fiction franchises boasting a similar look. EVE Online players contend the similarity goes far beyond the basic design and points out the similarity between the ship's names.
EVE Online commented on the controversy with a tweet on their official Twitter account. The tweet included a picture of both ships, side by side, and the comment, "They say that imitation is the sincerest form of flattery." Cloud Imperium Games - the publisher of Star Citizen - have yet to respond to the charges one way or the other.
It remains to be seen if the developers of EVE Online will pursue legal action against the makers of Star Citizen. The frame-by-frame pictures of the two ships and the similarities of their names do offer a compelling case for a copyright challenge. Then again, if the theories regarding Star Citizen being history's most expensive vaporware are accurate, EVE Online has nothing to worry about.