Warner Bros. Interactive claims Bethesda Softwork's plagiarism lawsuit against their Westworld video game are untrue. The studio, which has been producing a video game based around the HBO TV series Westworld, was claimed to have reused Bethesda’s source code from their mobile game Fallout Shelter.
Last week, it was announced that the video game company Bethesda was filing a lawsuit against the studio Warner Bros. Interactive. Their reasoning being the belief that the film studio had reused the source code from Bethesda’s mobile game Fallout Shelter for the upcoming Westworld app. Warner Bros have been working with the game developer Behaviour Interactive, who are also credited with Fallout Shelter, to produce the app. While the game is still to be released, Bethesda has filed a law suit claiming that it uses the same base-code as Fallout Shelter.
In a statement to GameIndustry, Warner Bros. denies the accusation. The studio explained that the Westworld app does indeed share a similar concept to Fallout Shelter, but it is in no-way a repetition of the app. Fallout Shelter’s developer Behaviour Interactive – who are working with Warner Bros on the app – have also assured the studio that they haven’t reused any part of Fallout Shelter’s original source code.
"As one of the world's leading creators of intellectual property, including the ground-breaking television series Westworld, Warner Bros. has a deep respect for intellectual property rights. As such, 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. 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. Moreover, contrary to Bethesda's baseless accusation, Warner Bros. at no time 'induced' Behaviour to use the Fallout Shelter code in Westworld."
Bethesda released the mobile device app Fallout Shelter in 2015 as a spin-off for their series Fallout. Developed by Bethesda Game Studios and Behaviour Interactive, the app has continually been successful and has maintained a high level of interest in the franchise. The game allows the player to operate their own vault and has a very distinctive game design and art style. In the first two weeks of the app’s release, the game grossed over $5.1 million in micro transition sales, and has over 75 million players. Following the news that Warner Bros plan to release an application based on the esteemed series Westworld, Bethesda Studios quickly spoke up regarding evident plagiarism of their game. Since both of the games have been developed partially by Behaviour Interative, Bethesda stated that the Westworld app was just reusing the concept, design, and source code from Fallout Shelter. However, Warner Bros have now fully disputed the lawsuit claim.
While understandable that Bethesda wouldn’t be at all pleased with the reuse of their source code, their allegations come unexpected as the Westworld game hasn’t yet been released. With the immense success and the generally positive reviews that Fallout Shelter has received, there’s no doubt that reusing the code for the Westworld game would prove continually problematic. Not only would be film studio be setting themselves up for a law suit, reusing the source code would have major implications for the reputation of the game developer Behaviour Interactive. The fact that both games have been worked on by the same developer rather makes it easy to draw similarities between the two.
Bethesda is wanting for the entire Westworld mobile application concept to be scrapped, though this is somewhat of a long shot. With no real evidence to prove that the game developer has reused the code, and with Behaviour Interactive claiming the accusation has no ground, Bethesda won’t be able to hold much power over the distribution of the Westworld app. Now that the video game developer and Warner Bros have both spoken out to argue the claims are untrue, it may be a case of Bethesda feeling threatened by the game’s similar concept to Fallout Shelter.