Bethesda’s Fallout 76 reveal at E3 earlier this month got many fans very excited. Now, a different title in the series is making headlines.
Back in 2015, Bethesda released a mobile version of their popular Fallout series, titled Fallout Shelter. Warner Bros Entertainment is now being sued for allegedly copying that game with their own mobile game, based on the hit HBO show, Westworld.
Polygon, which obtained the lawsuit filed in a Maryland U.S District Court, states Warner Bros,“ breached its contract with Bethesda and utilized its restricted access to Bethesda’s intellectual property.” Behaviour Interactive, the developer behind Westworld Mobile, was actually first contracted by Bethesda to work on Fallout Shelter.
Delving deeper into the lawsuit, it claims that Westworld Mobile is stealing code which is already copyrighted and used in Fallout Shelter. The lawsuit further states that the game has “highly similar game design, art style, animations, features, and other gameplay elements.” The two games do look very similar.
In Fallout Shelter, the player is responsible for running and maintaining their own Vault and keeping those within happy and sustained. Meanwhile, in Westworld Mobile, players run the Westworld theme park itself and have to create hosts to occupy it. Westworld Mobile launched last week on both iOs and Android platforms.
Bethesda’s intellectual property
Bethesda is making the claim that both Warner Bros and Behaviour have benefited from this blatant rip-off.
“By recreating Fallout Shelter with Westworld’s ‘western’ theme,” the lawsuit claims, “Behaviour and Warner Bros benefit from the success, goodwill, and consumer base created by Fallout Shelter. The Westworld mobile game seeks to attract players by its misappropriation of intellectual property of Bethesda. Warner Bros intended for the games to be similar to be able to court the same consumers.”
If the lawsuit is successful, Bethesda is seeking to recover statutory damages, actual damages, profits from both Behaviour and Warner Bros, restitution, and of course, the usual attorney fees. If the courts do rule in favor of Bethesda, both Warner Bros and Behaviour Interactive stand to lose quite a lot, both in reputation and finances.