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Bethesda Files Lawsuit Over "Blatant Ripoff" Westworld Game

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Update: Bethesda has confirmed with GameSpot that it filed suit again Warner Bros. and Behaviour in US District Court. It says the complaint alleges “copyright infringement, breach of contract, and misappropriation of its intellectual property.” The publisher also issued the following statement:

“The case arises from Behaviour’s development of a Westworld mobile game for Warner Bros. Behaviour had previously worked with Bethesda to develop Bethesda’s hit game, Fallout Shelter, and under that contract, Bethesda alone owned all resulting intellectual property, including the game’s copyrighted code.

“Behaviour illegally used the same copyrighted source code from Fallout Shelter to develop Westworld, and copied Fallout Shelter’s game design, art, animations, gameplay features, and other elements. As a result of Behaviour and Warner Bros’ unlawful conduct, Westworld is a blatant ripoff of Fallout Shelter with largely superficial, cosmetic changes.

“Bethesda will vigorously protect its legal rights in the valuable intellectual properties it owns, and take legal action whenever those rights are being infringed.”

We’ve yet to hear back from WB but will update this story with any further information we receive. The original story follows.

Warner Bros. recently launched Westworld, a new mobile game based on the hit HBO series. Billed as an “innovative mobile simulation game,” it bears a resemblance to elements of Bethesda’s Fallout Shelter, in that you build and expand an underground facility. But the free-to-play title apparently goes too far with that apparent inspiration, as developer Behaviour Interactive has been accused of reusing code that it developed for Shelter.

TMZ reports that it’s obtained documents related to a newly filed lawsuit by Bethesda. It states that the company hired Behaviour to work on Shelter back in 2014, before WB commissioned it to make Westworld. Bethesda alleges that Behaviour is recycling the code it used for Shelter. It’s unclear at this point if it’s been able to verify this in the actual code for Westworld, but it cites as evidence the fact that identical bugs Shelter suffered from early on are present in Westworld.

The lawsuit is looking to both shut down Westworld and receive compensation, though the likelihood of that at this point is unclear. GameSpot has reached out to both Bethesda and WB and will report back with anything we learn.

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Aside from the aspects of the game that more strongly resemble Shelter, Westworld does have other elements to it, including dealing with the parks that are located aboveground. At launch, it focuses on content from the first season of Westworld, although there are plans to introduce things from Season 2 as it continues. At least for the time being, the game is available on both the iOS App Store and Android’s Google Play Store.

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