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Bethesda is suing Warner Bros for its ‘blatant rip-off’ of Fallout Shelter

Bethesda is suing Warner Bros for its ‘blatant rip-off’ of Fallout Shelter

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Fallout Shelter developer Bethesda Softworks is suing Warner Bros Entertainment and the creator of a mobile game based on HBO’s Westworld for creating “a blatant rip-off” of its game. According to the lawsuit, obtained by Polygon, Westworld Mobile developer Behaviour — which Bethesda contracted to develop Fallout Shelter — “breached its contract with Bethesda and utilized its restricted access to Bethesda’s intellectual property.”

The lawsuit further alleges that Westworld Mobile rips copyrighted computer code used by Fallout Shelter, as well as “highly similar game design, art style, animations, features, and other gameplay elements.” This even extends to the bugs present in both games, Bethesda continues.

Westworld Mobile’s similarities to Fallout Shelter have been commented on regularly by press, with many noting its similarities. Fallout Shelter, released in 2015, allows players to run their own Vault as an overseer; players have an ant farm view of rooms, as well as the ability to customize their shelters, harvest resources, and recruit new citizens. In Westworld Mobile, players run the titular theme park and create new hosts to occupy it. The game launched earlier this week for iOS and Android.

Bethesda claims that both Behaviour and Warner Bros have “benefited unfairly” from its game. “By recreating Fallout Shelter with Westworld’s ‘western’ theme,” the lawsuit claims, “Behaviour and Warner Bros benefit from the success, good will, 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.” 

Bethesda is seeking statutory damages, actual damages, Behaviour’s and Warner Bros’ profits, and restitution, as well as attorneys’ fees and costs.