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Wargaming sues Project Tank creators

Wargaming sues Project Tank creators

Fri 10 May 2013 11:00am GMT / 7:00am EDT / 4:00am PDT
LegalPublishing

"An unoriginal and disturbingly similar game directly based on the World of Tanks"

Wargaming.net is taking on the companies behind Project Tank, which it claims is a little too close to World Of Tanks for comfort.

Polygon reported that the complaint against Changyou.com Limited and Beijing Gamease Age Digital Technology Co calls Project Tanks "an unoriginal and disturbingly similar game directly based on the World of Tanks," and has "copied the plot, theme, dialogue, mood, setting, pace, and character of World of Tanks, in addition to copying specific features, items, tanks, and artwork." It believes Project Tank has violated one of its patents for multiplayer matchmaking.

For its part Changyou has denied the allegations and made some of its own, calling Wargaming underhand and a bully.

"Wargaming.net has recently launched a series of underhand actions against Project Tank, including using their connections to shut down our Facebook page, over PT's purported 'infringement' of their intellectual property rights," it said in a statement on the Gamebox site.

"Continuously sabotaged by Wargaming, Project Tank and Gamebox have never intended to pose a threat or compete at any platform with World of Tanks. The graphics used in Project Tank are our efforts to reconstruct WWII battle scenes. We feel truly shocked and bullied by Wargaming, a giant company of the gaming industry who is apparently 'threatened' by a closed beta phase browser game aiming to provide a cheaper, fairer, and more accessible war game to players around the world."

GamesIndustry International has reached out to Wargaming for comment.

9 Comments

Eric Pallavicini
Game Master

261 161 0.6
I lol'ed.

I really hope for the whole gaming industry that Wargaming will win this in court, because the rip-off of the IP is totally obvious. Game mechanics are the same, interface is the same (except some inversions of UI elements) and UI looks very similar in colors, controls are the same. Project Tank doesn't even try to be different (except it's on Facebook). Somehow I also hope the audience won't fall for it.

Of course the game will be cheaper (fairer, pardon me if I doubt it) than WoT since there was not much creative effort there, except for the maps that are "original" and now they don't even need advertizing anymore.

EDIT : For a point of comparison, a test on video

Edited 2 times. Last edit by Eric Pallavicini on 10th May 2013 2:08pm

Posted:11 months ago

#1

Joshua Rose
Executive Producer / Lead Designer

191 74 0.4
From what I read (and this may be inaccurate), the suit was filed in the United States Federal District Court for the Northern District of Illinois.

Being filed in the US, it falls under US Intellectual Property, Trademark, and Patent laws.

According a previous supreme court decision between Apple and Microsoft a rather LONG time ago, you can't sue a competing company based on similar "look and feel" of the product. Apple sued Microsoft saying their OS at the time looked too much like Apple's OS.

According to the laws, unless they are flat out taking non-public domain images (belonging to wargaming.net), using specific source code that was taken from acquired source code from the World of Tanks game, or trying to blatantly appear to be World of Tanks itself, and not a competing game; they really can't be sued for much.

If you use your own assets, your own code, your own methods, and your own development resources to build a product that "looks and feels" like another product; as long as you do not deliberately appear to BE THAT product in particular, you're protected. Reaching the same end by a different means. There are facebook games that look almost exactly like Diablo III or Path of Exile, there are also facebook games that look almost exactly like World of Warcraft. But if they built those games from the bottom up with their own resources, they are abiding by US trade laws.

It will be interesting to see how this plays out, that's for sure. But I do not expect much to come of this suit.

Posted:11 months ago

#2

Eric Pallavicini
Game Master

261 161 0.6
It will be interesting to see how this plays out, that's for sure. But I do not expect much to come of this suit.
I start sharing your point of view after a short investigation, since they have other products which are all more than inspired by existing product (i.e. some copy-pasted icons of WoW appear even in their "Odin's quest" screenshots, "General Wars" feels a lot like "Blitzkrieg 2" graphic design if my memory is right, especially regarding maps, the rest being totally different).

Anyway, not the first time, not the last time I guess.

Edited 1 times. Last edit by Eric Pallavicini on 10th May 2013 2:43pm

Posted:11 months ago

#3

Joshua Rose
Executive Producer / Lead Designer

191 74 0.4
keep in mind rules of the internet #21 - 24
21. Original content is original only for a few seconds before getting old.
22. Copy 'n paste is made to ruin every last bit of originality.
23. Copy 'n paste is made to ruin every last bit of originality.
24. Every repost is always a repost of a repost.
There's no such thing as original content anymore.

Posted:11 months ago

#4

Eric Pallavicini
Game Master

261 161 0.6
Thank you for the reminder and making me smile. :)

Posted:11 months ago

#5

Private
Industry

1,187 185 0.2
After watching the video there is no denying it looks just like WoT only with menus placed differentt.

Posted:11 months ago

#6

Mohammed Alsadoon
Staff Writer

19 9 0.5
If you use your own assets, your own code, your own methods, and your own development resources to build a product that "looks and feels" like another product; as long as you do not deliberately appear to BE THAT product in particular, you're protected.
The problem here is that this is a clear use of Wargaming's assets. Now you might say that a T-34 tank is gonna be the same in all games but his tech tree is a carbon copy of World of Tanks including the JagdPanzer E-100, a fantasy tank created by Wargaming that does not exist in real life.

There is no uncertainty here, this is clear copyright infringement.

Posted:11 months ago

#7

Private
Industry

1,187 185 0.2
EAs lawsuit against Zynga went to cort for some Zynga game looking too much like The Sims. That wasn't thrown out of cort so I wouldn't say the project tqnk guys aren't save even if they only use their own assets.

The E-100 wasnt a complete fantasy tank, but the Germans only finished the chassi for one tank.

Posted:11 months ago

#8

Spike Laurie
International Digital Games Coordinator

13 14 1.1
According a previous supreme court decision between Apple and Microsoft a rather LONG time ago, you can't sue a competing company based on similar "look and feel" of the product. Apple sued Microsoft saying their OS at the time looked too much like Apple's OS.
Not sure if this is right mate. Look at AMF, Inc. v. Sleekcraft Boats, 599 F.2d 341 (9th Cir. 1979). Or in fact look at Judge Lucy Koh's recent (and in my opinion mis-guided) decision on Samsung V Apple. Ultimately it all comes down to 'Trade Dress' and if one company is using the look and feel of another companies to gain financially they are liable for punishment.

Posted:11 months ago

#9

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