Game Developer Lawsuit: Battle Of The Gaming Tanks
Are you ready for some
football tank wars!? A game developer v. game developer lawsuit, the case we’re about o dissect involves both online intellectual property and slander…kinda.
Origins of A Game Developer Lawsuit
World of Tanks is a game developed by Wargaming.net. Project Tank (a.k.a., Tanks Ground War) is a game developed by China-based Gamebox.
Apparently, Wargaming isn’t happy about Gamebox’s tank game, so it’s suing for intellectual property infringement.
Tank Game Developer Lawsuit Specifics
In the claim, Wargaming insists Project Tank is “disturbingly similar” to World of Tanks. The U.S.game developer avers Gamebox “copied the plot, theme, dialogue, mood, setting, pace, and character of World of Tanks, in addition to copying specific features, items, tanks, and artwork.”
Because of the suit, Facebook pulled Project Tank from its platform, which killed Gamebox’s bottom line.
Defendant’s Reaction & Counter Suit
A representative from Gamebox explained the company’s position:
“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.”
Unwilling to go quietly into that digital night, Gamebox filed a counter-claim. The Chinese developer is alleging “illicit competition and slander.”
Who Will Win This Game Developer Lawsuit?
If argued well, the competition charge has merit: Similarities stem from similar themes, not theft. As such, a tank is a tank is a tank – and the ways one can depict a tank are finite.
Another factor bolstering Gamebox’s case: Project Tank’s expulsion from Facebook. To win intellectual property lawsuits, plaintiffs must prove material harm. In this case, Project Tank can probably present a strong case about the fiscal ramifications of Facebook suspension.