Westworld mobile game closing down after Bethesda lawsuit

Posted on January 20, 2019

After legal scrutiny from Bethesda, Behaviour Interactive and Warner Bros. Entertainment are shutting the free-to-play Westworld mobile game based on the popular HBO series. In Bethesda’s original lawsuit last year, the developers were accused of inappropriately using Fallout Shelter code for Westworld. The game has been pulled from the App Store and Google Play, and all in-app purchases have been disabled.

Mind you, code is not the only thing the game was perceived to have stolen from Fallout Shelter; Westworld is a pretty blatant copycat of Bethesda’s mobile Fallout spin-off. In addition to a remarkably similar art style, both games involve creating a town/vault, pairing up different residents and using resources to upgrade your settlement. Of course, there is nothing illegal about trying to copy another popular game, so long as you aren’t literally stealing code from your competitor.

Behaviour Interactive, the developer behind both Fallout Shelter and Westworld, were accused of using code developed for Fallout Shelter for Westworld. Although Behaviour Interactive developed Fallout Shelter, the code behind it contractually belongs to Bethesda, who clearly don’t appreciate their code being found in a competing product. In a classic Bethesda move, the stolen code was only discovered after a bug found in Westworld was the same as one found in Fallout Shelter.

On Westworld Mobile’s Twitter page, the developers have left a note explaining the game’s future and thanking fans for their support. “We are sorry to see the Westworld mobile game go, and had an incredible time creating new content and events for players to enjoy. We deeply appreciate our community’s enthusiasm and participation in the game.”

All in-game microtransactions have been removed. Players are encouraged to spend what they have before the game goes offline on April 16. This reaction from Bethesda isn’t super surprising, considering its famously litigious history when it feels its intellectual property is being misused. Still, who knew being famous for distinctive bugs would work out in Bethesda’s favour?