Steam removes popular Chinese strategy game after Ark: Survival Evolved studio claims it stole their source code

DMCA / Correction Notice
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Sandbox strategy game Myth of Empires has been removed from Steam due to allegations of copyright infringement, resulting in a DMCA removal request. Myth of Empires developer Angela Game has so far declined to say who requested the game’s removal, but documents seen by PC Gamer indicate it came from the studio Wildcard and Snell Games, which is a part of Ark. :Survival is the developer and publisher of Evolved.

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The takedown request states that Angela Games was founded in 2020 by at least one former employee of Snell Games China, the parent company of Studio Wildcard, who had access to the Ark source code. When Myth of Empires was released in November 2021, studio Wildcard became “understandably concerned” over the similarities between the two games, including similar gameplay mechanics, which it felt beyond the possibility of coincidence.

Comparing the code headers in the Myth of Empires executable, the Studio Wildcard developers claim that preliminary analysis found hundreds of matching class, variable and function names, which they say is the Arch source code used in Myth of Empires. had gone. A summary of the findings was submitted to Valve on December 1, which responded by removing the game on December 3; Hosting services have also been told to stop supporting the game.

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“Studio Wildcard and Snell Games USA Inc. have a good faith belief that Myth of Empires was produced by: (1) Theft of the Ark: Survival Evolved source code and (2) Stolen as the gameplay foundation for Myth of Empires Using source code,” the complaint stated. “Key employees of the developer of Myth of Empires worked at the Chinese parent of Snell Games USA Inc., and at least one of them had credentials that enabled them to access the Ark: Survival Evolved source code.”

In separate statements, Angela Games has explicitly declared the allegations of source code piracy and copyright infringement as false. “Our development team solemnly declares: Angela Games solely owns all rights and property associated with Myth of Empires and will actively respond to any doubts or allegations at this point,” the studio said. on 7th December, “We are in active contact with Steam and doing our best to restore the game to their store. We apologize for the inconvenience caused to players.”

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On December 8, responding to rumors about the source of the eviction request, the studio stated that it was “unable to disclose further details”, but noted that it was “disappointed by the situation as well.”

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“We are still confident that we will be able to resolve this situation in a timely manner and make the sport available to all again,” it wrote.

For now, Myth of Empires is unavailable for purchase, although it is playable by anyone who owns it. And people are definitely playing it—more than 36,000 of them at the time of writing, according to steam chart, Angela Games has promised to continue “normal operation and development work,” including performance improvements and content updates, which will likely begin once the game returns to Steam: If and When That Happens.



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