Wargaming Goes on the Offensive about Chinese World of Tanks Knockoff

| 11 May 2013 06:40

A "disturbingly similar" clone copies the game's historical errors as well as everything else.

Imitation might be the most sincere form of flattery, but it can still get you sued. China's infamously lax copyright and trademark laws have created modern wonders like the League of Legends restaurant and the World of Warcraft theme park. Most of the time, there's little that a company can do besides watch its brand be devalued. When Wargaming.net saw their popular World of Tanks pop up on Facebook, it took action and sued its creators in court. Described as "disturbingly similar", Changyou and Gamease's Project Tanks alegendly ripped off most of the game, from the art assets to the fictional and historically incorrect elements as well.

Project Tanks, alternately known as both Tank Ground War and Ground War Tanks, looks and feels just like Wargaming.net's hit title, but runs in a browser thanks to the Unity Engine. Developed by two Chinese companies, Gamease and Changyou, it's a f2p game that (until recently) ran right from Facebook. Changyou is behind many big eastern F2P games, including the not-so-adult Wartune.

From the opening garage, to the tech trees, and even to the camera angles, it's pretty clear that Project Tanks is more than a little similar to World of Tanks. In fact, Wargaming claims that it uses some of the exact same art assets as well. But Wargaming has even better evidence than that. As stated in its court case: "Copying is further evidenced by the fact that the designers of Project Tank copied tanks from WoT that never existed in real life, and which included features original to WoT." Busted.

Changyou fired back with their own statement, saying that "we feel truly shocked and bullied by Wargaming," and that it "never intended to pose a threat or compete at any platform with World of Tanks." They go on to claim that getting the Facebook game pulled was part of "a series of underhand [sic] actions" on the part of Wargaming.net.

Source: Polygon

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exobook, I see tons of differences between the WOT screenshot you posted and the tank used in the video. Is this the actual in-game model, or maybe a higher-res version of it? Most obvious differences are the PT one has a shiny texture, and lots of little details like the bungee cord and the shovel are either missing or else baked into the texture rather than built as part of the mesh. In particular the turret has a curve to it in PT whereas it's flat in WOT. If you can customize the rustyness, choose a different turret part, and adjust level-of-detail settings in WOT, then these differences may not mean anything. I'd like more information.

Thyunda gives a much better example. I couldn't spot any obvious differences between the PT and WOT versions of the Pz.Kpfw. II mesh, just minor texture variations. That said, the PT screenshot was too low-resolution for me to eyeball whether or not curves used the same number of polygons or had edges in simmilar places.

Interesting enough, one obvious distinction on both tanks is the texture on... I don't know the name for it... the cylinder that allows the gun to aim up and down. They made that texture different in both games.

I just thought of this, but if anyone can extract the textures from both games, an identical UV-layout would probably be the most obvious sign that it's the same mesh. Short of just extracting both the meshes, of course.

WarpZone:

Thyunda:

WarpZone:

Is this it?
http://benchmarkreviews.com/images/reviews/games/WoT/World-of-Tanks_Ferdinand_Garage_2D.jpg

Yeah, that's the shitty garage I've got.

Then that's still totally different art assets. Let's see some tank models, guys.

http://wiki.worldoftanks.eu/Pz.Kpfw._I

hers the link to the world of tank version of the german tank (WOT's has it at tier 2)

http://wiki.worldoftanks.eu/File:Pz.Kpfw._I_front_left.jpg

also compare the tank model and the tech tree to the rip off version

Vie:
Hum, why has neither side thought of coming up with a solution that would work for both sides?

These Chinese companies have come up with a working WoT clone that works in a browser, why aren't the guys making WoT offering the Chinese company an opportunity to use the WoT name and have access to future updates in exchange for a cut of their profit's from the clone and a level of creative oversight from the WoT team? Plus an agreement from the WoT guys not to sue them so long as they abide by the agreement.

WoT can continue to be the main version, while WoT Live/Unity/Lite can be a lighter version which relies on DLC for assets. Owners of the WoT's main version can access all the features of Live/Unity/Lite via their account, while users of Lite on its own can play for free with fewer tank/part choices - but can buy the others via DLC, and have adverts for the main game.

Surely something along these lines would be great for both sides?

1) Why should they reward them for theft?

2) It still eats into their market share.

Thyunda:

WarpZone:

Is this it?
http://benchmarkreviews.com/images/reviews/games/WoT/World-of-Tanks_Ferdinand_Garage_2D.jpg

Yeah, that's the shitty garage I've got.

Then that's still totally different art assets. Let's see some tank models, guys.

DTWolfwood:
So when is Wargaming going to release a browser base verion of WOT? :P

this needs to happen, or at least make a smaller scale version that complements the original (easier to play games with friends on FB, bigger platoons, etc).

So when is Wargaming going to release a browser base version of WOT? :P

Aeshi:
I admit I'm haven't played WoT in ages, but I'm pretty sure the 'made up' tanks are simply Tanks that never got past the prototype stage/were never mass produced/etc.

Doesn't make this any less of a knockoff though.

There are some tanks like this but there are also some totally made up tanks that are more myths than real tanks and no real drawing ever existed, let alone prototype. this was done simply because there was a tier gap they had to fill.

WarpZone:

In any other market, if you sell a widget, and I sell a cheaper widget that performs the same basic function but is slightly different, you don't file a frivolous lawsuit, you fucking compete. Why is that not the case here?

Yes, you do. Lawsuit wars are commonplace in bug manufacturing business when someone creates a cheaper alternative.

Capcha: Cut and run
Im sure they will run away with a lot of moneys.

Colt47:
It would be a good day in gaming if the two developers could come to terms and work together instead of against each other. It's obvious that both sides want to make money and fighting each other in court is a tiring exercise regardless of which side someone is on in the case. Even if the other side did steal models from World of Tanks, they built new maps and designed the game to run in a browser, meaning they do have talent over there.

why they should work with people who steal assets and make profit from it? They dont even want any browser based version to exist in the first place, if anything they should work agasint it.
Bank thieves also got talent but goes to jail never-the-less.

WarpZone:

Thyunda:

The Project Tanks screenshot garage looks like the default garage in WoT. The one in the WoT screenshot must be a premium garage, because mine does not look that awesome.

Oh okay. What about the garage shown in savageoblivi0n's screenshot? Is that the default garage? If not, could you take a screenshot of the default garage and post it here?

Edit: Is this it?
http://benchmarkreviews.com/images/reviews/games/WoT/World-of-Tanks_Ferdinand_Garage_2D.jpg

Yeah, that's the shitty garage I've got.

WOW CHINREESE TAAANK GAYM EZ ROT A REEP-OF UV WORL OUV TAANKS!

Now all jokes aside (Especially the very sterotyped and poorly worded Engrish jokes), I must say that this is just another prime example of companies trying to make a profit off of other successful products without putting in any real effort. Like SERIOUSLY? They actually have the BALLS to try and pretend that their product is original? It'd be like if I went and plastered a cheap nametag over Mass Effect 3 and then saying that it was my own creation by "Jim-bob basement productions" or some other crap.

After examining both games (I've played World of Tanks before), I can say 100% that the Project Tanks game is simply World of Tanks with some altercations. So overall it's just someone trying to sell somebody else's product with a new label.

WarpZone:
People keep saying "rip-off," but I don't know what that actually means in this context. I don't play World of Tanks, so I have no basis for comparison. Are they using models and textures from the first game, or new names or terms that Wargaming made up? Can anybody post side-by-side screenshots of the same tank or menu in both games?

Basically, I'd appreciate it if someone who knows World of Tanks intimately could demonstrate that this is actual lifted art assets, not just another "Fighter's History" situation. Thanks.

It sounds like they literally stole the models and other parts of the game and recreated it in another engine for using in FB.

It would be a good day in gaming if the two developers could come to terms and work together instead of against each other. It's obvious that both sides want to make money and fighting each other in court is a tiring exercise regardless of which side someone is on in the case. Even if the other side did steal models from World of Tanks, they built new maps and designed the game to run in a browser, meaning they do have talent over there.

Yeah I know there's videos. It just seemed like there were a lot of World of Tanks players in this thread, so I figured maybe they could settle it one way or the other with the right screenshots. Screenshots would be more conclusive because they're higher resolution, the person taking the screenshot could line up the camera and everything to be as similar as possible to the Chineese game, etc. He says the names and roles of the vehicles are the same, but without having played it, I don't know whether he means they're literally stolen or just really, really similar.

What triggered me in the first place was, everyone talking about it seemed to be using language choices that implied it was stolen but literally meant that it was just similar. So I'm just trying to get that ambiguity resolved.

DoomyMcDoom:

Madkipz:

IanDavis:
*snip*

Copyright is bullshit and china doesn't care for the american versions of it because they want to clone it. This is news?

Lax control gets you sites like Equestria daily and a league of legends resturant. The opposite gets your brand no unorthodox marketing and shits all over the economy while letting stupid companies get monopolies on how they want to use their art assets so that their can cultivate their market niche instead of having the brand name gain mainstream traction by virtue of fair use.

So, what you're saying, is if you made a game, for a specific market demographic, and someone pretty much copy pasted your game, stealing a chunk of your market share, but "in a browser!" stealing from you by using your hard work to make money for themselves, whilst taking away prospective customers from you, losing you money, that's totally cool.

Equestria daily, isn't taking away "customers" from hasbro, and the league of legends restaurant isn't lowering leag of legends' playerbase, so your comparison is more of an apples and oranges deal, it doesn't work, sorry.

P.S. Capchas telling me to enter specific words about toyota's new camry is pissing me off, it's not going to brainwash me into buying it, in fact, it's doing the same thing to me that the pontiac adds in anarchy online were doing, making me feel almost alergic to their brand name, who the hell comes up with this kind of marketing, they should be fired.

You are wrong. It is the same when it comes to the law regarding trademark IP.

KeyMaster45:

Madkipz:

Lax control gets you sites like Equestria daily and a league of legends resturant.

You're going to have to explain the Equestria daily one because from what I understand it's just a fansite and is operating well within fair use.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fair_use#Fair_use_on_the_Internet

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fan_art

The legal status of derivative fan made art in America may be tricky due to the vagaries of the United States Copyright Act. Generally, the right to reproduce and display pieces of artwork is controlled by the original author or artist under 17 U.S.C. 106.

However, fan art using settings and characters from a previously created work could be considered a derivative work, which would place control of the copyright with the owner of that original work. Display and distribution of fan art that would be considered a derivative work would be unlawful.

However, American copyright law allows for the production, display and distribution of derivative works if they fall under a fair use exemption, 17 U.S.C. 107.

Basically HASBRO is letting EQD exist, but they still took down Fighting is magic even if technically both sites were infringing on the trademarks with equal measure. Basically you will never have a MLP resturant because HASBRO cannot stand having people enjoy the art and profiting off it. <,<

WarpZone:
People keep saying "rip-off," but I don't know what that actually means in this context. I don't play World of Tanks, so I have no basis for comparison. Are they using models and textures from the first game, or new names or terms that Wargaming made up? Can anybody post side-by-side screenshots of the same tank or menu in both games?

Basically, I'd appreciate it if someone who knows World of Tanks intimately could demonstrate that this is actual lifted art assets, not just another "Fighter's History" situation. Thanks.

the term "ripped-off" is used here in a way that means:

assests that are unique to World of Tanks is in the knockoff, be it gameplay mechanics, art, or items that are unique to the game.

happened a while back with a blatant rip-off of world of Warcraft, it was World of Lordcraft or something similar.

if it wasn't for the name, you wouldn't of realize the two were different.

I dont play World of Tanks, mainly because vehicular MMO's aren't in my taste, and rarely last long to begin with, but whats in the video is what you hear about World of Tanks having.

there is quite a few videos on youtube for World of Tanks, if you really want to see the differences, head there.

And suddenly I remember Final Combat, the Chinese knock-off of Team Fortress 2 that cut core class abilities (rocket jumping from their version of the Soldier). Someone needs to bring the hammer down on these plagiarists.

Madkipz:
Copyright is bullshit and china doesn't care for the american versions of it because they want to clone it. This is news?

Lax control gets you sites like Equestria daily and a league of legends resturant. The opposite gets your brand no unorthodox marketing and shits all over the economy while letting stupid companies get monopolies on how they want to use their art assets so that their can cultivate their market niche instead of having the brand name gain mainstream traction by virtue of fair use.

Well said *High fives*.

Hmm. That's probably going to be flagged for low content. Not because it doesn't have actual content, mind you; it expresses agreement in a celebratory and congratulatory manner, which was the entire purpose of me posting it to begin with and couldn't possibly be mistaken by any sane person for lacking content. Hopefully I've padded my post with an appropriate number of words to bypass whatever automatic filter they're using, because clearly they don't have real people moderating low content posts.

Hmmm... perhaps that paragraph will be seen as an attempt to pad my post (which it was), so I guess I should trudge up something else to say and waste even more of my time. Because apparently the minute I post something Escapist feels it is their business to dictate to me how much time I should waste on said post before they'll let me do it in peace; what I find most curious is why they don't yell at or suspend the registered members who don't post at all (or post infrequently) for not adding an appropriate amount of content to the escapist forums, since as far as I can tell, posts with minimal content are better than no posts at all and no content whatsoever.

I know, let's repost a link I've posted on these forums before that's relevant to the post I'm replying to; hopefully repetitively posting the same information still counts as "content" (whatever the hell "content" even means to the Escapist) and nobody gives me a hard time for not adding enough to the forums when I bother to post.

Thyunda:

The Project Tanks screenshot garage looks like the default garage in WoT. The one in the WoT screenshot must be a premium garage, because mine does not look that awesome.

Oh okay. What about the garage shown in savageoblivi0n's screenshot? Is that the default garage? If not, could you take a screenshot of the default garage and post it here?

Edit: Is this it?
http://benchmarkreviews.com/images/reviews/games/WoT/World-of-Tanks_Ferdinand_Garage_2D.jpg

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