Myth of Empires devs copied ‘substantial portions’ of ARK’s game code according to expert testimony


It’s been some time since the legal drama spawned from multiplayer strategy survival sandbox Myth of Empires has been in our headlines, so let’s recap: The entire matter started last December, when Snail Games slapped MOE developer Angela Game with a copyright infringement suit that alleged devs from Angela Game, who were formerly devs of Snail Games and worked on ARK: Survival Evolved, stole ARK’s code to make MOE.

The suit resulted in the title being struck from Steam, spawned countersuits from both sides, and as of reporting from this past February, Angela Game filed an appeal for the Steam takedown while the judge hearing the copyright case sought an independent expert to examine the source code for both games.

The court found its expert in March in the form of Bob Zeidman of Zeidman Consulting, a company that, among other things, has software tools for comparing code to detect plagiarism. As first reported by MMO Fallout, Zeidman found Angela Game had indeed “copied substantial portions of [Snail Games and Wildcard’s] copyrighted source code and tried to conceal its copying.” That same legal filing by Snail and Wildcard, incidentally, accuses Angela of trying to stall the process for including Zeidman’s findings.

“By refusing to comply with the Court-ordered procedures for commenting on Mr. Zeidman’s report, which required Angela to disclose ‘any additional evidence’ it had to challenge Mr. Zeidman’s findings and to raise its questions and concerns about Mr. Zeidman’s findings before Mr. Zeidman finalized his report, […] Angela is trying to ‘sandbag’ Mr. Zeidman and SWC by deposing Mr. Zeidman prematurely and on an incomplete record.”

Both parties now seek to set up pre-trial discovery and arrange a trial, which will presumably be done in private mediation. Meanwhile MOE itself is still available for independent purchase and is still updating.

MMO Fallout additionally reports that Angela Game lost their previous attorneys due to its inability to pay them, and the studio further lost the aforementioned appeal to have MOE returned to Steam, as the appellate court affirmed the lower court’s decision.

sources: court documents (1, 2) via MMO Fallout, official site
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