A strange situation has emerged with Chinese strategy game Myth of Empires -- it's been DMCA'd on Steam by Ark: Survival Evolved developer Studio Wildcard over allegations of source code theft.
The last few weeks have been pretty great for fans of survival games; Dean Hall's Icarus has finally launched and both 7 Days to Die and The Long Dark got hefty updates to close out the year. One survival game, however, is not having a good time, and that's Ark: Survival Evolved -- its developer Studio Wildcard claims that the recently-released strategy game Myth of Empires has stolen its source code.
What's Happening with Myth of Empires and Ark: Survival Evolved?
As PC Gamer reports, Studio Wildcard alleges that developer Angela Game has misappropriated the Ark: Survival Evolved source code and used it to build Myth of Empires. The Myth of Empires Steam Store page is missing in action at the time of writing; it was live as recently as December 3, 2021, which means that it was removed at some point in the last few days.
"Studio Wildcard and Snail Games USA Inc have a good faith belief that Myth of Empires was built by: (1) stealing the Ark: Survival Evolved source code and (2) using the stolen source code as the gameplay foundation for Myth of Empires," read a portion of the complaint seen by PC Gamer. "Key employees of the developer of Myth of Empires worked at the Chinese parent of Snail Games USA Inc and at least one of them had the credentials that enabled them to access the Ark: Survival Evolved source code."
Developers at Studio Wildcard say that they've compared code headers in the executable for Myth of Empires and found hundreds of similarities without much effort. If this is accurate, it would serve as strong evidence that Angela Game had stolen Ark: Survival Evolved's source code.
Studio Angela, for its part, has denied the allegations.
"A few days ago, Steam received allegations of suspected copyright infringement concerning Myth of Empires, and in accordance with the DMCA and to exempt itself from liability, has temporarily removed Myth of Empires from its store," Studio Angela said in a statement on its website. "Our development team solemnly declares: Angela Game fully owns all rights and property associated with Myth of Empires and will actively respond to any doubts or allegations on this point. We are in active contact with Steam and are doing our best to restore the game to their store. We apologize for the inconvenience this has caused players."
For now, those who had already purchased Myth of Empires are still able to play it and a lot of them are doing just that -- Steam Charts shows nearly 30,000 people playing the game right now. Whether or not this game returns, however, depends on Angela Game's counter-claim and Valve's subsequent investigation of the matter.
Have you had a chance to play Myth of Empires? If the source code was indeed stolen, what do you think Valve should do? Let us know in the comments below!