r/pcgaming Dec 07 '21 Wholesome 1

Game Developer Accuses Real-Life Weapons Manufacturer of Stealing Its Gun Design... Twice

https://www.ign.com/articles/stolen-gun-kalashnikov-oceanic-mp-155-ultima-ward-b
5.0k Upvotes

2.7k

u/DrPeroxide Dec 07 '21 edited Dec 07 '21 Helpful Wholesome

Having actually read the article, I'm very much on Ward B's side here; they designed in concept a functioning firearm, which sparked negotiations with a representative from Kalishnikov to license the design for a weapon kit (a purely cosmetic upgrade for an existing firearm). Only, Kalashnikov suddenly broke comms with them and released a suspiciously similar looking body kit of their own. They never got Ward B's permission, nor did they give them credit.

Imagine if 343, Activision, or any other large game dev company had released a shotgun skin identical to Ward B's Mastodon design; this community would be falling over themselves to defend Ward B. Yet apparently, when a weapons manufacturer does exactly the same thing, it's okay?

If you see the head line and side with Kalashnikov, I recommend reading the article and looking at the evidence before you form an opinion.

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u/Bankrotas Dec 07 '21

You mean like EA broke coms with Bethesda about publishing latter's American football game and released Madden themselves with Bethesda's physics engine?

262

u/[deleted] Dec 08 '21

I NEVER knew that, Holy shit! Not surprised

75

u/JoeyFoster222 Dec 08 '21

only ea

16

u/[deleted] Dec 08 '21

Truly

14

u/WimbleWimble Dec 08 '21

EA: it's in Someone else's game!

2

u/SimulatedHumanity Dec 08 '21

Buy the successful studios, put out a good game, then drive out the devs and replace them with new people who worked on candy crush.

EA=Enormous Assholes

17

u/amalgam_reynolds Dec 08 '21

Makes sense though, considering how janky Bethesda physics engines are and how equally jank early Madden games were.

14

u/Sargent_Caboose Dec 08 '21

You're not thinking early enough in gaming history. This is pre-90s

38

u/Kyrasuum Dec 08 '21

Would you be so kind as to provide a link to what you are referring to?

Id really like to actually read about that

101

u/Skugga-IV Dec 08 '21

The game was called "Gridiron!" and came out in '86. EA saw Gridiron! and said "Hmm, I want in on that!" and 'hired' Bethesda to make a sequel to Gridiron (John Madden Football). Bethesda made the game and EA never released it, which resulted in Bethesda filing a lawsuit against EA in '88.

A brief Kotaku article.

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u/elegantsack Dec 08 '21

Most of Reddit is too young to remember that, shit was like what, 30 years ago?

15

u/[deleted] Dec 08 '21

Can confirm, I'm not even that old

5

u/coagulateSmegma Dec 08 '21

Fun fact, everyone in the world that is 29 or younger also isn't that old.

4

u/Kudryavka24 Dec 08 '21

Fuck me I got a month and a half until I am certified old.

5

u/outamyhead Dec 08 '21

But then again EA use the same engine and just change the skins for at least 8-10 years.

1

u/elegantsack Dec 08 '21

Thanks for the obvious, Captain.

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u/MalcolmLinair Dec 08 '21

Wait, someone willingly used Bethesda's physics engine? /s

16

u/EsholEshek Dec 08 '21

Well, this was in the late 80's when the physics engine was state of the art. Shame they never improved it since then...

-11

u/Fenrir007 Dec 08 '21

Gotta thank EA for that, honestly.

8

u/DabScience Dec 08 '21

No, you really don't.

-11

u/Fenrir007 Dec 08 '21

No, I really do. I want Bethesda to stay very far away from handegg cashcows. They have better things to focus on.

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u/ReiperXHC Dec 08 '21

Yeah there's surely going to be more consoles coming for them to release Skyrim on! /s

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u/TH3_V3GAS Dec 08 '21

Why did you put that /s at the end of your comment? /s

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u/Fenrir007 Dec 08 '21

I get the joke and Todd's obsession with Skyrim, but at least they dont pretend its a new game.

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u/Eniptsu Dec 08 '21

Yes they are much better at at the dragonborne cashcow

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u/Fenrir007 Dec 08 '21

At least they are upfront at not calling the same recycled shit "a new game".

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u/Alak87 Dec 07 '21

Totally agree. So many similarities that have no practical effects to the design to take it as "inspiration". This is a rip off, plain and simple.

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u/Kyrasuum Dec 08 '21

I completely agree with you, after reading the entire article I side with Ward B. I will say that around 50% in the article or less i sided with Kalashnikov. What tipped me over however was the inclusion of conversations and others included in the article however I doubt any of these would be considered actual evidence. The images that admittedly do contain small features almost certainly unique to their designs does not feel convincing enough by its lonesome.

TLDR: Team Ward B

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u/siuol11 Dec 08 '21

Those absolutely could be considered evidence, they are evidence. The problem is not a lack of evidence, it's a lack of jurisdiction. Russia is not going to play ball with a small indie US developer, especially when the other party in question is a major weapons manufacturer for them.

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u/MadeToPostOneMeme Dec 08 '21

Look man, I don't want to get on the bad side of the guy with the gun. Especially not the Russian guy with the gun

4

u/Tieger66 Dec 08 '21

Yet apparently, when a weapons manufacturer does exactly the same thing, it's okay?

i think its because games developers rip off RL weapons manufacturers designs all the time, essentially on the basis that its not the same industry, and it's treated as completely fine and normal. so its kinda funny to see it go the other way.

that said, i think in this particular case Ward B are in the right, due to the negotiations and chats they had with Kalashnikov earlier on.

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u/th3rra Dec 07 '21

You mean people don't read past headline and form their own 20iq takes in comments on reddit? NO..

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u/Games_N_Friends Dec 08 '21

"I was elected to lead, not to read."

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u/Icemasta Dec 08 '21

So I'll play a bit of devil's advocate here. Although I would say that I agree that ethically, it was sketchy. I'll address your second point first, then the first.

On the second point, IRL design, especially in the firearms industry, is a lot different than video game design. It's kind of a bad analogy because if 343/EA/ATVI outright stole a model, that is copyright infringement. IRL, that's not patentable (only functionalities are), so it comes down to trademark and those are 2 wildly different categories. If this point had merit, then Ward B would have to give credit where credit is due as they incorporate a ton of picatinny rails in their designs.

On the first point, basically, did they still the design, the question I would ask you is if Ward B's design are original in the first place. There is really one main point through all the pictures shown and it is the quick release stock, but it might be something that exists (I wouldn't be surprised if it did). The notch could be, but then compare thousands of guns and you'll find completely similarities at random. Doesn't have to be functional, as the article tries to claim, can be part of the making process. All the other things already exist on various other gun designs. In particular what I find hilarious is comparing to segmented picatinny rails on top of the gun... those things have been a thing for a long, long time. In the non-rail segment, companies stamp their logo there.

My main point is that while Kalashnikov most certainly inspired themselves from the Ward B's gun, if you looked through the history of gun/covers appearances, especially when it comes to the more... "mallninja" market, nothing is original in Ward B's design either, except the quick-release stock, maybe.

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u/awesomeificationist Dec 08 '21

Yeah I feel like a bit of an asshole for thinking this, but "normal shotgun with DeWalt/ Transformers space greebling" isn't exactly a patentable design. Breaking communications and going it alone seems dirty, but this is just Ward B's side of the story.

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u/Oden_son Dec 08 '21

There really isn't any room for questioning. The Kalishnikov gun even had features that were designed by Ward B that were completely useless and only for aesthetic purposes.

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u/ZeroBANG EVGA GTX 1080 FTW | 7700K | 16GB DDR4 | 1080P@144Hz G-Sync Dec 08 '21

What becomes clear only later in the article is that renders of the games weapon were used as CONCEPT ART for a pitch meeting, by some employee.

What is left of that concept art in the final product is one indent that even moved positions.
That alone would fail in any copyright lawsuit.
Nobody would ever mistake one gun for the other.

The email contacts are the actual damning evidence here and i got no clue how that would go over in a court of law.

Also without the initial email contact Ward B would never have noticed any of this going on.

I do believe the Bosses did not know that concept art was stolen, the branding was clearly removed and altered before they ever got to see it.
After they found out about it legal ass covering started and i bet you the employee that stole it is never going to have another pitch meeting there again.

I'd say that persons reputation has been sufficiently tarnished.

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u/Scav-STALKER Dec 08 '21

Imagine comparing another game company copying something to the countries primary supplier of firearms for government contracts both foreign and domestic. And well on BSGs side they don’t care about licensing, they just put whatever they want in Tarkov regardless

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u/Slukaj i7-6700HQ + GTX 1060 6GB + 32GB RAM Dec 08 '21

BSG may have been entirely unaware of the history in the first place, and ignored a seemingly random "You stole our design!" email pertaining to a gun their deal with Kalashnikov brought them into contact with.

Not knowing how Kalashnikov got it, I'd just assume the creator email was a troll.

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u/Scav-STALKER Dec 08 '21

That’s also very true as well, unless they were made aware (which I doubt) they wouldn’t know this to begin with so that’s not really their problem. And KC being in the spot they’re in will do what they want lol. That aside BSG also doesn’t care lol, insert spikes tactical here lol

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u/Slukaj i7-6700HQ + GTX 1060 6GB + 32GB RAM Dec 08 '21

Oh for sure - I could also believe BSG was aware and didn't care either. I'm shocked to find branding like EOTech, Burris, Vortex, Leupold, and Holosun showing up.

There's no way BSG is paying royalties for that shit lol.

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u/Scav-STALKER Dec 08 '21

No they don’t pay for any of it, they just include whatever they want. Spikes Tactical being one of the few companies that actually said anything. JMAC was thrilled to have their stuff featured in a game though.

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u/Slukaj i7-6700HQ + GTX 1060 6GB + 32GB RAM Dec 08 '21

Hangon - there's one brand, at least, that has had its name fudged. I don't remember who they are off hand, but I always found it jarring when I see it...

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u/Scav-STALKER Dec 08 '21

Probably a brand that actually called them out in a real way. I mean let’s just be real, we all know BSG isn’t paying Colt, HK, Sig, Kriss, DS Arms, FNH, CMMG, Desert Tech, B&T, Mossberg Remington, Eotech, Aimpoint, Nightforce the list goes on and on lol. If they did every cent they made would go to royalties

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u/Slukaj i7-6700HQ + GTX 1060 6GB + 32GB RAM Dec 08 '21

Agreed, I'm just mad I can't remember who it was.

I really don't think this indie dev has a claim against BSG, though. I'm being Battle State got the design from KC without knowing any history.

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u/Scav-STALKER Dec 08 '21

I’m honestly just curious about what it is now lol

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u/Willisthe Dec 08 '21

Why would I form my own opinion when I like yours?

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u/LtAldoRaine06 Dec 08 '21

Yet how long have game companies been ripping off real firearms designs?

I get that two wrongs don't make a right but there is some irony here.

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u/Geek_Verve Dec 08 '21

Having actually read the article, I'm very much on Ward B's side here; they designed in concept a functioning firearm

There was nothing functional about it, though. I could draw guns all day long, but that doesn't mean they wouldn't blow up in my hands, if I actually built one. None of the internals that actually control the ballistics are detailed in the drawings.

It may all come down to just how much of a legitimate gun design Ward B created. I could draw a broom that fires bullets, but that's not enough to actually make it work.

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u/Aethelric Dec 07 '21

I mean, I think it's obvious that Kalashnikov decided to steal some elements and make their own, but I don't think they really look that similar. Sketchy on Kalashnikov's part, but I think the case that this is a clean rip-off is really not that impressive.

Imagine if 343, Activision, or any other large game dev company had released a shotgun skin identical to Ward B's Mastodon design

Well, sure, if Kalashnikov had released something identical that would be more upsetting than what happened, which is they took some elements and designed their own legally distinct entire firearm based on them.

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u/youngoli Dec 08 '21

It doesn't look the same, but that's the equivalent of "sure you can copy my homework, just change the sentences up a bit". The actual features and design are the part that are primarily being copied. Also from the article:

Sauceda points to multiple smaller similarities between the two designs, many of which are decisions that were taken for aesthetic reasons in Oceanic, but have no practical purpose in real life (see gallery, below, for Ward B's specific comparisons). Elements of the handguard, receiver, and more appear to Sauceda to have been replicated on the Ultima, despite him seeing no utilitarian reason for their addition.

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u/DarkWingedEagle Dec 08 '21

Half of the stuff they point out in that gallery either don’t look similar or in a couple cases are things where the the developers literally have no idea about guns. For example they talk about a detachable stock is supposedly stupid and therefore an obvious ripoff since it won’t be as sturdy, and I mean yeah it’s not as sturdy but its not like this is being sold as a practical gun. People will 100% buy it because of the removable stock and in a lot of ways it’s just an extension of the collapsing and folding stocks that have been around for decades

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u/Icemasta Dec 08 '21

Or are things that already exist. The segmented picatinny rails at the top, for one. Fancy embossing has been around for centuries.

Only unique thing I can see so far is the quick-release stock, I can't find anything similar.

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u/Aethelric Dec 08 '21

Yes, like I said, sketchy. I'd even go as far as shitty and scummy, but I think people are overstating the case that this is a "copy". The person I was responding to compared to another game company using "an identical skin".

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u/DeadInkPen Dec 08 '21

I can swear I have seen that design or something similar in comics/manga way before it was used in a video game. Serious case of Deja Vu on seeing that look

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u/DeathStarnado8 Dec 08 '21

Seems to me like it would have been fine if they hadn't contacted them beforehand asking for collaboration. There are enough other elements from video game guns mixed in to make it look different. But the fact that they DID contact them makes the elements they copied so obvious. the overall shape is basically the same.

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u/Aethelric Dec 08 '21

Yeah, obviously they're borrowing some elements after a shady business move. I'm just pushing against the notion that this is "a copy".

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u/KHERRONALLO Dec 08 '21

From my limited understanding of firearm patents, if it’s internally a MP155, then unless there is something special about the external design it’s not really patentable.

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u/ROMMEL_HSQ Dec 08 '21

Looking at the two images in the article, I don't see how Kalashnikov's one is similiar to the Ward B's.

If you shown these two pictures to anyone before reading the news, no one would have said "oh look, they are identical!!!!".

But "grrrr Russia" it is I guess!!

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u/DrPeroxide Dec 08 '21

How very reductive of you :)

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u/Spartan448 Dec 08 '21

Having read the article, and looked at the images being offered as evidence, the only reason one could be on Ward B's side is if they just didn't like arms manufacturers. These designs barely look anything alike. Hell if anything, it looks like they copied the Halo 5 shotgun more than anything else.

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u/Prototype_Bamboozler Dec 08 '21

You have to admit that extending an offer of collaboration to Ward B, which would be at zero cost to Kalashnikov, and then going silent only to make their own, equally futuristic shotgun is kind of a dick move.

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u/Icemasta Dec 08 '21

Well, from the article, is seems like Kuzin e-mailed them to then pitch the idea at Kalashnikov.

Then the idea climbs the ladder and IP, lawyers, etc... get involved, I wouldn't be surprised if at this point they split.

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u/Spartan448 Dec 08 '21

I don't think they should have agreed to begin with; Ward B is American, are they not? They should know there's been an import ban for years, even before the Crimes stuff. Any kind of deal between an American company and a Russian arms manufacturer is always going to be more trouble than its worth.

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u/Slukaj i7-6700HQ + GTX 1060 6GB + 32GB RAM Dec 08 '21

Kalashnikov, unless I'm mistaken, has a US presence these days. They can get around some bans by just manufacturing equipment in the US.

That said, idk why I can't get an MP-153/155. I'd love more competition in the semi-auto shotgun market.

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u/shanulu Dec 08 '21

You cannot own an idea.

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u/tamal4444 Dec 08 '21

You cannot own an idea but you own the designs.

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u/KHERRONALLO Dec 08 '21

It’s not a design though. If anything it’s a Chassis that looks similar to the video game one, the patentable parts are the MP155.

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u/alwaysbutmostlynever Dec 08 '21 edited Dec 08 '21

The game designers did no mechanical engineering here. That's all Kalashnikovs work. They made the tangible, functional gun kit on their own. Ward B programmed pixels to display an image of a weapon, which has no design on a functioning piece of weapons kit. If anyone tweaked the cosmetics even a little bit, it instantly becomes their IP. Legally and logically speaking, artwork and concepts never trump tangible work.

Ward B can be pissed off about this but their complaint is basically the equivalent of me getting pissed at U2 for writing a billboard hit after overhearing me hum 3 bars of a tune that I just drummed up on the spot.

Edit just so it's understood, Kalashnikov will use some version of this logic if this makes it to court. I haven't seen anyone state this position, so I'm putting it out there. Obviously the gun maker is morally wrong for pulling this stunt off, but legally this is a gray area and probably isn't as cut and dry as many people seem to believe.

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u/MrTastix Dec 08 '21

The functional aspect of a gun is irrelevant because most guns work in the same way as another gun. You can't "copyright" the inner workings of something that has little functional alternative - that's what patents are for.

You can copyright the design, and there are key features about Ward B's concept that Kalash have copied that make zero sense for them to have copied unless they were copying it. It may seem minor but proving IP theft is often down to those seemingly small differences, because it's those details that are often overlooked by the copier.

"You can copy my homework but change it up a bit" is a meme but in reality actually doing that would plagiarism. Changing something by 20% doesn't suddenly make you exempt from copyright theft because copyright law generally doesn't dictate some arbitrary minimum percentage a product must be changed to now be considered new - it's always done on a case-by-case basis. The only reason Ward B isn't going to court (which you'd know if you read the article) is because they know they couldn't win, they know the opposition is bigger and richer than them.

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u/Hrodvitnison Dec 08 '21

This is absolutely NOT true. Design is just as restricted as manufacturing, if not more. Slight changes to a design don’t make it new IP, and Ward B is correct. Artwork and concepts can and do trump tangible work, because they ARE tangible work, there are hours and hours of work put into a design, and if done correctly can make the tangible work easy. I am going to school for design and currently design tooling for Lockheed. Professional artwork is expensive, and making money off of someone else’s design, that in this case can be proven, is illegal.

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u/BloodprinceOZ Dec 08 '21

Tarkov are also dicks for going along with it, especially after the indie studio emailed them about it, and then didn't reply to any of them

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u/infamous63080 Dec 08 '21

Russians gonna Russian.

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u/scipher99 Dec 08 '21

A video game skin is not a physical design or product. One the design is not a perfect reproduction of the skin. Two good luck getting Kalashnikov to care if they did. Countries like Russia and China rip off designs all the time and nothing ever happens and those are national secrets. If they do win a law suit Kalashnikov and Russia will just say fuck off not care and say it doesn't apply. Most likely this will go no where.

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u/Sardonislamir Dec 08 '21

Brain drain.

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u/XxCorey117xX Dec 08 '21

Only, Kalashnikov suddenly broke comms with them and released a suspiciously similar looking body kit of their own. They never got Ward B's permission, nor did they give them credit.

Dude, it's The Social Network 2!

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u/HerrNieto Dec 07 '21

They have to pay royalties to the gun designers, so it's just fair the other way around too.

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u/sean0883 Dec 07 '21 edited Dec 07 '21

Kalashnikov is Russian, and basically implied that there's nothing Ward B can do about it. Which as an indie developer, is true.

Kalashnikov is basically doing the "In Soviet Russia..." meme, but in real life.

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u/Harrythehobbit Dec 08 '21

In Soviet Russia... we do whatever the fuck we want because you can't stop us.

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u/Lutrijk Dec 08 '21

"Fuck that bitch. This is Russia."

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u/agojama1 Dec 08 '21

If it warms your soul, Kalashnikov has opened a statue with german ww2 gun on it: https://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-41367394

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u/Zappy_Kablamicus Dec 08 '21

Thats how we got gems like the Klobb and the RCP-90

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u/zadesawa Dec 08 '21

I don’t understand why games copying guns and refusing to pay for trademarks is okay but the other way around is not. Game industry as a whole is to blame.

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u/HopelessChip35 Dec 08 '21

I mean you can literally copy a gun and just call it a different name and be fine in most cases. You can literally model an AK-47 and call it a Mark 47 Assault Rifle in your game and you'll be fine.

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u/BeefInspector Dec 08 '21

Trademark vs patent. Colt owns the trademark on AR-15, but anybody can make the actual gun.

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u/zadesawa Dec 08 '21

That’s what Izhmash did and they’re suddenly at blame, just because the gun is on the real side. That’s a double standard, so to speak.

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u/Pecek Dec 08 '21

Because most of the time gun designs are done for a contract for a government, the government is funded by its people so the design itself becomes public domain. Usually everything other than the name is free to use even by other manufacturers, the government buys the rights to use, build or modify the design. M416 is perfectly fine in any game, while HK M416 will get you into trouble.

This is a completely different situation.

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u/NextRescue Dec 07 '21

People should read the article before dismissing the game company as pr chasers

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u/Amnail Dec 07 '21

Before people say it’s a PR stunt, perhaps read the article. It’s very clear what happened.

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u/ThreeSon Dec 08 '21

One of the 2 or 3 instances per year when thoroughly reading an IGN article is actually important.

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u/rubberducky_93 Dec 08 '21

Too much water

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u/TophSmash Dec 07 '21

Kalashnikov knew exactly what they were doing. The similarities are not enough to actually win in court id imagine but its clearly "inspired" by it.

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u/MistakeNot__ Dec 07 '21

There is no way anyone would win a case against weapon manufacturer in Russian court regardless of evidence at hand. Any court ruling outside of Russia will be simply ignored. Ye, Russians knew what they were doing.

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u/zold5 Dec 08 '21

Unless they do business exclusively in russia (which they don't) that's a moot point. A foreign court can seize foreign assets to pay damages.

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u/Doctor_Ghillie Dec 08 '21

Kalashnikov USA is not owned by Kalashnikov Concern.

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u/Xarxyc Dec 08 '21

Any court ruling outside of Russia will be simply ignored

It's clear you know little about it to say that.

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u/frameddummy Dec 08 '21

Russia does little to enforce foreign intellectual property law.

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u/Xarxyc Dec 08 '21

Doesn't mean international courts have no power at all. It's more bothersome, but not "no way anyone would win"

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u/frameddummy Dec 08 '21

International courts aren't really a thing for civil disputes. Or at all really. The designer would have to sue Kalashnikov in a Russian court. In which case the design would have to have been registered in Russia.

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u/twilightwillow Dec 08 '21

This is absolutely, incredibly not how that works.

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u/frameddummy Dec 08 '21

Feel free to contradict me. Unless Kalashnikov has a foreign subsidiary in the other country they would have to sure them in Russia. They could, I suppose them elsewhere, but that judgement will never be enforced. Congrats you're the owner of a piece of paper that says they owe you money.

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u/twilightwillow Dec 08 '21 edited Dec 08 '21

Countries can enforce their own, and international, intellectual property laws on companies that do business in their jurisdiction. It happens very regularly.

I'm not by any means saying this game developer does have a legitimate case or will win a suit if they bring one, I don't know the facts of the case, but it is DEFINITELY within the realm of possibility that they could sue in a country in which they both do business (e.g. the US) and win a judgment against Kalashnikov, which Kalashnikov would then have to pay because they do business in the country and need to comply with court orders to continue doing business.

EDIT: plus, even by your own incorrect logic - you do realize Kalashnikov has a US subsidiary, right?

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u/frameddummy Dec 08 '21

Kalashnikov USA is an independent company that uses the same name as it's illegal to import weapons from Russia due to sanctions. Kalashnikov Concern, the Russian company, is a state-owned arms manufacturer in Russia (mostly owned by ROSTEC). They're literally controlled by the Russian Government.

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u/frameddummy Dec 08 '21

The real problem here (and try to follow me) is that Kalashnikov Concern (the bad company) is literally owned by the Russian Government. They are sanctioned by the US (and by extension all western governments) so they don't have subsidiaries in countries that care about what some indie US developer has to say.

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u/hostile65 Dec 07 '21

Nah, the small design implements copied will be a huge bump for the game designer's case.

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u/sean0883 Dec 07 '21

Especially because those details were so minor, yet so deliberate, that there's no way Kalashnikov's designers came up with that many coincidences on their "totally not just an edit of the model they emailed us" design.

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u/[deleted] Dec 08 '21

[deleted]

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u/mightryagain Dec 08 '21

They put many real versions of guns into Tarkov

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u/1II1I1I1I1I1I111I1I1 Dec 08 '21

Isn't that a big issue BSG is having? That aside from being a small team, license royalties for the guns cost a fortune.

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u/does_my_name_suck Dec 08 '21

They've stopped paying royalties I'm p sure

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u/1leggeddog Ultrawide FTW Dec 07 '21

In soviet russia, permission is stated, not asked.

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u/PickledSausageBooB2 Dec 08 '21

Honestly I see a few guns stuffed into that package.

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u/The91stGreekToe 10700k / 3090 FE / CX48 OLED Dec 07 '21

This reads like an Onion headline.

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u/IVther . Dec 08 '21

Was just thinking r/nottheonion

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u/Voyajer oldass pc Dec 07 '21

Not even a PR stunt for once

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u/WINDEX_DRINKER No, I don't think you understand ;) Dec 08 '21

Even if Ward B has a case, good luck trying to sue a foreign entity that doesn't give a shit about sanctions or anything else to begin with.

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u/Isaacvithurston Ardiuno + A Potato Dec 08 '21

From the title you expect it to be some dumb game dev having a stroke but then you see the gun in question and it really does look like a rip-off lol

It's still different enough that it will never hold in court though. Their are so many guns that looks like other guns that it's really difficult to claim anything unless it's an actual 1:1 knockoff.

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u/Dotaproffessional Dec 08 '21

It might hold up in court if there wasn't a paper trail showing their plot to steal the design

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u/DocTenma Dec 08 '21

it really does look like a rip-off lol

No it doesnt what the fuck are you smoking?

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u/Ghostefx Dec 08 '21

The mastodon looks better

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u/KanyinTV Dec 08 '21

Funny that they think Tarkov licensed the gun model. It's a fucking Russian studio. They don't care about licensing lol.

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u/SXOSXO Dec 08 '21

I don't know how to feel about this actually, because video games having been copying real life firearms for years, often using a fake name, just to get by licensing costs. I feel like this can open up a whole can of worms that we don't want opened.

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u/Achtelnote Dec 08 '21

The fuck? Those don't even look the same, even their comparisons show that they don't.. Typical reddit.

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u/gt1911 Dec 08 '21

It looks like every tube fed, semi-auto tactical shotgun. Beretta 1301 Tactical, Benelli M4, spas-12. The stock looks like a magpul hunter. KC is winning this one. They cut coms when they realized the devs had nothing proprietary. Just interesting cuts, vents and a squared off mag and barrel.

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u/TankerD18 Dec 08 '21

I don't really see the similarity, and in Kalashnikov's defense engineering an actual working firearm is a thousand times removed from making one look cool for a video game. Maybe Kalashnikov got some inspiration for some parts of it but I don't feel like they did a hard copy of it or something, the two shotguns look vastly different even with the similarities the article points out.

Yeah, I read the article, and if it helps I'm a real life design engineer. I think this is a moot point.

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u/shadow_moose Dec 08 '21

Yeah I saw everyone telling me to read the article, so I did. I think the Ward B design at most served as inspiration, but the gun is not "an obvious ripoff" as many others are saying.

It is a fundamentally different design in many regards, especially if you compare the components of the gun to one another at an individual level (which is exactly what a court would do).

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u/[deleted] Dec 08 '21 edited 21d ago

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u/Syrdon Dec 08 '21

It’s new on shotguns, but detachable stocks aren’t super new on rifles. Not sure changing the class of weapon really makes it all that novel.

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u/MaximumAbsorbency Dec 08 '21

It's kinda close, but the kicker is the specific details they blatantly ripped off - which are highlighted by the comparison pics in the article. If it was just kinda similar I'd understand, but there are enough specific details carried over to the real gun that I'm with the game devs on this one. There are unnecessary stylistic features that are pretty much completely copied. Plus they specifically reached out for permission to copy the design, then did it anyway without approval.

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u/Alpha_pro2019 Dec 08 '21

Eh, there are similarities, but not enough to make me think they have any ground. Kalashnakov may have been "inspired" by it, but from my own point of view their own designer had to put in nearly the same amount of effort for the differences.

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u/TankerD18 Dec 08 '21

Not to mention the actual engineering of the weapon itself. There is so much more that goes into a firearm than its exterior appearance. I think there are some similarities like the article points out, but not nearly enough to give the indie dev legal grounds.

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u/[deleted] Dec 08 '21 edited 21d ago

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u/TankerD18 Dec 08 '21

Ok but what's the point? It isn't like these game devs can sit there and say they 1:1 copied them or even close to that. It's a moot point.

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u/[deleted] Dec 08 '21

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u/Alpha_pro2019 Dec 08 '21

Nah, did you see the real version of the weapon? There are similarities, but definitely not enough. Its clear some employee put A LOT of effort into designing the new gun.

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u/siuol11 Dec 08 '21

Yet another person who obviously did not read the article.

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u/Alpha_pro2019 Dec 08 '21

What does it say that means I'm wrong?

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u/12thetechguy Dec 08 '21 edited Dec 08 '21

the business end screams halo 4 shotgun to me

there definitely seem to be elements of the oceanic shotgun in there, but it almost seems like an amalgamation of other scifi shooter shotties imo

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u/kre5en Dec 08 '21

WTF. The side by side comparison obviously shows they are quite different. Yes the collab didn't push thru, but nobody stole any design either.

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u/IndexCase Dec 08 '21

Nah. There are some similar elements but as a whole the design duffers enough that you would not confuse the two if laid on a table. Being angular and futuristic with some questionable similarities is not the same as ripping off a design.

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u/-TotallyRealName Dec 08 '21

Russians stealing things...

In other news: today the sky is blue.

Russia has been stealing designs forever, they've never changed since soviet times.

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u/HV51 Dec 08 '21

This is a stupid article. Kalashnikov did nothing wrong here. They liked the general idea, and made their own design that's similar is aesthetic. That is not copying anything.

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u/Noklle Dec 08 '21

Mate have you read the article

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u/HV51 Dec 08 '21

yes

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u/Noklle Dec 08 '21

fair enough then

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u/Cowboy_Diplomacy Dec 08 '21

What a bunch of bullshit, it barely even looks like the game gun, except sharing a silhouette, and even then only kinda

Different rails, differnt mlok attatch points; not to mention the totally different sci-fi barrel on the game gun and lack of pump slide.

They have half a shared silhouette and that's it. It's ridiculous.

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u/Noklle Dec 08 '21

The article points out numerous design similarities, including an L shaped indent on the side of the kit which is shared by other guns in the game. It's not a long shot to say that something's up

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u/chris17453 Dec 07 '21

Just... wow... fuck russia... but from a whole other angle

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u/Vandel4176 Dec 08 '21

How about just fuck the company decision makers instead of generalizing an entire country as bad.

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u/Dotaproffessional Dec 07 '21

And fuck kalishnikof

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u/ZeroBANG EVGA GTX 1080 FTW | 7700K | 16GB DDR4 | 1080P@144Hz G-Sync Dec 08 '21 edited Dec 08 '21

So...
looking at the final product, there is one indent left that indicates where it came from, everything else has changed to the point where it can't be considered the same thing anymore, functionality and overall shape are very different (different layout for attachement rails, heat exhaust ports etc. all very different), lots of different details.

And that one damning indent even has moved positions between the guns.
It is a good thing they decided against a lawsuit, even in the US i've seen clearer cut copyright cases than this fail miserably.

The email evidence is the smoking gun here and that the Renders were clearly stolen for Concept Art is not even a question.

But i think this was a case of one person stealing concept art for sort of a pitch meeting, slapping his branding on it and then creating a new product from scratch, "inspired by" this concept art.

This is the classic "can i copy your homework?" meme.

Now lets hope that Kalashnikov doesn't decide to throw a defamation lawsuit at them for going public with this, they could totally bully them out of existence if they wanted to.

Plus... Americans selling concepts for weapon designs to a russian Weapons Manufacturer... how is THAT handled legally? ...did they consider for even 5 seconds that they might be committing treason by selling weapon designs to an (sort-of-)enemy state? ... just asking, no idea how that works and they probably don't either.
The russians might unintentionally have done them a favor.

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u/[deleted] Dec 08 '21

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u/siuol11 Dec 08 '21

It absolutely would not fall under ITAR, as that requires some amount of functionality.

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u/cottoneheadedninney Dec 08 '21

If you read this through the lens that Kalashnikov is literally a Russian weapons manufacturer it's kind of hilarious how they think they give a fuck about some rando fucking video game developer or their feelings lol I think they were TELLING them, not asking them for permission 😂

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u/Dotaproffessional Dec 08 '21

I mean it doesn't really matter whether they care about their feelings. Its about copyright infringement.

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u/shadow_moose Dec 08 '21

It isn't though, no US court would grant damages. Have you actually looked at the similarities between the two designs? They are fundamentally completely different, especially at a component level, which is where the scrutiny would be leveled in this case.

Ward B would not win this case even if Kalashnikov were a US company. As it is, they have zero chances of ever getting a dime out of it, because Kalashnikov is not a US company and is already barred from doing business in the US.

Their best hope would be asset seizure, but a cursory google search was all I needed to find out Kalashnikov has no subsidiaries in countries where a US court could order assets to be seized.

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u/Slukaj i7-6700HQ + GTX 1060 6GB + 32GB RAM Dec 08 '21

And who is going to enforce it? The US? There's already an embargo on Russian weapon imports - you can't punish them any more than they already are.

The Russians? They don't give a flying fuck, Moscow's been funding hackers who have been breaking into American federal and commercial environments for the better part of the last decade - why would they give a shit about some indie dev's copyright claim?

I sympathize with the indie dev... But what did they think was going to happen when they started "collaborating" with the biggest arms manufacturer in the world, one who went into business specifically to arm the second world against the first?

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u/Dotaproffessional Dec 08 '21

They responded to the cease and desist for some time

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u/Slukaj i7-6700HQ + GTX 1060 6GB + 32GB RAM Dec 08 '21

Until some lawyer on their side pointed out there's no legal reason for them to cease and desist. Again - what is the penalty for Kalashnikov if they don't desist?

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u/Dotaproffessional Dec 08 '21

From everything i've been told, international copyright laws are pretty severe

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u/Slukaj i7-6700HQ + GTX 1060 6GB + 32GB RAM Dec 08 '21

No they're not. There isn't some international tribunal that deals with copyrights.

IMPORT laws are severe. The United States could say "Cease abusing the copyright, or we disallow you from selling the product in our country."

Except that's a moot point because we already can't import Kalashnikov products thanks to the Russian arms/ammo ban Biden put into effect a few months back.

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u/ltbadpuppy Dec 08 '21

Wouldn’t the weapon manufacturers return the ire by claiming these companies have made money off their gun design for years? I’m more likely to see a gun I know in COD then I am to see a unique COD gun in a gun store.

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u/ffilps Dec 08 '21

and they seem to be correct.

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u/dustyreptile Dec 08 '21

This is stupid. Ward B will never see a dime if they sue. That shotgun looks like every other video game sci fi shotgun.

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u/wordswillneverhurtme Dec 08 '21

I’m hoping there’s some court they can sue them.

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u/shadow_moose Dec 08 '21

They'd lose if they did, but there isn't really any court they can sue in anyways.

They would have to sue the Russian Kalashnikov, since that's who's offering this gun (it isn't being sold in Western markets, yet). There are subsidiaries in other countries, but none from which a US court (where the claimant would have to file, since they're registered in the US) could actually seize assets for compensation.

Beyond the technical legal problems, the guns just don't have a close enough resemblance where it actually matters. At an individual component level, they are completely different.

If you've paid any attention to weapons manufacturers getting sued in similar cases in the US, you'd notice the precedent is essentially set at "it must be an exact copy for damages to be awarded". This is not an exact copy, not by the standards of the courts here.

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u/DabScience Dec 08 '21

How are they going to blame Tarkov for using a licensed weapon? Take that up with Kalashnikov.

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u/DisastrousRegister Dec 08 '21

Did anyone actually bother to look at the comparison images? It's two completely separate weapons, they're the same design like, say, all 2-door convertibles are the same design. Hell, the video game sci-fi shotgun doesn't even have the thermal screen that the real life sci-fi shotgun does have!

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u/Nyteshayd1 Dec 07 '21

To everyone commenting about "did you even read it" I dont get your point. Ive been a firearms instructor for almost 12 years and involved in firearms for over twice as long. Looking at the two designs, the only thing I saw that looked like it was probably adapted from the game design was having a detachable stock. The "comparison" photos do not even make sense. One has the ejection ports...which are different sizes. Another has a tab on the forend and what appears to be where a picatinny rail would attach. These arent even close in terms of ip being stolen and in the world of firearms, what matters is the action mechanism. Magpul has been making angular looking kits for years, long before 2019. Cool looking design though, for the game I mean.

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u/fruitsdemers Dec 07 '21

Here’s the tl;dr so we can all pretend we read before commenting:

Game company Ward B accuses Russian gun maker Kalashnikov of stealing their design and calls them out.

Kalashnikov claims they worked with a company called AMA that made a cool looking design for their gun.

From article description, AMA clearly stole specific parts of their designs from art concepts and the game company DMCAs them.

Kalashnikov responds by asking for proof of ownership of said designs, goes radio silence when proof is presented then gets caught trying to backdoor-deal with the artist himself but the artist was under contract and doesn’t own the rights to the art he made while working on the game. Game company uses that as proof the gun makers do want the designs. This is the part that’s pretty clear cut and probably has everyone go “WTF are you talking about did you even read the article?”

Now, obviously, the actual guts of the gun underneath all the polymer tacticool shell is what matters and everyone here knows that but that’s all irrelevant to the fact cool-looking designs do sell products and real gun makers are starting to leverage video-game designs to sell their wares, in this case, someone else’s without permission.

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u/double0cinco Dec 08 '21

So? Who cares? Are developers really butt-hurt about this? They develop video games. Kalashnikov makes firearms.

That said, I don't think developers should have to license weapons in their games, so it is pretty dumb that it appears to be a one way street.

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u/Negative_Elo Dec 08 '21

I mean they did design it, and it definitely could fall under the definition of intellectual property. If I designed a body kit for a gun in a game, got fucking Kalashnikov Group to sign off on it, and after they receive the designs they break communication and outright steal the design for profit, Id probably sue for business and ethical reasons.

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u/EbagI Dec 07 '21

PR stunt by the videogame company, pure and simple. This is going no where AND their game will fail lol

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u/NextRescue Dec 07 '21

Did you even read the article? They dropped the legal pursuit since they are based in a different country and pursuing the legal suit would cost more than its worth.

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u/Dotaproffessional Dec 07 '21

Sounds like you're rooting for them to fail.

Big, small, success, failure, it doesn't matter. If they were robbed they were robbed

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u/EbagI Dec 07 '21

Im saying they probably weren't robbed lol

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u/ZigZach707 Dec 07 '21

And we're speculating you never even looked at the evidence they provided.

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u/Dotaproffessional Dec 07 '21

Based on what? Nothing I've seen makes this appear fake. Companies rip off small creators all the time

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u/DarkWingedEagle Dec 07 '21 edited Dec 07 '21

I mean they both look like almost every other tacticool shotgun with a barrel shroud out there. I mean seriously google tacticool shotgun. for example here is a bunch of modified remington 870s http://www.imfdb.org/wiki/Talk:Remington_Model_870. And thats one model alone.

Edit heck some of the things they call out as proof aren't even in the same places. And the only thing I think they could argue is the stock but even then they are saying there is no reason to have it, when frankly I guarentee there are people who would buy a shotgun solely because it has a quick detach stock. Its like no shit its not a great stock design but no one who is concerned with practicality was going to buy it in the first place.

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u/Dotaproffessional Dec 07 '21

The problem is that they show the messages to the artist asking about who paid for the design and sending them to the vp. They even see the diagram going from the mastodon to the final gun.

The point is they used the design to inspire theirs. And there's a paper trail to prove it

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u/DarkWingedEagle Dec 07 '21 edited Dec 07 '21

The only messages they have is them asking about the design and who owns it I cannot find a single mention of a diagram of game gun to real gun in the article. The only thing I can find is that there is a list of a bunch of designs they used as inspiration.

Its a generic vaguely futuristic shotgun its not unique. Hell google literally "video game futuristic shotgun" and there are ton of things that look nearly identical to this.

EDIT: Hell just look at all of the glock clones you can't TM a vague general gun shape.

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u/Dotaproffessional Dec 07 '21

Listen, I don't know enough about music to tell when one song meets the technical definition of copying another song in a legal sense. To me, 2 songs might just appear to be pop songs. To people in the know, things like chords used, time signature, blah blah blah, they're important.

It's the same with guns. I don't know enough about shotguns to know the difference between "similar looking" and "copying"

In a vacuum, I might not know it was copied. But this isn't a vacuum. We have their initial interest in the gun, communications between relevant parties, and even kalishnikof (spelling) admitted this was inspired by a video game gun. They also admitted they dropped pursuit of a deal because they didn't have faith in B Ward. So we know they were interested in this exact fake gun to be used for this real gun. Now this real gun comes out looking like this fake gun.

I'm far more likely to side with a small indie studio than the big guy. This shit happens all the time.

I'd rather be wrong and accidentally give the small guy too much publicity, than be wrong and let a big company steal intellectual property

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u/DarkWingedEagle Dec 07 '21

I mean I'm not inclined to believe a no name company whose only post on any of their social media for over a year is about this, yes post singular back in June and who have a patreon they link to without so much as a single post on it might be a scam/fraud. I mean hell I even hoped into their discord and it looks like there hasn't been any kind of real posts there either and frankly it looks pretty dead.

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u/Sporeking97 i9-9900K | RTX 3070 Dec 08 '21

They literally talk about it in the article that the dev team went silent and stopped showing progress and renders after this happened, to prevent any more designs being stolen. The game is on a string budget and in early development, not sure what sort of booming community you’d expect to see anyway.

Funny how you supposedly spent time searching for stuff to paint them as random no name scammers on a PR stunt, but couldn’t bring yourself to read the damn article that outlines exactly what happened. Because if you read it, you’d know that it’s backed up by more than just random accusations.

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u/[deleted] Dec 07 '21

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u/Pyrocitor RYZEN 3600 - 16GB 3200 - 5700X - Odyssey+ Dec 07 '21

Try reading the article before commenting

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u/DrPeroxide Dec 07 '21

Interesting. Every word you just wrote was wrong.

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u/baphosam Dec 08 '21

Putins building up his border troops everyday so this kind of move is no surprise to me.

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u/bopoff-entirely Dec 08 '21

That’s a trip