Bethesda might be the pantomime bad guys of the games industry at the moment, facing consumer backlash and even lawsuits in the wake of Fallout 76’s release, but in the middle of last year they were the good guys in a lawsuit over the Westworld mobile game. Developed by Behaviour interactive, who also developed Fallout Shelter, Bethesda alleged that they had reused their prior work for the new game, against the terms of their contract.
Now the companies have announced that they have “amicably resolved the lawsuit,” though the terms of their agreement have not been disclosed. A notice filed in federal court noted that the case had been resolved and that the companies would bear their own costs and legal fees.
Fallout Shelter was released back in 2015 with Bethesda’s agreement with Behaviour stipulating that “work product of any kind, including code, designs, artwork, layouts and other assets and materials for Fallout Shelter were authored and owned by Bethesda.” However, when Behaviour then went to work on the Westworld game, they appeared to have taken more than just the idea, and general look of the game. In particular it seems that the game code was simply reused, with Bethesda highlighting that some of the exact same bugs existed in both games.
Though we don’t know how the suit was resolved, that the companies are paying their own fees does seem to suggest that the matter is simply being dropped. Perhaps Warner and Behaviour’s assertion that no code was reused was factually correct and found during discovery, making the suit moot.