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Myth Of Empires

Platform(s): PC
Genre: Strategy
Publisher: Imperium Interactive Entertainment
Developer: Angela Game
Release Date: 2022

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'Myth of Empires' DMCA Takedown Notice Accuses Former Employee Of Stealing Source Code

by Rainier on Dec. 9, 2021 @ 1:18 a.m. PST

Set in the 3rd century on the Eastern Continent, Myth of Empires is an online multiplayer sandbox game where players must rebuild a world that has been ravaged by conflict and usher in a new era of peace and prosperity.

Players can lead with benevolence or take charge with violence as they strategically recruit NPCs and other players into their empire to fight alongside their cause, defend their home, gather valuable resources, or craft important items that will help in their quest to dominate a map 64 square kilometers in size. In a persistent, living world, players can either keep the peace among factions or wage war against each other.

Players can also engage one another in massive battles using a variety of weapons and armor they’ve crafted, such as deadly one-handed swords for close-range combat or bows and arrows for distanced strikes. While shelling out damage, players must also endure full scale attacks on their homes using crafted bucklers, tower shields, and armor, all while expanding their armies to conquer the world with - so long as they have the sustenance to sustain them. 

Territory can be expanded by collecting wood, clay, stone, and metal to construct buildings and establish capitals. Players can gather resources to build defensive and offensive fortifications, including battering rams, siege towers, catapults, ballistas, and can train and breed horses found in the wild to use in battle. Players can also pillage valuable resources from rival player factions.

In addition to all the different combat roles a character can take on, there is also a variety of different professions and activities to develop, including planting, forging, cooking, livestock farming, and hunting. Players must work together to provide the resources a growing empire needs.

Earlier this week we revealed that Myth Of Empires was delisted from Steam after Studio Wildcard (developer behind ARK: Survival Evolved and ATLAS) filed a DMCA takedown notice against developer Angela Game accusing it of copyright infringement.

Not only did Steam receive the DMCA takedown notice, but also various hosting companies (such as Zap Hosting) due to the multiplayer nature of Myth Of Empires.

We've had a chance to look at the actual DMCA takedown notice which indicates that a former Snail Games (parent company of ARK developer Studio Wildcard), who had access to the source code, left in 2020 in order to form Myth Of Empires developer Angela Game.

When MoE was released on Steam, Studio Wildcard became suspicious due to the similar nature/features of the game, and upon investigation uncovered Angela Game allegedly used copied/stolen source code with hundreds of matching "class," "variable," and "function" names.

We represent Wildcard Properties LLC d/b/a Studio Wildcard and Snail Games USA Inc. (collectively "SWC"), the developer and publisher (respectively) of the video game Ark: Survival Evolved.

Without conceding that [redacted] is eligible for the safe-harbor protection provided by the Digital Millennium Copyright Act ("DMCA"), 17 U.S.C. section 512, this letter constitutes a "notice of copyright infringement" to [redacted] better known as a DMCA "takedown" notice.

[Redacted] is currently hosting and operating the server executable ("MOESever.exe") for a videogame titled Myth of Empires, purportedly developed by a company called Angela Game. However, based on our investigation, that game appears to have been built with trade secret, copyrighted source code that was stolen from SWC. [Redacted] 's hosting and operation of Myth of Empires is thus facilitating trade secret misappropriation and copyright infringement.

On December 1, 2021, we presented the information summarized below to Valve Corporation, where the infringing game has been made available for purchase and download on its Steam platform. Two days later, on December 3, Valve notified us that it has taken down Myth of Empires from Steam. We are asking to take the equivalent action with regard to hosting the game.

SWC first published Ark: Survival Evolved on June 2, 2015, for the Windows platform on Steam, and subsequently by August 29, 2017 for Mac OS, Xbox One, and PlayStation 4 platforms. In 2018, SWC published additional versions of Ark: Survival Evolved for the Nintendo Switch and Android iOS. The source code for Ark: Survival Evolved is protected by U.S. copyright law pursuant to Copyright Registration Nos. TX0008844750, TX0008844750, and TX0008850190. The source code was also subject to reasonable measures to maintain its secrecy, including through employment contracts that prohibited SWC's employees from using the code for any purpose other than assigned work and from disclosing the code to third parties.

In 2020, at least one employee of SWC's parent corporation (Snail Games China) who previously had access to the source code for Ark: Survival Evolved left to form Angela Game which, as noted above, is the developer of Myth of Empires. Accordingly, when Myth of Empires was released on November 18, 2021, SWC became understandably concerned because of large-scale similarities between Ark: Survival Evolved and Myth of Empires. This similarity extended to features that could not be explained through independent development, such as the use of identical gameplay mechanics not found in other games.

To investigate, SWC compared code "headers" found in the executable file for Myth of Empires to the code used in Ark: Survival Evolved. A preliminary analysis is attached as Exhibit A. SWC's analysis confirms that its concerns are well-founded: Myth of Empires was built using source code copied and stolen from SWC. The analysis reveals hundreds of matching "class," "variable," and "function" names.

Accordingly, Studio Wildcard and Snail Games USA Inc. hereby formally request that [redacted] also take down, cease operation of, and cease hosting, all versions of the game titled Myth of Empires.

Studio Wildcard and Snail Games USA Inc. have a good faith belief that Myth of Empires is infringing Studio Wildcard and Snail Games USA Inc.'s copyrights in Ark: Survival Evolved. 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. 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 credentials that enabled them to access the Ark: Survival Evolved source code.

Key Features

  • Thrilling Large-scale Warfare: Expand your territory and build your own empire as you bring counties and regions under your control
  • Conquest By Any Means Necessary: Recruit NPCs through peaceful or violent means to fight, defend, gather and create resources for your cause
  • A World By Your Own Design: Use resources to construct buildings and cities in a persistent and continuously developing online world 
  • Fearless Dominance: Go head-to-head with rival factions using a variety of crafted weapons, such as short swords, long swords, and halberds. Construct siege weapons such as battering rams, siege towers, catapults, ballistas and more
  • Fight With Your Friends: Band together with your friends to form alliances and eliminate enemy factions that stand in your way. Work together to build an empire of many

Myth Of Empires is in development for PC (Steam), scheduled for 2022.

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