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EA Copying Warhammer? Shrug. Get in Line.

Games Workshop might be a monolithic empire that will sue the hell out of anyone who even mentions its games in public if it doesn’t get a cut, but you have to admit that a lot of GW properties have been, let’s say “borrowed”, without the company’s consent. Sure, GW can take this to the extreme, like when it freaked out when users started making custom content for the new edition of Space Hulk. Fan made mods and maps — Games Workshop lost its mind over that one. Games Workshop protects its IP like a mother wolf protects its pups. When Cyanide made the PC game Chaos League, which was a blatant lifting of the Blood Bowl idea, the lawyers were called.

StarCraft and WarCraft would not exist — at least in so far as how the games look — without Warhammer.

The latest “borrowing” comes from EA. Here’s the blurb from Eurogamer:

EA has been accused of copying Warhammer 40k tanks for its browser-based real-time strategy game Command & Conquer Tiberium Alliances. Users on Reddit noticed a number of tanks in C&C, developed by German studio Phenomic, are pretty much carbon copies of tanks in the famous Games Workshop tabletop game.

Whoops. Look at that picture. Might as well slap a Bad Moonz clan Ork on that sucker and call it a day.

Purge the Unclean…call the lawyers.

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Bill Abner

Bill has been writing about games for the past 16 years for such outlets as Computer Games Magazine, GameSpy, The Escapist, GameShark, and Crispy Gamer. He will continue to do so until his wife tells him to get a real job.

10 thoughts to “EA Copying Warhammer? Shrug. Get in Line.”

  1. On don’t see the problem of having a tank similar to another tank in a different game, just call it an homage, it’s not like anyone is designing completely original tanks these days.
    I wonder if the designer did this on purpose, that is he was looking at the old model when designing, or it was just something that came to him and didn’t realized that it was from something it sure have seen in the past. I feel that if he was making a deliberate copy he would avoid some of design elements so it wouldn’t look so similar. Of course being a EA game this is going to get a lot more traffic then it should, that’s what you get from having poor costumer service the internet will take every chance they can to slam you.

    1. I’m all for homages, a bit of artistic borrowing, even some solid “inspired by”s, but THAT- THAT is a COPY. It’s EXACTLY THE SAME. I’ve seen kitbashes with more originality. Even the armour plates on the side have the same seam. The grilles have the same positioning and size. It has the same smoke stack/exhaust setup on the back.

      It’s pretty clear where this design originates and it’s the details that give it away; the twin barrels being mounted on the sides of the turret, the same number of spikes on the roller, the twin hatches behind the turret, the ribbed hose/pipe running down the side above the left hand track… I could go on.

      Just… wow EA. I guess this is what they get when they contract out their content creation to the lowest bidder or underpay some poor grads and fire them immediately after crunching them for 6 months, or whatever.

      1. Yeah, I’ve got to agree with Legion on this one. There’s inspiration and homage, but there’s also taking a tank and adding an extra turret which I believe is known as copying.

  2. The thing that gets me, is that I don’t know why anyone would want to imitate that stuff.

    I know I seem to be a minority of one, but I’ve always thought the tech design of 40K was was Grade-A ugly. I mean, FASA’s tech design style looked better, and it takes work to notch in under that. Admittedly some of that is the crappy paint jobs GW uses on their promo shots, but its one of the reasons I’ve never had any desire to into getting into all of it—the entire universe looks like some redneck’s front lawn.

    1. It’s an Ork tank. Orks are kinda of hill-billy, or so the fluff goes. I agree though, I’m not fan of that style… or the idea of space Orks, but still…

      1. Hillbilly?!

        I know hillbilly. I have relatives who ARE hillbilly. I am w/o question 50% hillbilly.

        Orks aren’t hillbilly.

        Orks are more soccer hooligan.

        I guess I can see the redneck car on block analogy w/ the Orks. But Eldar? I dunno. Not much hick in that stuff.

        1. Haha, I always thought the soccer hooligans were hillbilly too. My hillbilly brush is rather wide I suppose. You could optimistically say it’s “inclusive”!

          But yeah, to me, just the Ork stuff is hillbilly. And of all the stuff to rip-off they choose that. Go figure.

  3. The really weird thing, to me at least, is that the tank doesn’t look like it fits into the visual style of C&C…at least as far as my knowledge of the series goes.

    It is definitely a too-close-for-comfort appropriation though…it blows my mind sometimes how graphic designers, illustrators, and other visual artists think they can nick something like this and not get called out. It reminds me of the flap over the Mickey Mouse Joy Division shirt a couple of months ago. The graphic designer probably thought he was clever putting the Peter Saville “Unknown Pleasures” cover in a Mickey head…but did he think nobody would notice.

    The best was Peter Hook’s response- “Certainly Disney won’t mind when we start putting Donald Duck on our shirts”.

    Games Workshop is not so litigiously gracious.

  4. “Games Workshop and EA are aware of the IP issues around the artwork in question, which have now been resolved. The artwork was internal EA concept art that was unintentionally released publicly. No Warhammer 40,000 tanks have ever made an appearance in Command and Conquer: Tiberium Alliances, and never will. Games Workshop and EA continue to have a strong relationship working together on Warhammer Online: Age of Reckoning and the new free to play game Warhammer Online: Wrath of Heroes which just entered open beta.”

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