There might have been a few times at school where, for whatever reason, you decided to copy a friends homework. Maybe you just forgot to do it and were in a panic, or maybe you were just a lazy wretch. No judgement from me either way.
Of course, anyone who’s ever done this, or has had to be the one to offer their work to be copied in the first place can tell you that if you’re going to copy something, you need to change it up so that it doesn’t look obvious.
I mean, there’s a whole meme dedicated to that entire ethos.
Unfortunately, it doesn’t look like anybody told this to the developers of Tank BATTLEGROUNDS, a new Steam game which looks to be a flagrant rip off Battlefield 1942. Classic Steam, right?
Take a look at the two trailers below. One is for BATTLEGROUNDS, and one is for DICE’s Battlefield 1942. I’d be surprised if you could tell which one is which, given that they are in fact, nearly identical to one another.
To be clear, when I say “nearly identical”, I actually mean exactly the damn same.
It’s no secret that Valve has a bad track record of allowing some seriously dodgy content onto its digital storefront, and Tank BATTLEGROUNDS is only the most recent example of a fairly egregious string of ripoffs or straight up “asset flips.”
A quick glance at the Steam page for BATTLEGROUNDS throws up even more damning evidence, as ll of the screenshots are in fact screenshots of Battlefield 1942.
This means either Chinese developer 自由合伙人is planning to upload a direct rip of DICE’s game, or whatever it is uploading looks absolutely nothing like a game you’d want to play, and some genius decided nicking a load of assets from Battlefield 1942 would be the best move, marketing wise.
Either way, this isn’t something Valve should be thrilled about, but crap like this is almost part and parcel of the Steam experience these days.
As for the game’s description? Well, it looks like it was directly copied and pasted from Battlefield 1942. Why do I think this? Because it literally refers to itself as Battlefield 1942 at one point. Good lord.
In order to win, Battlefield 1942 pays more attention to teamwork. For example, in a bomber, one player is responsible for flying the plane, while the other two teammates are responsible for the co-production of machine gunners and escort aircraft.
It is worth noting that the game’s original release date of May 30 seems to have been pushed to a vaguer “May 2019”, which implies that BATTLEGROUNDS may well have been flagged to Valve thanks to the vigilant Reddit users who first spotted the game.
All in all, the most shocking thing about this story is that it’s entirely typical for Valve at this point. I’d suggest if it wants to stop losing titles to Epic’s new store, it should probably start being a little bit more vigilant about the game’s it’s allowing on Steam.
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Ewan Moore is a journalist at UNILAD Gaming who still quite hasn’t gotten out of his mid 00’s emo phase. After graduating from the University of Portsmouth in 2015 with a BA in Journalism & Media Studies (thanks for asking), he went on to do some freelance words for various places, including Kotaku, Den of Geek, and TheSixthAxis, before landing a full time gig at UNILAD in 2016.