PDA

View Full Version : starcraft & 40k legal issues?



MrDaBomb
21-05-2007, 20:14
I had thought that there was a big lawsuit with Starcraft 1 and GW around the 40k IP. So much of Starcraft is like 40k in all but name. Terran = SM, Protoss = Eldar, Zerg = Tyranids.... wasn't there a lawsuit? Or am I crazy? Anyone know?

incarna
21-05-2007, 20:23
I’m fairly certain that was just a rumor.

Regardless, While the Terran marines do bear a strong similarity to Space marines in appearance they have little in common in regard to overall concept. Additionally the Protoss and Eldar are not only completely different in appearance they have few similarities in concept other than their psychic abilities… which no one could ever claim as intellectual property. The Zerg bear the closest resemblance to the Tyranids but conceptually there is still a lot of ground to be made up… as much ground as need be made up between the Alien movie series and Tyranids.

I think everything fits decently within its own realm of intellectual property. While there are overlaps, that is inevitable.

MrDaBomb
21-05-2007, 20:27
Okay, thats kind what I thought. Unfortunately the red shirts at my local GW think otherwise. It seems like in today's market with Blizzard making millions from WoW they could probably throw enough money at GW to make the problem go away.

TheWarSmith
21-05-2007, 20:30
It was a complete rumor. GW people tend to create this rumor as an odd defense at the "mine was the original" claim.

Sparda
21-05-2007, 20:33
No, I do not belive so, or many reasons. First off, there is a huge diffrence between all but the zerg, and even with them, there is a lot. The marines look diffrent then the Space Marines(you can see this if you have the starcraft booklet that came out when it was first released), and the backround is diffrent.

The terran are a bunch of convicts that were sent off to jupiter or somthing, but the ships malfunctioned, destroying two and crash landing the other ones. So basically the the terran are crimanals sent to space.

The protross are a species whose goal was to prove to there creators that they were not a faliure. There goal today is to survive, destroy there cousins, the zerg, and the terran, and perserve their culture.

The Zerg were created by the Xl'Naga(sp), who were trying to make up for their faluire of th protross. There goal is to bassically destroy. The storylines are diffrent from the species, and even the units dont look to much alike, besides the zerg.

Batwings
21-05-2007, 20:37
It may surprise some to hear that Blizzard and GW maintain healthy communications, partly out of a mutual creative respect and partly to ensure I.P. toes aren't trodden on.

Radish
21-05-2007, 20:40
Xel'Naga*

I've read that story so many times I can correct much of what you said but it's completely off topic and I won't patronize you :P

Anyway, it seems it was just a rumour, but with blizzard only paying attention to WoW and forgetting its other two =better= universes starcraft and diablo, I kinda wish GW could get a lil out of it :rolleyes: GW profits have been down recently no?

Btw I know it won't happen just because of WoW :p

Earl_UK
21-05-2007, 20:41
Im sure i heard that Space Hulk was originally developed to be a "Alien" game but 20th Century Fox didnt allow it...

could be just a rumour.. probably is tbh

Zzarchov
21-05-2007, 20:44
Background really has no say on infringment of IP.

The background between the Clans in Battletech and anything in Robotech are quite different.

Never the less, the Marauder looked too close (ie nigh identical) to a robotech machine, thus Battletech had to drop it.

GW could make similar claims on a few of the Zerg units, namely the Hydralisk being compared to the Ravenor, potentially even the Gargoyle knock-off.

Wayfarer
21-05-2007, 20:45
If you want to start this whole mess why not ask if the Tolkien estate has sued GW? Or if the Heinlen estate sued GW. Or if 20th century fox sued GW.

Blizzard used the same sci-fi archtypes as GW and they made it their own and GW has no grounds for a lawsuit. They didn't invent the idea of a space marine and they didn't invent the idea of scary aliens, or advanced psychic aliens, they just modified them to fit their own uses.

Batwings
21-05-2007, 20:53
"but with blizzard only paying attention to WoW and forgetting its other two =better= universes starcraft and diablo"

I guess you've not heard the news...

AmKhaibitu
21-05-2007, 20:56
Why's this all being dredged up now.
Whilst at one time designs may have been similar, they changed quite dramatically.

I mean they've been able to show in great detail the makeup of terran marine armour, and it's incredibly different to imperial marine armour, right down to the hands being manipulated by waldos and an internal powerplant. Hell, the helmet was never really separate, once it all gets bolted in place, it doesn't really get removed.

Eldar are humanoid, protoss are not. Sure they might be psionic races, but that's where the similarity ends. Though it could be an interesting conversion project, Zealots representing banshees and so on.

And as for the zerg, sure there's similarity in designs, but they work differently to the extreme.

Hell a Starcraft game with miniatures could get interesting, it worked for SST.

But Starcraft 2 will be the bomb, and I request this get moved to the computer games board at some point :D

bdo
21-05-2007, 20:58
thats right... there is a trailor for starcraft II around.. *cough,off topic,cough*

anyway.. back in the day when starcraft was relased i heard a rumor that blizzard originally intended to buy a license for nids, but it was too expensive. so they are not nids, they are (somewhat different in many aspects) zerg.

but all this could be complete rubbish from some untrusty rumor source :D

Bregalad
21-05-2007, 21:04
Wasn't there a rumour that Starcraft was first planned to be a 40k game, but GW refused and Blizzard did something of its own? That said, Blizzard and GW "borrow" ideas from the same SF/Fantasy icons like Tolkien, Star Wars, Alien, Starship Trooper and Terminator. Both do it in an original way, so I don't complain, unless they would get so arrogant and sue other people for "borrowing" from the same sources :rolleyes:

Valandil
21-05-2007, 21:04
I guess you've not heard the news...

LOL doesn't look like it!

Gaius_Baltar
21-05-2007, 21:08
When Blizzard was developing WarCraft, they got the whole idea for it from Warhammer Fantasy.
When they started on StarCraft, they wanted to but the rights of Warhammer 40k from GW. But GW didn't sell the rights, and Blizzard changed their original ideas for StarCraft enough so they couldn't be sued.

Brother Siccarius
21-05-2007, 21:10
It may surprise some to hear that Blizzard and GW maintain healthy communications, partly out of a mutual creative respect and partly to ensure I.P. toes aren't trodden on.

It was a sad day for people who played both worlds when the nods to the Warhammer IP were given in the Warcraft games, and then removed. Steam Tank designs and the gryphon rider quotes were the most prominent ones.

kelvingreen
21-05-2007, 21:15
I don't know about StarCraft, but take a look at what the marines look like in very early versions of Lazer Squad...

bigred
21-05-2007, 21:18
Yeah, I seem to remember that there were rumours of legal paper starting to fly between both corporoations about a decade ago, then surprisingly, they abruptly stopped.

I believe that the higher ups in both companies, developed a healthy respect for one another and "came to an agreement" that they would pretty much leave each other in peace. If anything, the mutual borrowing from each other became even more blatant AFTER they came to whatever terms they came to....(Ravenors, etc...)

-bigred

Ozorik
21-05-2007, 21:21
When Blizzard was developing WarCraft, they got the whole idea for it from Warhammer Fantasy.
When they started on StarCraft, they wanted to but the rights of Warhammer 40k from GW. But GW didn't sell the rights, and Blizzard changed their original ideas for StarCraft enough so they couldn't be sued.

Where did you get this little gem from? If Wacraft was supposed to be so close to fantasy how come the only similarity is that it has Orcs which happen to be green?

This topic has been done to death and yet it still pops up time and again.

Blizzard didnt rip of GW anymore than GW ripped of Tolkien, Haldeman and a host of other fantasy/SF writers.

Both companies use generic fantasy and Sci Fi elements in there games. Starcraft marines and space marines are worlds apart other than the fact that they wear powered armour, as does just about everyone in Sci Fi.

I could go through the usual suspects but I wont bother. The only thing which can reasonable be claimed to have been heavily influenced by GW is the WC III steam tank and possibly the gyrocopter.

Yorkiebar
21-05-2007, 22:40
I had thought that there was a big lawsuit with Starcraft 1 and GW around the 40k IP. So much of Starcraft is like 40k in all but name. Terran = SM, Protoss = Eldar, Zerg = Tyranids.... wasn't there a lawsuit? Or am I crazy? Anyone know?I can't see an issue, seeing as you can't copyright an idea.

Terrans: I take it these are power armoured humans? Power armour is seen in quite a number of works, I doubt GW was the first to use it and the similarity in appearance is to be expected - big bulky armour with a futuristic look doesn't leave much room for variety.

Protoss: An Eldar-like race, eh? So basically psychic powers, massive intelligence and superior technology... though nothing springs to mind immediately this has to be a commonly used idea. Unless the Protoss sport Warlocks and Grav-tanks I can't see an IP issue.

Zerg: Since GW basically stole ALIENS, I'm fairly certain they can't claim IP control of killy spiky alien death machines. :p

Master Bait
21-05-2007, 23:42
I can't see an issue, seeing as you can't copyright an idea.

huh? isn't that what patents are for?....

Yorkiebar
21-05-2007, 23:49
huh? isn't that what patents are for?....As I understand it, you can copyright the form an idea takes, but not the idea or concept itself.

proximity
22-05-2007, 00:27
correct - say you developed a solar powered torch - you could patent that, and someone else could legitimatly patent a solar powered torch that operates in a completly different manner.

Also, if you heard something and you know it was completly wrong and not true - it wasn't 'just a rumour', it was a lie, lets not beat around the bush here people.

Master Bait
22-05-2007, 00:31
hehe, sweeet

you into copyright law proximity? a band i had once ran into name issues and got threatened legally by some dork over in the states

Vic
22-05-2007, 00:32
Hmm....this thread is a prime candidate for spammage.

Star Craft and 40k were never in legal dispute, except in the fevered minds of fanboyz from both camps.

Adra
22-05-2007, 01:10
maybe the store guy was getting confused with Warcraft 3 and the whole gyrocopter issues GW had....

Gaius_Baltar
22-05-2007, 01:23
The thing is, Blizzard requested the rights from GW to make Starcraft, because they were planing on using the same, or similar units. GW denied them the rights, and Blizzard changed their plans for StarCraft so it wouldn't be similar to 40k.

Sir_Lunchalot
22-05-2007, 03:34
There was a lawsuit over IP following the amazing success of the first Starcraft game. There was an out of court settlement which stated that Blizzard would pay royalties (I don't know the ammount) to GW for 10 years starting from the release of the game, and after that everything in Starcraft would be the IP of Blizzard. That's why Ghost got canned, and why Starcraft 2 wasn't announced until this year, 10 years after Starcraft. I'm pretty certain this is true because I've been told by my curent manager and my previous manager at Workshop.

Vic
22-05-2007, 04:33
Well, all this is "washer-woman" speculation until someone can get me an article from a reputative source or a court reporter.

Im sorry, its just all this speculation is based on heresay, and not really a "rumor" as it doesnt effect GW the hobby or GW the company.

Also, Ghost got canned due to internal issues Several development teams worked on the project until it was put on indefinite hold in 2006. Im thinking since the tecnhology they were using was getting long in the tooth, they are looking to redo Ghost on next gen platforms/PC's. But again, thats speculation on my part.

GW had absolutely NOTHING to do with Ghost getting canceled. All this "I heard from a friend who heard from his neighbors brothers 2nd cousin pet monkey" is really.....sad.....

Kittah
22-05-2007, 04:53
I could go through the usual suspects but I wont bother. The only thing which can reasonable be claimed to have been heavily influenced by GW is the WC III steam tank and possibly the gyrocopter.

And even then, that's really quite distant. Gyrocopters and Steam Tanks are real-life creations as seen here (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gyrocopter) and here (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Steam_tank_%28vehicle%29).

Rioghan Murchadha
22-05-2007, 05:03
Background really has no say on infringment of IP.

The background between the Clans in Battletech and anything in Robotech are quite different.

Never the less, the Marauder looked too close (ie nigh identical) to a robotech machine, thus Battletech had to drop it.
knock-off.

Sorry, I know this isn't the original topic, but the Marauder IIc specifically was a Zentraedi Officer's Battle Pod. The Warhammer, Longbow, and a good chunk of the other earlier mechs in BTech were exact replicas of stuff from Macross/Robotech. (FASA actually HAD the appropriate licenses, but were sued into oblivion by Harmony Gold, who had the distribution rights in North America).

twisted_mentat
22-05-2007, 05:19
Its pretty clear that Blizzard guys are GW fan, theres way too many things that referance Warhammer stuff, but they also referance Simpsons and other stuff.

Though because of this, Stacraft fanboys infest Dawn of war going "Omg they ripped off starcraft!"

Ravenous
22-05-2007, 05:25
Heres the only problem I see as far as legal issues are concerned in the upcoming starcraft game:

http://www.gametrailers.com/gamepage.php?id=4868

Scroll down to "reapers in action"

Essentially reapers are Terrans with "rocket packs" and carry dual pistols. They look and act almost exactly the same as assault marines.

And here is a fun fact about GW and blizzard-
Back in the early 90s GW and the newly name changed blizzard sat down to make a game meant for Warhammer fantasy with elements of warhammer Quest. GW bailed on the project and left blizzard with a wealth of work that would go to waste. Blizzard changed a few names here and there, adjusted some art and bam you have a game called Warcraft. Further adjustments to original idea (warhammer quest)led to Diablo.

Years later Starcraft was made with some simularities to 40k, Blizzard had no Sci-fi work with GW so really in the end Starcraft is more of a 40k tribute then anything else.

Tycho sums it up nicely:
http://www.penny-arcade.com/comic/2006/04/10
http://www.penny-arcade.com/2006/04/10

BrainFireBob
22-05-2007, 05:32
Statements have been issued- they were issued at the time- that the original concept for Starcraft was as a Warhammer 40K RTS game. Denied the rights, they made Starcraft. There's a tiny bit of aesthetic in common with the Terrans, the Protoss were an entirely novel concept, and the Zerg are based on the Tyranids- but "based on" does not violate IP.

This is from when Starcraft was in the concept phase. Once they moved into the actual design phase, they definitely were making Starcraft, not a 20K game.

SwordJon
22-05-2007, 05:52
Both corporations receive a lot of their ideas and themes from already written literature as well as real-world civilizations. Considering how many different sci-fi franchises use many of the exact same ideas (ancient gods, psychic powers, space bugs, warp drives, humans in bulky powered armor, etc), it's almost inevitable that two of the most popular franchises will have similarities.

Fortunately for us fans, those similarities tend to be superficial. You can argue one way or another about who stole what ideas, but at the end of the day I don't believe that Blizzard or GW needed to get any ideas from each other - there is a wealth of other material out there that they both, I believe, legitimately drew ideas and themes from. And there's nothing wrong with that at all.

carlisimo
22-05-2007, 05:52
They're all copies of Tolkien anyway...

Lancaster
22-05-2007, 06:21
anyway.. back in the day when starcraft was relased i heard a rumor that blizzard originally intended to buy a license for nids, but it was too expensive. so they are not nids, they are (somewhat different in many aspects) zerg.

So THAT'S the galaxy Tyranids come from... :angel:

It's Time for CROSSOVER MADNESS!

Superman vs The Ultramarines!

Zeratul vs Abbadon!

The Hong Kong Triads vs The Underhive Mafia!

Yorkiebar
22-05-2007, 07:18
They're all copies of Tolkien anyway...Tolkien wrote about giant space battles with power armour and aliens? :confused: Seriously, the only connection I can remotely see is elves -> protoss, and it's not even like Tolkien invented elves.

I'll admit that in general, yes, pretty much every mention of dwarves, elves and orcs in Fantasy is thanks to Tolkien, but Sci-Fi just isn't.

chromedog
22-05-2007, 08:10
If SPACEHULK was meant to be an ALIENS game, then Fox were right to deny them permission, as another game company - Leading Edge Games - had the ALIENS game license (and put out a board game - it sits on my bookshelf).

Tolkien was not original, and much of the RT universe was piecemealed from existing SF ideas. DUNE, FOUNDATION, STARSHIP TROOPERS. GW is not innocent in the IP wars. Get over it.

Hellebore
22-05-2007, 08:42
The cries of IP violation aren't helped when something was undeniably first.

No matter the origin, if something was released after a very similar product people will assume it has been 'stolen'. However many things can be invented independently of one anther without any crossover.

That said, Starcraft and Warcraft (the originals) appear more similar to 40k and WFB, than any of them do with LotR or D&D. The tone and imagery was initially much closer. Now, especially with WoW, it looks nothing like Warhammer (clown boots and awful l33t gear in garish colours along with gnomes...).

Hellebore

Vaktathi
22-05-2007, 19:09
I don't think anyone mentioned this but Andy Chambers now works at Blizzard as the "Creative Director"...

SwordJon
22-05-2007, 20:15
And everyone stole power armor from Robert Heinlein. OOOH BURN

Baneboss
22-05-2007, 21:40
back in the day when starcraft was relased i heard a rumor that blizzard originally intended to buy a license for nids, but it was too expensive.

If that rumour is true thank God they didnt buy it then. I dont know how much of a competetive and great game Starcraft would be but most likely not as good as it is. Starcraft on the other hand is IMO Blizzard best universum. Warcraft is too much heroic for my taste. Diablo is fine with its catacombs and dark places mood but it is still as heroic as WC.

Adra
22-05-2007, 22:06
good designers borrow from other designs...great designers steal from them wholesale.

Ravenous
22-05-2007, 23:37
I don't think anyone mentioned this but Andy Chambers now works at Blizzard as the "Creative Director"...

That should just make it worse, I will be sure to add that to the funfact list:

Fun fact about GW and blizzard-
Back in the early 90s GW and the newly name changed blizzard sat down to make a game meant for Warhammer fantasy with elements of warhammer Quest. GW bailed on the project and left blizzard with a wealth of work that would go to waste. Blizzard changed a few names here and there, adjusted some art and bam you have a game called Warcraft. Further adjustments to original idea (warhammer quest)led to Diablo.

Oh and Andy Chambers is a creative director with blizzard now.

Icarus
22-05-2007, 23:50
Can anyone actually provide any links to anything to back up these conspiracy theories? A newspaper article, press statement, anything?? Cos it smacks of internet gossip and this only ever seems to come up randomly on Warhammer forums from time to time.

Radish
22-05-2007, 23:53
"but with blizzard only paying attention to WoW and forgetting its other two =better= universes starcraft and diablo"

I guess you've not heard the news...

lol off topic but...damn, and it took me this long to relook at this thread? Great news! :D

Me and my gaming group intended to make some plastic sprue equivalents to assemble Zealots, they seem awesome to use for 40k, even without the rest of the army.

Now, another added to list of aniticipated release...apocalypse, chaos, starcraft 2, driving license...

Karloth Valois
23-05-2007, 00:12
This is purely from 2nd hand sources, and i've looked about and can't find any good evidence but I'm pretty sure this all stems from a long time ago. Warcraft 1: Orcs and Humans was initially developed with GW in mind, i.e. it would have taken place within the Warhammer universe and contained units from WHFB. I don't know if the game was developed privately then presented to GW, or developed with them from the outset, or any other details.

For whatever reason, GW backed out or didn't like what they saw and this colloboration didn't happen. Blizzard changed the game a little and went on to release it as Warcraft: Orcs and Humans.

99% of all Blizzard/GW accusations and finger pointing stems from this little known fact I think. I doubt GW would have made the same decision with hindsight seeing how successfull the warcraft games and wow has become...

axabrax
23-05-2007, 00:58
I think that the generic concept of Space Marines and Aliens (aka Geigeresque aliens) should pretty much be public domain. To say that GW has the exclusive rights to the IP would be like saying White Wolf has the exclusive right to Vampires. These archetypes are part of the popular culture and shouldn't be limited unless the specifics are ripped off in some way.

AmKhaibitu
23-05-2007, 01:16
Further adjustments to original idea (warhammer quest)led to Diablo.


Oh really? Blizzard did that eh? considering that Blizzard themselves never actually touched Diablo nor Diablo 2, it was Blizzard North.

Now if the timespan on wikipedia and info is correct the following entails

Blizzard North was originally an independent company. It was established in 1993 under the name Condor, founded by Max Schaefer, Erich Schaefer, and David Brevik. The company was purchased and renamed by Blizzard about six months before the release of their hit PC game, Diablo, in 1996. Diablo proved to be a considerable success, and the still-more successful sequel Diablo II was released in 2000. An expansion pack followed the year after.

If Condor where indeed working on a Warhammer Quest based game, where is the evidence?
Wow, an adventure game based in a medieval styled fantasy setting drawing influences from all sorts of literature, including wait for it... the bible.
My goodness, you meant to tell me there are Warhammer Quest facets in there? where?

But obviously since it was a fantasy style setting then the rule also holds true and a huge number of authors are ripping on GW's work.

Don't jump to assumptions.

People, back up your claims if you can.

Vaktathi
23-05-2007, 01:25
I think the issue is not so much the common shared themes, but rather how much Blizzards IP resembles GW's. Starship Troopers introduced power armor yes, but its looks nothing like GW's power armor, but Blizzards looks and awful lot like GW's, same how Tolkien orcs dont look like GW orks/orcs but GW orcs/orks look alot like Blizzard Orcs. Also the storylines seem to run along similar paths in many places (especially fantasy/warcraft, look at Chaos/Dark Iron dwarves...) and this leads to further controversy.

While power armored dudes killing bug things isnt exactly original anymore, it can still be done differently.

for example.

Starship troopers power armored dude killing bugs. (these dudes look alot more like Stormtroopers or kasrkin)
http://www.theplaceforgames.com/images/picture(1087).jpg

Blizzard/GW comparison.
http://img525.imageshack.us/img525/4813/blizzardlol2nt6.jpg

Sekhmet
23-05-2007, 03:19
I guess you've not heard the news...

haha oh man.

Blizzard's HQ is about 1/2 a mile from my school.

Blizzard made a tip of the hat to GW in Warcraft3... I think it was a gryphon rider who says "Like my Warhammer? It costs 40k!"

Ravenous
23-05-2007, 04:51
Oh really? Blizzard did that eh? considering that Blizzard themselves never actually touched Diablo nor Diablo 2, it was Blizzard North.

Now if the timespan on wikipedia and info is correct the following entails


If Condor where indeed working on a Warhammer Quest based game, where is the evidence?
Wow, an adventure game based in a medieval styled fantasy setting drawing influences from all sorts of literature, including wait for it... the bible.
My goodness, you meant to tell me there are Warhammer Quest facets in there? where?

But obviously since it was a fantasy style setting then the rule also holds true and a huge number of authors are ripping on GW's work.

Don't jump to assumptions.

People, back up your claims if you can.

Ah yes the unfathomable Wikipedia. Remind me to go on there and adjust the "truth" as I see fit. Then I will quote it so I sound "righty-er".

Blizzard and Blizzard north are the exact same company. Its wasn't terribly hard to send information and resources even back then.

Blizzard did not rip GW off, if anything GW bailed on them leaving them with the frame work of ideas to make some great games. They could have just quit or they could have made the games they did and make a game that appeals to the bitter grim universe Sci-fi war genre.

Originality doesnt exist anymore, everything has been done, all thats left is to re hash it or make tributes.

dodicula
23-05-2007, 04:56
Considering GW rippied off most of the IP from Laserburn, I think they hardly have standing to even complain much less sue anyone

Ravenous
23-05-2007, 05:05
Considering GW rippied off most of the IP from Laserburn, I think they hardly have standing to even complain much less sue anyone

Exactly

When Underworld came out White wolf tried to sue them because they claimed they made up the Vampires vs werewolves genre.

This sums it up quite nicely http://www.penny-arcade.com/comic/2003/09/08

AmKhaibitu
23-05-2007, 08:41
Blizzard and Blizzard North were two separate entities essentially. Sure Blizzard and thus Vivendi may have owned the North studio, it was basically an independent body despite being a subsidiary.

In fact a lot of the technologies that Blizzard came to use originated at North, the MPQ archiving format for one, was rather brilliant at the time.

The point of me posting an excerpt from wikipedia, was because some evidence is better than no evidence.

Penny Arcade is all very well and good, but they have a somewhat biased perspective of the industry, they poke fun at it.

And that WW vs Sony deal was amusing to say the least :D

grickherder
23-05-2007, 08:51
his sums it up quite nicely http://www.penny-arcade.com/comic/2003/09/08

http://www.penny-arcade.com/images/2003/20030908h.jpg

Brilliant. I love Vlad and Bram Stoker standing in the background.

And the count from Sesame Street. Classic.

grickherder
23-05-2007, 08:54
Considering GW rippied off most of the IP from Laserburn, I think they hardly have standing to even complain much less sue anyone

From wikipedia: Laserburn set of rules, published by Tabletop games, is set in a universe where man has reached the stars and the highest pinnacles of technology and is well on his way back to barbarism.

Definitley. All of GW's stuff is completely derivative. They've stolen stuff from HR Geiger, from Laserburn, from all over the place. And then they have the gall to say they're original.

That penny arcade comic is perfect.

ghost21
23-05-2007, 09:02
sigh... ok terran marines are convicts who are alted , ghosts (hence where i get my username) are kidnaped from there familys alterd and forced to become ghosts psyker assasins basicaly (ever wonder why kerrigans sutch a cow?) the terans are more like the confederate states than the usa

protos guys are abit like eldar but there nore predator inspired enough said

zerg ok similar but ceribrates have concious thought there not part of the geshtalt like norn queens who rely on instinct infested tearans are not like bloomin geanstealer hybrids , zeglings are somwhat similar to hormagants

so i dont see why they could sue , ok warcaft

orcs are green oh my god there green lets sue steamtanks? i hear you cry look at deadlands steam tech in there is comprable
i think they even changed the name of a few units in later patches to distance themselves from gw incase people thought they ripped em off

(wc3)

Bookwrak
23-05-2007, 09:55
Exactly

When Underworld came out White wolf tried to sue them because they claimed they made up the Vampires vs werewolves genre.

This sums it up quite nicely http://www.penny-arcade.com/comic/2003/09/08

Actually, no they didn't, and no it doesn't. Whitewolf based it's lawsuit on the striking similarity of the original Underworld to a story set in the World of Darkness setting called 'For Love of Monsters."

I always did wonder who the little guy with the nose standing behind the count was...

Ravenous
23-05-2007, 09:57
And they can owe that story to Romeo and Juliet.

Same "stuff" different pile.

Icarus
23-05-2007, 11:29
This is purely from 2nd hand sources, and i've looked about and can't find any good evidence but I'm pretty sure this all stems from a long time ago. Warcraft 1: Orcs and Humans was initially developed with GW in mind, i.e. it would have taken place within the Warhammer universe and contained units from WHFB. I don't know if the game was developed privately then presented to GW, or developed with them from the outset, or any other details.

For whatever reason, GW backed out or didn't like what they saw and this colloboration didn't happen. Blizzard changed the game a little and went on to release it as Warcraft: Orcs and Humans.

99% of all Blizzard/GW accusations and finger pointing stems from this little known fact I think. I doubt GW would have made the same decision with hindsight seeing how successfull the warcraft games and wow has become...

I've heard that before but I must say i have strong doubts about it. It just doesn't seem plausible for a small company without much money (which Blizzard was back then) to invest lots of time and resources in making a game in the hope that GW would give it the ok.

Surely you approach a company and say "We like your universe and would like to make a game set in it", not "Hey GW, we've made a game in your universe, give us money!".

EvC
23-05-2007, 12:28
And even then, that's really quite distant. Gyrocopters and Steam Tanks are real-life creations as seen here (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gyrocopter) and here (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Steam_tank_%28vehicle%29).

Generally speaking, real-life Gyrocoptors aren't ridden by Dwarfs shooting stuff from the top, however ;) That's the only blatant rip-off, so it's understandable that Blizzard renamed it to "Flying Machine". The Steam Tank wasn't much like the GW version at all, but again it's understandable that it was renamed after seeing the Gyrocoptor, even though at most it was just a neat little nod towards Warhammer.

Bookwrak
23-05-2007, 13:19
I've heard that before but I must say i have strong doubts about it. It just doesn't seem plausible for a small company without much money (which Blizzard was back then) to invest lots of time and resources in making a game in the hope that GW would give it the ok.

Not really, it's quite plausible. You assemble enough of the game to make a project demonstration, how it's going to look, what it's going to play like, and then you show it. It's not a process that involves 'lots of time and resources.'

erion
23-05-2007, 14:01
Indeed. When GW pitched to New Line for the LotR license, they had mock-up models and whatnot already done to show to the big-wigs. It was all in WD at the time the game was announced.

Elanthanis
23-05-2007, 15:05
It's a little late of a response, but I might chime in to the earlier comment that Raveners are a fairly new addition to the Tyranid Hive Fleets (released in the third edition codex), well after Starcraft's Hydralisk. It's also worth noting that the crests on Tyranids (warriors, 3rd ed tyrant) didn't appear widely until after Starcraft came out.

And as far as the Terran Reapers go, their masks look far more like gas masks than marine helmets. Rocket pack troops aren't exactly something that's unknown to science fiction either. Both fictions take from and inspire one another, and in my opinion, both are better for it.

Carlos
23-05-2007, 17:47
Actually GW originally contracted Blizzard to make an RTS of 40K and WFB.

There was a falling out and GW pulled at the last minute. Blizzard changed the name and released it. The rest is history.

Grimshawl
23-05-2007, 18:07
Can anyone actually provide any links to anything to back up these conspiracy theories? A newspaper article, press statement, anything?? Cos it smacks of internet gossip and this only ever seems to come up randomly on Warhammer forums from time to time.

Naturally, where else would something like this be of interest? ;)

Zzarchov
23-05-2007, 18:16
When it comes to Blizzard and GW, I think this sums it up nicely.


http://www.penny-arcade.com/comic/2006/04/10

Ozorik
23-05-2007, 18:59
Essentially reapers are Terrans with "rocket packs" and carry dual pistols. They look and act almost exactly the same as assault marines.

Really? Surely you mean the rocket troopers from red alert 2?

I find the whole 'blizzard based warcraft on fantasy and then were forced to change setting' story highly unlikely. I find it odd that this thread is the first time I have ever heard of this. There really is little comparision between the 2

Can anyone supply any actual evidence?


Actually GW originally contracted Blizzard to make an RTS of 40K and WFB.

So why was there a 7 year (ish) gap?

There is a distictly agricultural smell coming from some of these statements.

Vaktathi
23-05-2007, 19:49
Really? Surely you mean the rocket troopers from red alert 2? not really, they were really clunky jetpacks and the weapons were built into their packs and didnt have power armor.


I find the whole 'blizzard based warcraft on fantasy and then were forced to change setting' story highly unlikely. I find it odd that this thread is the first time I have ever heard of this. I first heard it about ten years ago, its been floating around for quite a while. Also, look at the art for the two systems, especially that around ten years ago, eerily similar, far and away more so than say Tolkien or D&D to Warhammer or SST to 40k. (especially the Orcs, almost identical down to the mongol hats that both used to have)

http://content.answers.com/main/content/wp/en/thumb/e/e6/250px-Warcraft.jpghttp://img293.imageshack.us/img293/6936/whorkxt6.png

At the current point in Warcraft, its much much different than it used to be, but it was (especially pre-WC3) very similar to warhammer, at least in terms of feel and art if not necessarily exact storyline.

Elanthanis
24-05-2007, 02:33
not really, they were really clunky jetpacks and the weapons were built into their packs and didnt have power armor.



http://img489.imageshack.us/img489/5005/reaperrj7.jpg

You're right.

They look exactly like space marines. :rolleyes:

Mad Makz
24-05-2007, 03:19
A Note on Copyright - Copyright and intellectual property is not a cut and dry area of the law.

I have no doubt that Games Workshop would have INVESTIGATED legal action against Blizzard. They may have even come to some sort of legal agreement behind closed doors.

However - I don't believe there has been a court case because there would be some obvious record of it.

Effectively, if anything happened, the company lawyers would have come together, butted heads, walked into a room, both parties would have sat down and signed some pieces of paper saying they would never talk about what was written on those pieces of paper, and then some money would have possibly exchanged hands.

Vaktathi
24-05-2007, 04:34
You're right.

They look exactly like space marines. :rolleyes:

you missed my point. My point was that the RA2 rocketeers were nothing like the SC2 Reapers in appearance...please read the post more thoroughly next time.:eyebrows:

Elanthanis
24-05-2007, 05:03
My mistake- I had confused your posts in this thread with Ravenous'.

Vaktathi
24-05-2007, 05:10
ahhh ok sorry then.

Ozorik
24-05-2007, 07:23
Also, look at the art for the two systems, especially that around ten years ago, eerily similar,

I disagree. They are both 'heroic fantasy' so obviously there are similarities in style.

As to the artwork you posted it is more a question of source materiel than plagarisim. Both types of Orc look very heavily influenced by primates, which makes sense as they are supposed to look brutish which has been symbolised for centuries by the use of Gorillas etc. As to the armour they wear again its all down to a shared style. Horned helmets for instance are associated with hollywood vikings so they fit the orcs imagery well. The same can be said for fur hats and other bits and pieces of this ilk.



not really, they were really clunky jetpacks and the weapons were built into their packs and didnt have power armor.

Heh. The RA2 rocket troopers had a jet pack and dual pistols (and wore some form of armour IIRC) while the reaper has a jet pack and dual pistols. No similaraity at all. Its not suprising that they also wear power armour as all Terran infantry do. GW do not have a monoploy on power armour.

Icarus
24-05-2007, 12:19
Can anyone actually provide any links to anything to back up these conspiracy theories? A newspaper article, press statement, anything?? Cos it smacks of internet gossip and this only ever seems to come up randomly on Warhammer forums from time to time.



Naturally, where else would something like this be of interest? ;)

Hehe very true! Thats kind of my point tho, this event seems only to have taken place in the minds of Warhammer forumites. Nobody else seems to have noticed! :)

Zzarchov
24-05-2007, 14:23
I disagree. They are both 'heroic fantasy' so obviously there are similarities in style.

As to the artwork you posted it is more a question of source materiel than plagarisim. Both types of Orc look very heavily influenced by primates, which makes sense as they are supposed to look brutish which has been symbolised for centuries by the use of Gorillas etc. As to the armour they wear again its all down to a shared style. Horned helmets for instance are associated with hollywood vikings so they fit the orcs imagery well. The same can be said for fur hats and other bits and pieces of this ilk.



The Viking hats perhaps, but no one made Orcs look like gorillas, hell, no one made orcs big and menacing before GW, and green orcs? all GW.

Orcs before were ususally pretty damn scrawny, not big and hulking. They were either like Tolkein Moria orcs (from the movie) or they were like TSR Orcs, which in first and early second edition were scrawny pig people.

The standard Orc colour was brown.

Here is a TSR orc from the time (at the time the most popular fantasy game)

CasaHouse
24-05-2007, 15:12
I had heard the rumor... (RUMOR! NOT FACT!) that GW pulled out of the Blizzard Agreement when they saw how silly Blizzard had made the games... GW thought there was too much humor and not enough darkness for it to be WFB or 40k...


Also, personal point here... QUOTING DIFFERENCES IN DETAILS HAS NO BEARING IN AN ARGUMENT ABOUT WHAT SOMETHING IS BASED ON. Sorry... it just irritates me to no end when people think pointing out tiny details that are different proves something holds no similarity to something else... It's totally fallacious.

dodicula
24-05-2007, 16:18
It doesn't prove its not similiar, it proves there is no copyright/trademark infringement which is determined pretty narrowly.

It is ok to base your ideas on someone elses that is how all of civilization advances

Vaktathi
24-05-2007, 17:04
Heh. The RA2 rocket troopers had a jet pack and dual pistols (and wore some form of armour IIRC) while the reaper has a jet pack and dual pistols. No similaraity at all. Its not suprising that they also wear power armour as all Terran infantry do. GW do not have a monoploy on power armour.

I didnt say GW had a monopoly on power armor, I said the RA 2 Rocketeers did not have heavy armor is all.

http://moddb.com/images/cache/mods/66/6670/gallery/water_62027.jpg
rough approximation of RA2 rocketeer. weapons built into packs and fixed forward, no armor just a helmet mainly.

As for the Orcs, I find it difficult to imagine that Blizzard would come up with the exact same looking creature as Warhammer Orcs, especially with other popular genre Orcs look much different (flatter faces and smaller tusks and body builds and more human looking in general with D&D, or corrupted elf looking things for Tolkien, etc)

I think it would be hard to say with a straight face looking at all the other Fantasy-type Orc's out there in 1995 that Blizzard didnt at least draw heavily upon Warhammer for inspiration for their own Orc's.

Ozorik
24-05-2007, 17:42
I think it would be hard to say with a straight face looking at all the other Fantasy-type Orc's out there in 1995 that Blizzard didnt at least draw heavily upon Warhammer for inspiration for their own Orc's.


Maybe they did and maybe they didnt, I dont know. There are certainly some alternative explanations though such as the one I provided which is certainly plausible. As to the green skin tone...no idea.

My whole point with the reapers is that you drew 2 aspects which they share with assault marines and then stated that they were in effect a copy while I provided an alternative example, there are others.

The armour issue is irrelevant for the reason I have already stated.

In essence Blizzard and GW use the same sources rather than plagarise each other.

Mad Makz
25-05-2007, 01:13
Ok - firstly Blizzard was definitely inspired by Games Workshop Orks. Anyone arguing differently is insane - from the way the Orc Huts looked in the first Warcraft game, to the way the Orcs talked, to the way they moved etc was all very heavily inspired by Games Workshop - more than any other single source. This is just like Games Workshops High Elves and Dark Elves are very heavily inspired by Michael Moorcock's Melniboneans - NOT Tolkien's elves. Read the Elric novels and it is blatantly obvious that the inspiration for Elves can clearly be attributed to Moorcock - especially when you consider that Games Workshops originally released blistered elves labeled Melniboneans! For which I believe they were taken to task for copyright infringement themselves.

Now - here's the thing about copyright. It's subjective - There is no hard and fast rule saying what's too much like something else and what's too little, only what lawyers can argue and judges decide.

Obviously, straight forgeries are copyright infringements, they also have some extra rules surrounding them as well.

But when it comes to what is actually copyrightable you can only hold copyright tangible "works" (books, songs, films, drawings, paintings, etc. I.e a collection of ideas concepts written down/recorded and arranged in some specifc way) not ideas or concepts.

How much a "work" infringes on another "work's" copyright depends on whether that work can be deemed to be derivative. A derivative work would generally be one that people could confuse with the existing work or could be shown to cause financial loss to the owners of the orginal work.

Now, this can be very similiar, or very disimiliar, it depends on a number of factors. For example the original movie Nosferatu, made in the very early 20th century, was at the time deemed to be derivitive and plagiaristic of Bram Stoker's book Dracula and Bram Stoker's widow successfully sued for damages.

A lot of the success of such a suit was due to the originality of Dracula at the time, it's uniqueness - it was clear that Nosferatu could have only be inspired by Dracula (also the film makers had unsuccessfully tried to gain the rights to Dracula I believe, which kinda makes it obvious.)

These days however copyright infringement is a lot more difficult to prove, especially in the fantasy genre because almost everything is a secondary or tertiary interpretation of existing mythology (due to the explosion of the written word in the last 150 years and the increasing globalisation of the world's myth's and legends in the last 80 years through various media.)

The thing being - there is no point in one person on here arguing whether or not Blizzard infringed on GW's copyright - the onus is on the holder of the copyright to enforce their rights, not the person alleged to do the copying or the police or anyone else for that matter. The laws were designed to protect the originating artists from unfair exploitation, it is not designed to criminalise those taking inspiration from original artists (nor even really designed to criminalise those copying for personal use with not financial gain involved - despite what the RIAA and the movie industry may want you to think.).

If Games Workshop thought they had suffered massive damages by Blizzards actions than they would have (and may in fact have) initiated legal proceedings with them in some way - at the very least they would have had their lawyers begin dialogue with Blizzards lawyers (I have absolutely no doubt that this is the case - there is no way GW could simply totally have ignored the massive similiarilities between Warcraft Orcs and Warhammer Orcs depictions in SPECIFIC pieces of artwork.).

What this might have led to is not a matter of public record - clearly no open court case was ever held otherwise there would be a record of it - so what that leaves us is with two companies who clearly amicably sorted out their differences, potentially with money changing hands, or decided it was uneconomical to take legal action further.

It is clear at this point that neither party is looking to spoil the other's day - so I'd be very surprised if any lawsuit is ever forthcoming (although I'd be very surprised if there was ever a fantasy tabletop miniature game released based on the World of Warcraft or Starcraft... I'm pretty sure such action would be seen by Games Workshop as extremely hostile and would result in a massive shift to the status quo. :) )

Hellebore
25-05-2007, 01:28
Nice post Mad Makz.

I think though, whether infringement or not, people would just like to know whether they were heavily inspired or not. As there has never really been an official word, or even an official line in Blizzard stuff saying 'thankyou to Gamesworkshop for inspiring us' or something like that.

I think people want closure more than they want copyright infringement blood :p

Hellebore

Mad Makz
25-05-2007, 01:55
I think all the winks and nods to Games Workshop games in the various Blizzard games ("This Warhammer cost me 40K!) :) ) so far makes it pretty clear that Blizzard were inspired by Games Workshop (just as one of the orignally mentioned Chaos Daemons in the realms of Chaos book name was remarkably similiar to to Moorcock etc.).

To out and out say that they were directly inspired by Games Workshop would of course be commercial suicide in the litigious age we live in - So I'd never expect to see that.

Ozorik
25-05-2007, 08:28
to the way the Orcs talked, to the way they moved etc

How? In warcraft 1 all infantry moved the same way and the orcs talked like a human with a sore throat. As for the hut design..well they look fairly similar to real mud huts. Thanks for calling me insane by the way.

As I have said I am not disputing the possiblity that Blizzard were inspired by GW but there are other alternatives. The majority of people on this forum seen to take it as a given that Blizzard simply lifted large parts of GWs IP while ignoring other possiblities.

Obviously there are references such as the griffon rider but as this was included as a joke how much can be read from this?

Mad Makz
25-05-2007, 21:46
How? In warcraft 1 all infantry moved the same way and the orcs talked like a human with a sore throat. As for the hut design..well they look fairly similar to real mud huts. Thanks for calling me insane by the way.

As I have said I am not disputing the possiblity that Blizzard were inspired by GW but there are other alternatives. The majority of people on this forum seen to take it as a given that Blizzard simply lifted large parts of GWs IP while ignoring other possiblities.

Obviously there are references such as the griffon rider but as this was included as a joke how much can be read from this?

You aren't really arguing that Blizzard wasn't inspired by Games Workshop, what you are arguing is that A) there are alternates for inspiration - to which my response is clearly there is but that's irrelevant to what I said.

The only valid case that they didn't take inspiration from Games Workshop would be to argue that they DID NOT KNOW about Games Workshop, and as such DIDN'T TAKE ANY inspiration from the Games Workshop products look and feel of characters, particularly Orcs, when designing Warcraft.

I never said that they 'lifted large parts of GWs IP' because they didn't. Aside from taking inspiration from GW, they also took inspiration from other sources.

The Griffon Rider is included as a joke because it's so obvious that they've been inspired by Fantasy and 40K and are huge fans of both games. If they had NOT been inspired by those games there would have been no point in including it as a joke, as the joke wouldn't have worked.

Some of the Orc language in warcraft (zug zug etc) followed the guttaral style that had been developed by Games Workshop and also the predominant use of z's and u's that comes with a 'dumb green orc'. Here is a quote from an Orc that appears in the original Warcraft game manual:

"Thok go through shiny hole. Then me fall down, but me good. Me find many good things to eat. We find village. We mash them and eath their food. Thok stop now. Head hurt from write."

The linguistic style is strikingly similiar to the linguistic style of Orcs presented in Games Workshop material written abou the same time.

If you honestly believe that Blizzard, a GAMING company, that made a real time STRATEGY FANTASY computer WARGAME, didn't know about/weren't heavily inspired by the leading producer of tabletop STRATEGY FANTASY WARGAMES when making a game that features very similiar races then, if not insane, I would think you perhaps a bit delusional.

Now, I'm not saying that GW is the sole owner of the 'dumb green orc' mythos, or that Blizzard in fact 'stole' GW's intellectual property, but the arguement that they 'may not have been inspired by Games Workshop' doesn't really hold up as a realistic arguement. Theoretically possible I suppose - but not very believable. And I'm sure if I did enough research I could find a quote from one of the original designers along the lines of "Well, we were big fans of tabletop games like Warhammer..."

Ozorik
26-05-2007, 00:17
If you honestly believe that Blizzard, a GAMING company, that made a real time STRATEGY FANTASY computer WARGAME, didn't know about/weren't heavily inspired by the leading producer of tabletop STRATEGY FANTASY WARGAMES when making a game that features very similiar races then, if not insane, I would think you perhaps a bit delusional.


I didnt nor have I said anything of the kind. As I keep saying I object to the assumtion that Blizzard simply copied GW which is a view which has been repeated time and again on these boards. Does your caps key stick sporadically or ARE you TRYING to ADD unnecessary and FAINTLY insulting emphasis to YOUR post?

Of course there are similarities, I would be foolish to even attempt to even claim that there arnt. Incidentally I have even said on this very thread that Blizzard may well have drawn inspiration from GW.

Batwings
26-05-2007, 06:36
Allow me to clear this up a little:

Speaking as one who's intimately familiar (in a professional capacity) with both Games Workshop and Blizzard Entertainment:

Both companies take inspiration from a common source and whilst it's true to say that GW got there first, both companies mine powerful, familiar, historical and mythic archetypes.

I wouldn't argue that Blizzard have been inspired by a great deal of GW's imagery but the suggestion that Games Workshop created anything truly unique with their fantasy universe is a little naive and somewhat ill-informed. There are countless sources of creative inspiration (way beyond the rather pedestrian works of Tolkien) that fueled GW's direction in the early days. Sources that provided equal impetus to the sharp creative minds at Blizzard. The suggestion that one simply ripped off the other indicates a narrow appreciation of a very broad creative process.

Having said all that, one has to wonder how different the landscape might now look if GW had been more encouraging all those years ago when Blizzard approached them with their first iteration of the Warcraft engine. How much clout would GW now command if World Of Warhammer sat at the top of the heap with 8.5 million subscribers worldwide?

Hellebore
26-05-2007, 08:54
We'll see when Warhammer: Age of Reckoning comes out.

It has to compete with WoW...

Vigil are also doing a 40k mmo, so that'll hit the net way before any Starcraft mmo that might be made...

Hellebore

Vaktathi
26-05-2007, 08:59
We'll see when Warhammer: Age of Reckoning comes out.

It has to compete with WoW...

Vigil are also doing a 40k mmo, so that'll hit the net way before any Starcraft mmo that might be made...

Hellebore

To be honest, I don't see WHO:AoR as a game to compete with WoW on even footing, its a primarily PvP game, designed for people who love to fight against other people, its not designed with the same mass appeal in mind as WoW is. While WoW is far more PvE oriented, it still has enough PvP to keep some people involved, and it is those that Warhammer Online will draw off. WoW will still be the king of the hill after Warhammer online comes out, but anyone playing WoW for a PvP experience will most likely switch to Warhammer online. You arent going to have the endless dungeon runs as the focus of the game in WHO, but rather large scale PvP raids.

Spacemunkie
27-05-2007, 09:30
too much humor and not enough darkness...

As opposed to dull and humourless. GW backed the right horse there, didn't they :)

selfconstrukt
27-05-2007, 17:40
Since none of us can prove there ever was or is a lawsuit, and inspiration and creativity can be a very subjective thing, what is the point of this?

Is Crocodile Games going to be sued by Frank Miller for ripping off 300? Oh wait, Frank Miller ripped off history first, then the Croc ripped him off, since their miniatures look remarkably similar to the Spartans in 300.

Will Akira Kurosawa's estate sue George Lucas for his blatant rip-off (sorry-his inspired by movie) of Hidden Fortress, you know the one, its called Star Wars?

Will the makers of the original Macross saga sue the creators of the Transformers for ripping off their idea of "convertible vehicles"? Oh wait, Transformers are robots, Veritechs are human piloted fighters. Therre's a difference there somewhere. Don't forget the Go-Bots too!

So that also means Northrop-Grumman will sue the makers of Macross and Robotech for ripping off their design for the Navy's F14 Tomcat then. Just because its a military plane doesn't mean they lose the rights to the design.

C'mon people, lets start a thread with as many creative coincidences as we can to see where we draw the line between "inspired by" and "blatant rip off"

How many can you come up with?