Ward B, the developers of the upcoming FPS oceanic, have accused Russian arms manufacturer Kalashnikov of directly stealing one of their weapon designs for a new shotgun that is being sold commercially.
In an interview with IGN, Marcellino Sauceda, CEO of Ward B, said a Kalashnikov representative contacted them early last year and said the company love the studio’s gun designs and wants to work together, including one of Oceanic’s Shotgun designs – the Mastodon – and turns it into a real firearm.
Station B says they were promised full credit, a logo on the gun, and even three of the finished products in their offices. Although Sauceda is interested in closing the deal, Sauceda says they never showed up when the time came to actually sign contracts and there was no further communication between the parties.
So Sauceda was surprised to later see Kalashnikov release their own “weapon set” which, in his opinion, looks very much like the Mastodon, only without the credit or cooperation.
This is what the mastodon looks like: after the design of the artist Gankhulug Narandavaa:
And here is the Kalashnikov MP-155 Ultima, which the company went so far as to say when it first marketed the weapon was “video game-inspired”:
While not identical, Ward B believes – aside from their original correspondence – the assumption that the design was stolen are elements of the Mastodon that also appear on the Ultima, but “the choices are made in Oceanic for aesthetic reasons but “have no practical purpose in real life.”
Then there is this:
For Ward B, the clincher was the inclusion of a small indentation on one side of the Ultima – a horizontal L-shape with a small line protruding from the corner (also seen in the gallery above). It’s a tiny detail, but a detail that Sauceda considers crucial as the team used it as a visual motif not just for the Mastodon but for several Oceanic cannons. “Nothing about it gives the receiver stability, it has nothing to do with it, because everything works through the inner workings,” says Sauceda about this design decision. “The fact that you put that indent in is kind of … it’s sketchy because I feel like you’re the [Mastodon’s 3D model] and they forgot to exclude this part – because they removed it on the other side with the bolt. “
In their defense, Kalashnikov representative Maxim Kuzin says the original deal failed because the indie game’s preliminary funding and payment structures meant there was no clear ownership of the weapon designs, so they instead worked with “another designer Russia “together.
Ward B has since sent Kalashnikov a cease and desist letter, uncovering some shady gimmicks where Kuzin attempted to purchase the mastodon design directly from the artist. They also had the added weirdness of seeing Kalashnikov licensing the design of the Ultima for another video game, Escape From Tarkov. That means that Ward B managed to turn her weapon design into a real weapon and then land in someone else’s video game before it had a chance to appear on their own.
You can read the whole story with all of its legal gimmicks at IGN.