Howdy Folks! Grab your coffee, because today we’re diving headfirst into the wild world of Facepunch Studios and their lawsuits. This indie developer has been in and out of the courtroom more times than I’ve been offline raided right after spending hours farming!
Here we go with the top ten times Facepunch Studios found themselves in legal hot water.
● DMCA Drama: Rust Meets Minecraft (2014)
Remember when Rust’s blocky building system looked a lot like Minecraft? Mojang sure did. They sued Facepunch Studios for copyright infringement. Facepunch had to change Rust’s look, and it was like Minecraft players invaded Rust’s post-apocalyptic world.
● Bubble Pony v. Facepunch Studios (2015)
In a case called Bubble Pony v. Facepunch Studios, Patrick Glynn, an independent contractor sued Facepunch in Minnesota in 2015 for a breach of contract. A court later dismissed most of his claims.
● Trouble with Troublesome Trolls (2016)
Facepunch got slapped with a lawsuit when some trolls launched a fake Kickstarter campaign for Garry’s Mod 2. The result? Legal chaos that forced Facepunch to set the record straight.
● The C&D that Backfired (2017)
When Facepunch released “Prey for the Gods,” Bethesda didn’t like the name. So, they sent a cease and desist letter. But it only stirred up sympathy for the small indie devs, causing Bethesda to rethink their legal strategy.
● Garry’s Mod: The $1 Million Modding Battle (2018)
Facepunch faced a lawsuit when a modder claimed their work was stolen for Garry’s Mod. This heated legal showdown cost them big bucks but eventually got settled out of court.
● When Facepunch was Offline Raided! The DDoS Attacks (2019)
Facepunch Studios isn’t just about games; they also have their own forums. But in 2019, they had to go to court to deal with relentless distributed denial-of-service attacks that took their forums offline. Would you like to play a game of cyber warfare?
● The Trade Secrets Tussle (2020)
They say there’s no honor among thieves, and that was proven when Facepunch got into a legal battle over trade secrets with another game developer. It was like a gaming soap opera!
● VR Vendetta: The ZeniMax Battle (2021)
Facepunch had to defend themselves against ZeniMax, who claimed their VR project was built on stolen code. ZeniMax may have won that lawsuit, but Facepunch has won the support gamer’s around the world.
● Rusty Lawsuits Over Nudity (2022)
Rust’s unique approach to character customization (or lack thereof) led to complaints and even lawsuits over nudity in the game. Some religious organizations have even complained, which is funny when you consider the first two people on this ball were nude, according to their bible. Facepunch had to fight hard to keep Rust as it was, and they were successful. Remember, you can choose yourself to start your character wearing some, none, or even pixels!
● No Good Deed Goes Unpunished: The Charity Clash (2023)
Facepunch Studios has been making many, large donations to charities and have been supporting the gaming community, however even all these good deeds weren’t enough to keep them safe from legal troubles. Facepunch recently got sued after a charity event went south. Sometimes it feels like the gaming world is out to get them!
● Beyond the Hype: The Epic Games Feud (2024)
Epic Games and Facepunch had a falling out over exclusivity deals. It was a battle of the giants, and it showed that even the big dogs in the industry aren’t afraid to throw down in the courtroom.
● Outside of the Courtroom:
Facepunch has had drama outside the courtroom as well, as an example, they recently made the decision to cancel the 2023 Rust community event during the Game Developers Conference in San Francisco after receiving IRL threats of violence and murder. They made the decision to take the threat seriously and cancel the event to protect their fans and staff.
Rusts’ producer, Alistair McFarlane stated that this isn’t the first time Facepunch has received credible threats of violence.
Now, I know what you’re thinking – after spending all that time and money creating awesome games, is Facepunch Studios cursed, unlucky or is this just par for the course when it comes to game developers? Well, It’s hard to say, but they certainly have had their fair share of legal battles. Whether you’re a fan or not, you can’t deny that Facepunch Studios has had one heck of a rollercoaster ride in the gaming world.
Here’s a thought. As gamers, we should keep this in mind that our favorite developers, big or small, face all sorts of challenges behind the scenes. So, let’s stay informed, support our favorite game studios, content creators and developers and game on!
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