7 Days to Die has been removed from Steam this week after Tripwire Interactive claimed the title stole assets from its own Killing Floor.
This is the second time this week a title was pulled from Valve's digital distribution platform; Interwave's Dark Matter was pulled after players complained the game was released without a proper ending.
It's not the first time Tripwire has noted that tactfully-named studio The Fun Pimps Entertainment was using its work either.
During 7 Days to Die's Kickstarter campaign in August, the game's alpha footage showed a model that Tripwire says was lifted entirely from Killing Floor.
The model had apparently been illegally placed on the Unity Asset Store, and has since been removed and the uploader banned.
Tripwire chose to launch the DCMA takedown after contacting The Fun Pimps and finding the studio was too slow in removing the lifted assets.
“Tripwire before me and I have tried email and phone, but so far have not been able to get any sort of response,” said Tripwire attorney Tom Buscaglia in a letter published by Total Gaming Network.
“So, the DMCA notice here and elsewhere was the only way to get their attention. And, if that don't work, believe me, I have a bunch of real deal nastiness in my legal bag of tricks to make sure it gets done.”
While the Supreme Court has ruled that mechanics and theme can't be protected by copyright, art assets can, which means Tripwire could probably give The Fun Pimps a good shakedown in a courtroom.
"It would only take them an hour or so to replace the model and edit the videos,” Buscaglia continued.
“I don't much care for folks stealing from my client's games and Tripwire is appropriately aggressive about protecting their IP.”
“The guys at The Fun Pimps are not rookies and should know better.”
A representative of The Fun Pimps speaking on the 7 Days to Die forums said his team is trying to get things sorted and will soon release an update sans the offending assets.
“We're working to sort this out and are actively dealing with the lawyers and such to have the issue resolved,” he said.
“Long story short a model was sold on the Unity Store that we purchased which should not have been released on the Unity Store. We'll be releasing an update with the asset [removed] soon.”