Two of the most staunchly devoted space MMORPG communities are at each other’s throats over a virtual, in-game ship. The trouble started when a new ship, named the Vulture, was announced by Star Citizen developer Cloud Imperium. Nothing untoward up to this point, other than a ridiculous price or pledge of $140.00 to become a proud owner of said ship.
The ship falls into the light salvager category; players can roam systems picking up debris and abandoned technology, then process these into valuable commodities and resources, selling them on for profit. As they say, one man’s junk is another man’s treasure. Fit for one pilot, the Vulture also features a stealth element thanks to its small size and speed, making it ideal for infiltrating dangerous space and war zones to salvage wrecks.
On closer inspection, the Vulture looks uncannily similar to a ship from competing, and long running, space-sim Eve Online. The yellow color palette, the two protruding ‘processing’ arms, and the turret-like cargo bay are more than a little alike. Further compounding the issue, Eve Online’s version carries the eerily similar name the Venture.
True to form, Eve Online’s community grabbed their pitchforks and took to the streets (reddit) to declaim what they view as an act of plagiarism on the part of Cloud Imperium. Things quickly descended to the expected level of school-boy quibbles with the usual resorting to memeing and gauche attacks on both Eve Online and Star Citizen subreddits. Eve Online developers, CCP, even took a brief jab at Star Citizen on Twitter playfully claiming ‘They say that imitation is the sincerest form of flattery’. Check out the tweet below.
They say that imitation is the sincerest form of flattery ?
— EVE Online (@EveOnline) June 14, 2018
The Star Citizen community have retorted claiming the color scheme is in line with the branding of in-game ship manufacturer Drake, which within the lore of the game is ‘selling’ the ship. They also claim the design is common in science-fiction worlds.
At this point, let’s remind ourselves that we are talking about an in-game item, a virtual amalgamation of assets, and regardless of which side of the argument one may sway towards, the travesty here lies not in a fairly innocuous act of copycatting, be it true or otherwise, but in the price tag of the Vulture. Then again, Cloud Imperium recently released a DLC priced at $27,000 so we can’t accuse them of being inconsistent.
If you’ve yet to sample what Star Citizen has to offer, check out the trailer released at E3 PC Gaming Show last week.