An indie developer who made a demo of a Superman flight experience in Unreal Engine 5 said his work was stolen and listed for sale on Steam.
In April, we shared a video of an amazing Superman-style flight experience built in Unreal Engine 5. The demo, which is still free to try out on itch.io, was built using Epic’s The Matrix Awakens’ city. Developer Tyson Butler-Boschma replaced the Matrix elements and inserted a Superman-like character to give players an idea of what a future superhero game could look like on Unreal Engine 5.
Two weeks ago, a fan pointed out to Butler-Boschma that an identical game popped up on Steam, under the title Heroes City Superman Edition. According to PC Gamer, a group under the name of Hero Game Studios apparently listed Butler-Boschma’s exact work on Steam for a price of $10.99, and copyright claimed Butler-Boschma’s trailer promoting the free-to-play demo. The game has since been removed from Steam, but not before causing the game’s creator a lot of trouble.
On Twitter, Butler-Boschma revealed that Hero Game Studios started going after his YouTube content after listing the game, saying, “The team that stole my free superman demo and are selling it on Steam, are now copyright claiming my content on @YouTube as well… They are straight up attacking and harassing me at this point and I don’t feel safe providing my personal information for a counter claim…”
The team that stole my free superman demo and are selling it on Steam, are now copyright claiming my content on @YouTube as well…
They are straight up attacking and harassing me at this point and I don’t feel safe providing my personal information for a counter claim… pic.twitter.com/dqd0oHjul4
— Tyson Butler-Boschma (@TJATOMICA) November 14, 2022
Butler-Boschma left a review of the game on Steam, warning people that the game was a scam, and that he was the real creator. Hero Game Studios responded the review before the game was removed, saying the following:
Our game is not stolen. One of the former developers of our user team TJ ATOMICA left our team a long time ago, but now he claims that the entire project belongs to him. But this is completely false. The game’s rights and development process belong entirely to us. The reason why he did this is because the sales were increasing quite rapidly. He thinks he can make money from it.
Butler-Boschma (who goes by TJ ATOMICA on Twitter and Steam) told PC Gamer he has no idea who Hero Game Studios is, and his LinkedIn lists no affiliation with the company.
The developer also bought the game on Steam only to find the opening level he says he created from scratch, including a message he wrote about how the demo works. Butler-Boschma said, “This 100% confirmed to me this project was the one I made and this developer just downloaded, stole, and passed this work off as their own.”
All that remains on Steam is Butler-Boschma’s negative review, Hero Game Studios’ response, and a handful of comments in support of Butler-Boschma. You can still check out the free demo for yourself over on itch.io.
The Matrix Awakens Unreal Engine 5 Images
Logan Plant is a freelance writer for IGN covering video game and entertainment news. He has over six years of experience in the gaming industry with bylines at IGN, Nintendo Wire, Switch Player Magazine, and Lifewire. Find him on Twitter @LoganJPlant.