A Tale of Two Ashfalls: Controversy Ensues Between NetEase and Liithos


Yesterday, during IGN's Tokyo Game Show stream, NetEase Games and Legendary Star Studio unveiled Ashfall, an upcoming post-apocalyptic adventure shooter MMO game coming next year to PC (Steam), iOS, and Android devices.

Immediately upon hearing the game's title, we thought of another post-apocalyptic PvP/PvE game also called Ashfall announced not long ago by Liithos, a new studio founded by former PlayStation veterans. One of them would have to change the name, that's for sure, but as it turns out, there's much more to it.

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Shortly after hearing the news, Liithos founder and CEO Michael Mumbauer (ex studio head of Sony's Visual Arts) revealed that the company had actually pitched the game to NetEase earlier in 2022. He then surmises the Chinese publisher 'liked' the title enough to use it for a similar game of its own.

Mumbauer then added that it will be 'interesting' to see how the Ashfall trademark issue will play out.

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Liithos VP of Creative John Garvin (the mind behind Syphon Filter and Days Gone) also chimed in on the matter with a couple of tweets, calling NetEase shameless.

Needless to say, we'll be reaching out to NetEase first thing on Monday to get some sort of official response. Meanwhile, here's an overview of their Ashfall, whose soundtrack will be made by world-class musicians like Inon Zur, Hans Zimmer, and Steve Mazzaro.

Ashfall is a third-person adventure shooter, with a focus on using cover and team-tactics to overcome enemies. The goal of the game is rebuilding civilization and reclaiming the wasteland, but the task won’t be easy. Not only is the land itself dangerous to explore, but there are many enemies who now dwell in the ruins of society, including bands of raiders, murderous machines that were designed for war, and packs of mutated animals. Combat is just one part of Ashfall, as there is a massive world that is waiting to be explored, filled with loot for players to find and secrets to uncover about the society that existed before. There are many quests for players to take on and colourful NPCs who reside in the world of Ashfall who are waiting to be encountered.

In Ashfall, the player creates their own Wanderer from a bevy of options in the character creation mode, and equips them with all manner of futuristic guns and gear that they will need for the trials ahead. There are lots of potential character builds available that players can tailor to their own gameplay style, as well as powerful equipment that can be salvaged, in order to give them a competitive edge. The combat involves using cover and the environment to the player’s advantage, as they off against all manner of different foes. The mightiest of these can be faced in exciting boss battles, ranging from giant beasts, to elite solo enemies with skills that match the player’s own. Luckily, players won’t have to take face these challenges alone, as Ashfall has both single and multiplayer modes, allowing groups of friends to explore the wasteland together, and take on the challenges as a team.

The creators of Ashfall are huge fans of post-apocalyptic games, especially the Fallout series, and they have been inspired by some of the biggest names in the genre. With Ashfall, the team has been able to add an Eastern flavor to the game's aesthetics. It's often the case that Eastern imagery is tied to the cyberpunk genre and is rarely seen in post-apocalyptic fiction. Ashfall has the unique opportunity to create something truly unique to the post-apocalyptic genre, while still having a familiar feel. The developers have also gone to great lengths to build a visually stunning world, featuring realistic weather effects, motion captured actors for its character animations, realistic glass shattering effects, and advanced lighting and reflections, to help bring the wasteland and its denizens to life.

Products mentioned in this post

Days Gone
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