Over the last few days one of the latest additions to the library of sim racers, Automobilista, suddenly vanished from Steam. Links to the well-rated game’s store page simply redirected to the front page of Steam, and there was no release or announcement about the disappearance.
Renato Simioni, one of the administrators and members of Reiza Studios, posted on the Automobilista forums that the game was pulled from Steam due to a copyright infringement claim.
The move follows a flurry of takedown notices from lawyers representing Formula One, or at least the body which holds the commercial rights. Those notices resulted in around 80 mods for sim racers being pulled offline at the time of writing, although it’s not known yet whether the F1 management is behind Automobilista’s Steam disappearance.
“As is known, Automobilista packages a variety of officially licensed cars & brands alongside fictionalized, originally created content,” Simioni wrote. “The claim in question does not make any specific reference to content present in Automobilista supposedly in infringement of the party´s copyright – until it does, our belief is that it has no merit.”
He added that it can take a few days to work through the process, and that given the grounds the Brazilian-based developers may also be prevented from discussing the matter further. Those who currently own the game will should still be able to play it online and offline, according to the developer.
It’s an interesting development in an exceptionally aggressive stance against a community that is trying its best to foster a love for the motorsport, while raising tricky questions about the murky waters of copyright infringement and the similarities of digital recreations.