You don’t have to be a brilliant person to find out that Tank Battlegrounds page on Steam, a “first-person shooting game set in World War II,” is just a clumsy copy of Battlefield 1942. The trailer on that page is entirely edited from the Battlefield 1942’s one, however awkwardly clipped so that viewer can’t see the logo, the screen captures are the same, and the summary of this game mentioned itself as Battlefield 1942 rather than Tank Battlegrounds by mistake. It seems that some people are attempting to sell a deceitful title by using the name of Battlefield 1942. But the real question is, why this sort of thing can get through Steam qualifying system and even get a store page?

Some internet detectives found this game today on the Steam sub-forum on Reddit. Tank Battlegrounds seems to appear on the Steam store three days ago and is expected to publish on May 30. The developer of this game is a Chinese group named “Free Partner.” And Tank Battlegrounds is the only title that Free Partner has ever published on Steam store, and one of these game makers from this Chinese group, who created some threads in Steam Forums for Tank Battlegrounds, shows up with no activity on a one-year-old Steam profile.

The funny thing about this is how they copied everything from Battlefield 1942 in a most reckless way. "To win, Battlefield 1942 pays more attention to teamwork," says the summary of Tank Battlegrounds – making people think that the game makers copied and pasted a Battlefield 1942’s summary, but didn’t even mind changing the name to the title of their game.

How can this game get to the Steam store?

However, is this Tank Battlegrounds even an actual game? Turn-Around research from the screen captures on its Steam store seems to suggest that at least the game makers tried to take those pictures from an in-game environment, not from some random source on the internet. But either Tank Battlegrounds is an ideal impersonation, or this game maker has plans to attempt and sell Battlefield 1942 (perhaps with a modified game screen?).

The fact that Tank Battlegrounds can get a Steam page is raising a question. A year ago, Valved started controversial discussions when they chose to adopt a hands-off strategy to the Steam store, permitting any content (including pornographic material) except if it were unlawful or “trolling.” By using screen captures and trailer of Battlefield 1942 for advertisement, it’s clear that Tank Battlegrounds is unlawful, but it’s not obvious about the process of that game when getting its store page on Steam, or what assumed customers would be buying and downloading when the game comes available on May 30.

This game is a rip-off of Battlefield 1942.

Although the hands-off strategy of Steam implies that everybody is free to make a phony Steam page like this, China is famous for their false attitude towards piracy, so it’s no surprise when people learn about the truth that a Chinese game maker group is behind Tank Battlegrounds. With Steam turning into an important marketplace for players in China who are trying to go around their nation’s strict and perplexing censorship regulations, it’s understandable that some shadier parts of the Chinese huge industry of videogame would discover their approach to Steam anyway.

Though this is the first time I've seen such a shameless knock-off on Steam, there's a growing problem with how companies like Valve are protecting legitimate game developers from knock-offs, clones, and stolen intellectual property. Just last week, the developers of mobile game Clicker Heroes were delisted from the Apple store after a Chinese company copied their game, filed a trademark for it, and filed a DMCA against Clicker Heroes.