The developer of Vaping Simulator has acknowledged that the game is no longer available on the Steam store due to a DMCA takedown notice from Matt Furie’s lawyers. BCInteractive and RedSquare Studios’ open-world adventure title only just recently launched this past September, but it’s already been taken down by Furie.
The news comes courtesy of a post over on the Steam forums, where a user asked the developer what happened to Vaping Simulator and why wasn’t it on the Steam store any longer? Gamers quickly guessed that Furie had his lawyers sic a DMCA claim on the game, and it wasn’t long after that the developer chimed in to confirm that yes, it was a DMCA claim that got Vaping Simulator pulled from Steam, writing in a couple of posts…
“Yup. But thats alright. We will figure it out quick. […]
“Matt Furie’s trademark is invalid/expired. His DMCA takedown was unlawful. We will be back online soon. Pfft.”
While the trademark may have expired, the copyright has not.
A lot of people have been claiming that due to trademark expiration that Furie had on Pepe the Frog, his legal threats and lawsuits wouldn’t carry any weight. But Furie has been working with some top lawyers doing pro bono work who have managed to nab Furie a win against a conservative author who used a similar looking frog in the children’s book. The author was forced to stop selling the book, named The Adventures of Pepe and Pede, and the author was also forced to donate the profits from the book to a pro-Muslim organization, as reported by The Hill.
So while the trademark may be expired, Furie is still suing and sending out DMCAs based on the copyright.
RedSquare believes that Vaping Simulator will be back up on Steam shortly after e-mails were sent out.
What’s funny is that in Vaping Simulator the lead character that you play isn’t even named Pepe but Papi. However, it’s close enough that Furie felt the need to get the project shutdown.
The creator of Pepe the Frog, Matt Furie, has been on a binge of legal threats as he claims to be fighting against the Alt-Right’s use of Pepe the Frog.
(Thanks for the news tip ThyPancakeConsumed)