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The survival game that got kicked off Steam over a stolen source code dispute with Ark: Survival Evolved is set to launch in February, and a playtest is happening right now

 Myth of Empires art - guy on a horse knocking another guy off a horse.
Myth of Empires art - guy on a horse knocking another guy off a horse.

After a wild two-year ride that saw it forced off Steam over allegations of source code theft, the "multiplayer war sandbox game" Myth of Empires is set to launch on Steam on February 21. For those who want to see what the game behind the kerfuffle is really all about, a closed technical test is now underway and set to run until January 30.

Myth of Empires first appeared on Steam in 2021, but ran afoul of Ark: Survival Evolved developer Studio Wildcard, which accused Myth of Empires studio Angela Game of stealing the Ark source code—Angela Game was reportedly founded by at least one former employee of Studio Wildcard parent company Snail Games China—and using it to build the new game.

Angela Game denied the allegation, but even so Steam gave Myth of Empires the boot following a formal complaint from Studio Wildcard. Angela Game quickly filed a lawsuit to get it back on Steam, at which point the whole thing fell into a hole filled with lawyers, where it remained until a settlement was reached in October 2023.

In a surprise twist, Snail Games and Studio Wildcard entered into a partnership with Angela Game to not only "re-launch" Myth of Empires on Steam—it had remained playable directly through its own website, but players in the US had to use a VPN to verify their accounts and no US-based servers were available—but also bring it to consoles. Don't you just love a happy ending?

Anyway, with the beef settled, the Steam version is now just a month away from going live, which means it's time to (maybe) get a look at what it's all actually about. The playtest will begin with 18 servers—six each for North America, Europe, and Asia—and Angela Game will open more as necessary over the course of the test. Alongside the existing Zhongzhou map will be an all-new region, DongZhou, made up of "islets, volcanoes, seas, and ships," and a new boss fight.

To get into the Myth of Empires playtest, just pop around to the Steam page and click the "request access" button—you'll be informed if and when you get in.

Correction: The story originally indicated that everyone who applies for access to the playtest will be admitted, but Angela Game now says that players will be invited as capacity allows, so some may not get in.