Riot Sues Vietnamese Developer For League Of Legends Copyright Infringement
And it's hard to disagree.
Riot Games is suing Singapore-based Suga PTE Ltd. and its subsidiary, Vietnamese developer Imba Network, over its mobile game I Am Hero: AFK Tactical Teamfight, which Riot claims steals character likenesses, lore, and other elements from League of Legends. In a lot of these "copycat" claims, you can only see the similarities between the two games if you squint really hard; in this case, even someone with eyesight as bad as mine can make them out.
In the lawsuit, discovered by Polygon and found in full by MMOBomb, Riot laid out side-by-side comparisons of elements from LoL with those in I Am Hero, including several very similar character names (like Heimerdinger/Dinger, Talon/Tolan, Vi/Vy, Viktor/Victor, Teemo/Tomee, and ore), but the real kicker is in the lore descriptions of various characters, which are directly copied and pasted from League, with minor alterations.
Riot claims that Imba's employees are "rabid LoL players" who run their own tournaments (the "Imba Cup") and, In response to players commenting on the similarities between LoL and I Am Hero, responded by saying "so what happens if our heroes are some similar [sic] to LOL heroes." The word "Imba" is itself a reference to LoL shorthand for "imbalanced."
Riot served Imba with a cease-and-desist notice in December, which Imba responded to by saying that its game was similar to LoL but did not infringe copyright.
Riot is asking for Imba's game to be removed from the App Store and Google Play Store, from which it believes the game has been downloaded 500,000 times by customers in the United States. Riot also seeks the maximum statutory damages of $150,000 for each copyright infringed, as well as attorney's fees.
About the Author
Jason Winter is a veteran gaming journalist, he brings a wide range of experience to MMOBomb, including two years with Beckett Media where he served as the editor of the leading gaming magazine Massive Online Gamer. He has also written professionally for several gaming websites.
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