Riot Sues Chinese Developer of League of Legends Clone

Jason Winter
By Jason Winter, News Editor
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All the classic "lane and tower" MOBAs play at least somewhat the same. Whether it's Dota 2, League of Legends, Heroes of Newerth, Heroes of the Storm, or something else, they all have similar elements, with just enough differences to draw players from a competing title -- and to avoid copyright infringement lawsuits.

"Copyright infringement" isn't a term that's well-understood (or applied) in China, however, so Riot Games now finds itself embroiled in a lawsuit with a Chinese developer that's made a game that's just a little too like League of Legends -- at least from Riot's point of view.

In the video above, you can see the MOBA Mobile Legends: Bang Bang. Riot is accusing developer Shanghai Moonton Technology of copyright infringement, trademark infringement, and false designation of origin and demands a trial by jury. (We think "trial by MOBA" would be cooler, but then they would have to agree on which game to use.) In the suit, Riot claims that Moonton's MOBA titles

contains (or at one time contained) a vast array of elements that were directly and deliberately appropriated from LoL, including but not limited to LoL’s characters, artwork, map designs, and unit and monster designs.

Riot also accuses Moonton of "overt gamesmanship," using a logo similar to LoL's and creating a product that it knew would invoke Riot's wrath and "made only the most minimal adjustments" to its previous games, Magic Rush: Heroes and Mobile Legends: 5v5, once Riot responded.

(Curiously, the address for Moonton listed in the lawsuit appears to be an apartment in a residential district in China. Then again, Riot is incorporated in Delaware, so maybe it doesn't mean anything.)

You can see for yourself in the latter part of the lawsuit all of the points where Riot claims that Moonton's games infringe upon League's copyrights, including a number of exceptionally similar characters. Magic Rush: Heroes even has a werewolf character named "Jacob," so maybe Twilight's lawyers -- which I know from personal experience can be very aggressive -- can get a piece of them too.

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In this article: League of Legends, Riot Games.

About the Author

Jason Winter
Jason Winter, News Editor
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.

Discussion (12)

Dreepatz 5 years ago
that Jacob is not in the game, I have the game installed and I don't see any character called Jacob or using similar skills shown above.
Also, there are more games, along with Mobile Legends, that use lot's of Dota2/LoL hero design, there was a hero (reworked now) that worked identically as Veigar, there are heroes that resemble Lee Sin a lot, lot's of Dota2 heroes also.
Does anyone remembers HoN? It had straight copy/paste heroes from Dota2 only under different design/name and untill Valve reacted they kept making them. They are still in the game, they just stopped copying.
So yeah... long shot. I even think this is fake news tbh.

View 2 replies
lul 5 years ago
LOL i reported this game the moment i saw it and played it many months ago. there is sylvanas in the game... thats straight up copyright and insta sue

View 1 reply
Hellsworth 5 years ago
Someone should sue Riot for DOTA and Warcraft 3 copyrights.

Kevin Flemming 5 years ago
Fairly sure they won't win. Chinese companies often get away with pilfering game assests. Look at most browser-based games, they have the same artwork and even mechanics, areas and assests throughout.

View 3 replies

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