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.