Moonton, a Shanghai-based company and creator of Mobile Legends: Bang Bang and Magic Rush, has had a lawsuit filed against them by Riot Games in the Central District Court of California, where Riot Games is based in. The lawsuit states that the games created by Moonton infringes upon Riot Game’s copyright of League of Legends, including but not limited to maps, details, monster placements, and heroes. The full details of the lawsuit can be seen here.
Picture: League of Legends’ Summoner’s Rift map vs Mobile Legends: Bang Bang’s default map.
Just a few months after being sued by Riot Games in July 2017, they are now facing another possible lawsuit from Valve. Valve is the developer and publisher of the popular PC MOBA Dota 2. Mobile Legends: Bang Bang released their new hero Irithel in early August to positive feedback from players. However, Valve was less than pleased with the news and is allegedly looking to sue Moonton for replicating the Dota 2 hero Mirana.
At first look, the two heroes do look very similar. They both have comparable large beast companions and share a similar ranged bow weapon. Their in-game movement animation is also identical, with the hero riding upon her tiger and shooting from the back of the beast. They share the same skills as well, though the order is switched.
Moonton is now facing lawsuits from two of the biggest names in the gaming industry. Considering that Mobile Legends: Bang Bang makes almost $38,000 USD per day, both Riot Games and Valve’s concerns about copyright infringement is valid. ML:BB has a history of copying ideas and characters from other games with barely any original changes. It is also unlikely that Riot Games or Valve will drop their lawsuits since they have a very strong case against Moonton. These two giants will also most likely want to make an example of Moonton to dissuade other companies from trying to replicate a LoL or Dota 2 copy to profit from it.
Will these lawsuits really stop Moonton from stealing intellectual property? Will the general public still support and play the game despite this? Most importantly, does this spell the end for Moonton?
Video: Irithel Official Trailer
While it seems that the MOBA industry is running out of creative ideas for new heroes and map, what would this mean for all mobile MOBAs? Mobile Legends: Bang Bang is only one of many mobile MOBA games, all looking like every other mobile MOBA game. Will Riot Games and Valve’s crackdown on ML:BB lead to more problems for the rest of the mobile MOBA games? Only time will tell.