League clones: Chinese copying or crisis of ideas?

Recently competitive video games are very popular, mainly due to the development of e-sports. Genres are often mixed. Take, for example, the classic of MOBA, crossed with a first-person shooter – and get a hero-shooter with a bunch of characters and unique abilities each. In short, a fantasy developers enough. However, not all, if you look closely.

We would like to talk in more detail about the MOBA-games, or rather of their younger colleagues – mobile titles. Today Gmbox shared the news that the American company Riot Games has sued the Shanghai Moontoon Technology Developer as time-of MOBA mobile games.

The scandal revolved around the game called Mobile Legends. The lawsuit, filed in Los Angeles court, pointed out that Shanghai Moontoon Technology «knowingly violated the copyright of League of Legends in several of its mobile projects.”

Why we are talking about several projects? The thing is that the game was originally distributed in the Google Play store under the name Mobile Legends: 5v5 MOBA. After an official complaint from the Chinese developers Riot Games title yourself removed from the list, but after some changes in the content posted again changed its name to Mobile Legends: Bang Bang.

LoL developers gathered in a suit all the titles, so far are unhappy with the changes brought by Shanghai Moontoon Technology. In their view, the essence of the claim does not change, the Chinese clone is still a huge amount of copyright infringement associated with the characters, their skills, monsters, etc.

Everything else in the game list, copyright infringing Riot Games, also including another title by Shanghai Moontoon Technology – This Magic Rush: Heroes.

In short, we are talking about the mass cloning LoL magicians from China. And it’s a very interesting situation, if we recall that the very LoL owned Chinese corporation Tencent. Although the lawsuit and filed in a US court by a local company, is a developer of MOBA infamous, it is possible that Chinese businessmen attached to this effort.

And Tencent this several reasons. One of them catches your eye immediately – it is a competition. The Asian mobile market MOBA-game battle for the players turns very serious, because this genre enjoys huge popularity in the region on all possible platforms.

And when you consider that gamers interests in Asia are increasingly shifting toward mobile devices, then fall away the last doubts that Tencent is interested in coverage of both groups – MOBA fans and mobile gaming.

The company will in all possible ways to protect their interests here, and so especially if we are talking about the illegal use of its intellectual property. Currently, Tencent is actively promoting its own mobile MOBA-game in the Asian market, which in some way can be called a clone of LoL. In any case, all of the key mechanics are borrowed from older MOBA-fellows.

It is about Honour of Kings, and this title is currently demonstrates excellent results. According to data released by research firm App Annie, Honour of Kings by Tencent (also known as the King of Glory) in May surpassed Monster Strike and became the most profitable mobile game in the world both on Google Play, and on iOS devices.

Honour of Kings ranked first in the world in terms of return on iOS platform in March and April this year. However, only in May, the game managed to occupy the first position not only in the App Store, but in Google Play. Honor of Kings became the world’s first mobile game in China, won the leadership on both platforms, which is a great achievement, given the weak presence of Google in China.

If, however, a little distracted by the scandal surrounding the Mobile Legends and look at the wider situation, we can say that the development of the MOBA genre was at a standstill.

Since the appearance of the Titans like LoL and Dota games of this type virtually nothing has changed. Repeated and characters, and monsters, and indeed the arena has undergone since the days of big changes.

Whether it’s a mobile clone, of which there are hundreds, or titles for the PC – all players offer the same 3 line 5 fights 5, and all the same card with woodland.

In short, in an impasse were not only those developers who shamelessly steal intellectual property from mastodons industry, but are themselves the founders of the genre. Rather those who now owns the rights to the original idea. Many years have passed since there was the same mod for Warcraft 3 , and we did not see anything fundamentally new.

What is this? Developer laziness or attempt to pull out all the juices of the genre? Do not forget that the classic MOBA still sold very well. Perhaps igrodely in no hurry to make changes to it and develop it further, until it ceases to generate significant revenues.

But the point may be that fans of MOBA-game is not very well perceive the change in the genre. Blizzard in his Heroes of the Storm I tried to make the same leap and push the genre further. So far, the results are not very impressive, especially given the popularity of Dota 2 and LoL.

At the eSports arena HotS altogether defeated, so the idea at the moment seems to be questionable. And what do you think? Whether it is necessary to develop the genre, or the MOBA – is a thing in itself, and here it is not necessary to change anything?