Serial App User

Mobile Legends Just Got Sued For Copyright Infringement, But They'll Likely Just LoL It Off

Mobile Legends is a game that you can’t run away from, and chances are, one of your friends (or colleagues) is a hardcore player.

It’s not uncommon now to browse through your Facebook news feed and find someone sharing a gameplay video, or whenever they unlock a new character.

What Is Mobile Legends: Bang Bang?

Mobile Legends
Image Credit: Mobile Legends

The astute MOBA gamers among us will immediately see the similarity of Mobile Legends to popular PC games DotA 2 and League of Legends.

In teams of 5, you get to choose a ‘hero’ to head into battle with as you duke it out in 3-lane maps with creeps – very much like the two games mentioned earlier.

The main difference of course is that now, you are not using a mouse and keyboard. You will be moving about using a virtual joystick, and on-screen buttons for skills are within a thumb’s reach.

Despite the user interface difference being on a mobile platform, they are essentially a scaled-down version of their desktop counterparts, and like them, have spawned a major following that has spun off its own championship and tournaments all over the world.

Made by Chinese developers Shanghai Moonton Technology, it has grown to become a chart-topping game on Android and iOS, with 10 to 50 million installs from the Play Store alone.

Courting Trouble

All the popularity has certain drawn attention from everyone, in particular Riot Games – the LA based developers of League of Legends (LoL).

In a court document filed in California uncovered by Slingshot, Riot Games is alleging that Mobile Legends have been infringing on their highly popular game on more than one occasion.

The suit details how Moonton has, for three times in three separate games, appropriated LoL’s intellectual property such as “characters, artwork, map designs, and unit and monster designs”.

Looking at the document ourselves, we can see why Riot Games finally decided that after three strikes, this is the last straw.

Mobile Legends
Image Credit: Riot Games

From the logo of both games, right down to the character and abilities description, many examples were given within the document to detail the countless times that Mobile Legends has copied it wholesale.

The similarities is well-documented even among LoL players, who have drawn comparisons in their game’s forum.

While some have argued that even LoL itself was derived from DotA, there were at least clear differences in respect to map and character designs even though game mechanics have largely remained the same.

Mobile Legends Will Live On

Despite the lawsuit, we expect Mobile Legends to continue its meteoric growth as a top mobile game.

Developers Moonton will likely just sidestep this trouble as they did the last time with minor changes to the game.

We’re not saying that we condone copyright infringement, but given the popularity of the game, unless Riot Games can pull a landmark court ruling that can lead to the take down of the game, the Play Store and App Store will be hard-pressed to remove it.

That’s because it’s a ‘freemium’ game – even though it is free to play, players have the option of making in-game micro-transactions to purchase avatars, characters, an equipment.

Given the millions playing Mobile Legends at the moment, small change from each player adds up, and the sum is whole lot of money to be made by the developers.

Whatever the fuss may be, if you’d like to see just how much Mobile Legends has copied LoL, it’s available for Android and iPhone.

Subscribe to Vulcan Post Newsletter

Stay updated with our weekly curated news and updates.