moonton vs riot games thumbnail cover

Lawsuits can be a bane or blessing for us gamers.

When our favorite gaming company gets into a lawsuit drama, it gets us all really hooked up to it because as a supporter, it will create tension between communities and plus, we as a consumer have the right to know, wouldn’t you agree?

With all of those time and money spent on a game, we deserve to know if we can ever play the game again after the lawsuit, or not.

Let’s get on to depths about happened between Moonton and Riot Games.

 

The $2.9 Million Lawsuit Copyright Controversy – What Actually Happened?

The Riot vs Moonton results are finally out and Tencent Holdings (Which is the Parent company of Riot Games), has won the lawsuit against Moonton for 19.4 Million Chinese Yuan which is about $2.9 Million converted to USD.

The lawsuit between these two companies originally started last year when Riot Games sued Shanghai Moonton Technology back in 11 July 2017 in the Central District Court of California but it didn’t work out because Moonton managed to convince the court to have another hearing from the court in Shanghai.

Originally, Moonton wanted to pay $388,000 but the court ruled that the value was not enough and ordered Moonton to pay a total of $19.4 Million Chinese Yuan ($2.9 Million) instead.

Like many other gaming lawsuits, this particular lawsuit is also based on copyright infringement as Moonton’s Mobile Legends is seen as copying Riot Games’ League of Legends gameplay and characters.

Riot Games of course started the League of Legends game first way back in 2009 and obviously has dibs on it whereas Moonton only released Mobile Legends in 2016.

I know most of you will react negatively to lawsuits but before you make your final judgement on which company is at fault, check out these surprising facts first…

 

5 Similarity Points That Ticked Riot Off

Mobile legends vs league of legends

If MOBA games aren’t your thing, then you might not be familiar with these two names.

I’ll give a short brief…

Riot Games (Under Tencent) – League of Legends

Shanghai Moonton Technology – Magic Rush, Mobile Legends: 5v5 MOBA, and Mobile Legends: Bang Bang.

The controversy started way back in July 2017 and claims made by Riot were on these few points…

Point #1 – Name Similarity.

old mobile legends logo

Riot was beyond rage when they found out that their brand was copied without their consent.

The Mobile Legends logo were so similar to that of League of Legends’ that their brand was designed with words on top a shield background like that of LOL’s.

The names were almost alike and the “S” and “L” design on the logo were an exact match.

If you’ve noticed, Mobile Legends even copied the word “Legends” from LOL which I personally think that they could have came up with a much better name like “Heroes” or “Champions”.

And that’s not all, they also had…

Point #2 – Battlefield Similarity.

league of legends battlefield vs mobile legends battlefield

Even the Battlefield itself was eerily similar.

It’s so similar that it looks like Moonton didn’t even put in effort to make their own designs because the distinctive color combinations, textures, and terrain design (such as location and number of staircase steps, rocks, and bushes, were all very much alike.

And bear in mind that this one is from Mobile Legend: Bang Bang, which is the newer version released.

The earlier version had an exact same amount of buffs like the blue and red dragon, and as if that’s not enough…

Point #3 – Mini Map Similarity.

mini map similarity

You would think that they would at least change their monster setup.

Compared to other MOBA games like AOV and Onmyoji which look amazing with different sets of buff and monsters, Mobile Legends didn’t seem to want to at least change their Mini Map elements even by a bit.

This is one of the points that angered Riot for a long while.

They informed Google Play to bring the game down and from there, Mobile Legends actually complied and brought down their original version but they later came back again with another version of the game called Mobile Legends: Bang Bang.

Their Battlefield looks very identical to Riot’s “Summoner’s Rift” which also contains the exact same number of obstacles, objects, monsters, bases, turrets, textures, and overall color palate.

Point #4 – Character and Skills Similarity.

magic rush and league of legends comparison

This point was made against another one of Moonton’s games called Magic Rush which has an awkwardly similar type of heroes to that of LOL’s.

I only took 3 examples but they are plenty more heroes with the exact matches in terms of Character design and skills.

When you enjoy a game and later found out that they are an exact copy from another game, how would your respect go for that game developer? For me, I would definitely stop playing it.

Point #5 – Victory Similarity.

victory logo similarity

What’s more frustrating than to finish a game seeing the same concept to that of another game’s?

Before you say anything, yup, they even copied that.

Some people say that as a small budding company, they tend to copy successful role models in order to learn and adapt to their own game culture but seeing that their copy rate is more than 90%, I don’t think that it’s a matter of adaptation anymore.

I could be wrong, what would you think?

 

Final Word


For most of us average Joes, $2.9 Million definitely sounds huge.

But for Tencent, that amount might be particularly small seeing that they’ve not only begun to monopolize the gaming world as they take over huge gaming brands like Blizzard, but also due to the fact that they have a hand in other industries namely entertainment, R&D and music not to mention the government being a part of their actions.

With such a huge monopoly, small fishes like Moonton would not stand a chance when power is in play.

Still, Moonton is at fault as after received warnings let alone the initial lawsuit since 2017, they were still reluctant to change.

I’m a huge fan of Mobile Legends and until now, I still play and of course, organize tournaments here in Malaysia but after realizing this, would you still support them? I’d like to know.

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30 Comments

charles39 · January 29, 2019 at 11:18 am

Although I am not agamer I will agree with you this was copy and past kind of thing and they didn’t even try to change something out obvious so atreast they can out do original  developer .so it looks like we have scammers every where and mobile regends are a good example . they want to sow where they never planted but they have paid heavily.

    Riaz Shah · February 17, 2019 at 2:57 am

    True that Charles.

Kenechi · January 29, 2019 at 11:12 am

The moonton verse Riot games law suit was actually because of what?  What was the problem the two companies had?  What is law suit drama. I have not actually got the details of the stories and am so much intrigued to find out what actually transpired when Riot Games sued Shanghai moontoon back in 11july 2017 in the central District court of California.

    Riaz Shah · February 17, 2019 at 3:22 am

    Please read before commenting Kenechi. The whole article is on the 5 facts as to why Riot gaming sued Moonton.

Md moinul Islam · January 29, 2019 at 11:07 am

Hi Riaz Shah,Thanks for sharing this important review.Every body like to play games in phone.But most of the games are not good for us.Shanghai Moonton is the developer of the hit mobile MOBA game.Riot games, The company that develops and publishes the PC game league of legends,filed a lawsuit on 11 July 2017. The initial case of Riot vs Moonton was dismissed but back in China.It is an interesting article.Thanks for sharing this article.

    Riaz Shah · January 29, 2019 at 2:47 pm

    Good to know Moinul

Joy gateru · January 29, 2019 at 11:04 am

As a gamer it feels confused when such events happens and your are left in the dark not knowing what really happened, personally I have seen several cases that are similar to this one about the moonton Vs Riot games, at time you find that they dublicate everything from the site creation, only at the end result change the name making it different but the content is more similar, I really appreciate for coming across this post as it has enlightened me on the real issue and exactly what happened, I am sure to subscribe to your newsfeed to learn more about this post and many others in the near future, thank you.

From Joy.

    Riaz Shah · February 17, 2019 at 3:56 am

    Great to hear that Joy!

Henry · January 27, 2019 at 5:01 am

Hi Riaz! The similarities are impressive, from beginning to end. The games have so many points in which they match. Logo, characters and victory messages, that’s unacceptable.

But my personal opinions is that Moonton should partnership with Riot concerning Mobile Legends. Make it exactly the same as LOL and split revenue. In other words transform Mobile Legends into LOL mobile. Just my suggestion.

    Riaz Shah · January 27, 2019 at 6:09 am

    Brilliant idea Henry, I’m always in support of collaborations instead of bashing each other for publicity 😀

Seun Afotanju · January 27, 2019 at 4:53 am

Thanks for this educative and informative post. lawsuits is now a new way to make money from competitors, that’s exactly how I see it, although i haven’t played both games, just watched from a distance how the kids plays it. it’s pointless how they keep doing this everytime, why can’t they come together and work on a better version instead of fighting for supremacy? 

    Riaz Shah · January 27, 2019 at 6:10 am

    Good point, I guess people think differently when big money is on the line Seun :/

Shellykh · January 27, 2019 at 4:47 am

Before I got married, I was a heavy gamer and a fan of Riot games especially the League of Legends series. It’s so sad and upsetting that companies from China love to copy everything and anything that’s popular and would bring in a pretty penny. I’m also Chinese so it really saddens me that even popular companies from China would steal ideas for money. China is great and have plenty of resources and ideas that they don’t need to copy anyone elses. 

    Riaz Shah · January 27, 2019 at 6:11 am

    Definitely with you on that Shellykh, it’s a booming industry and is already number one in Asia but I guess people can be greedy at times.

ADEBAYO IYIADE · November 4, 2018 at 10:52 am

Coorrucption is a general desease across every pension of sum world. Even in my extraction of show, we are asked to pay an unexplained imitate on just that, our event would be certified by the pinnacle ascribed. At first I was oblivious thinking that its highly thought of but taking into account I found that it doesnt exist and that as regards each and every one Tonny pulis and Hey that I met started asking for pardon stuff of some of of cash store to their accounts just for their own dispel, I could not urge on the subject of in the works happening but to atmosphere in these people.

But in the violent behavior of Moonton, I wouldnt badly pain much harshly the exploit. They make millions the complete week so $2.9 million would probably dent their banks a tiny but theyll recover that assist in a week or two. Just this evening, three of my links spent $800 as regards in-game skins (I would rather spend that maintenance to obtain a supplementary PS4), just imagine how much Moonton earns if a thousand players spend that much vis–vis their in-game stuff!. Good to reveal this vibes content. I have bookmark for add-on gathering which i will be waiting for.

    Riaz Shah · November 4, 2018 at 11:04 am

    I know right Adebayo, people can spend on skins like crazy. I’m one of them. Appreciate the feedback!

Peter · August 17, 2018 at 8:54 am

It’s shocking how blatant this ripoff game is. I wish they were sued out of existence and their managers banned from the industry. I have a little sympathy for the programmers because they are in a bad position.

I have felt pressured to do bad things in another industry- eventually, after years of passive resistance, my boss stopped calling me for projects.

I don’t play LoL, but I have played the Blizzard version in single player. MOBAs are not really my cup of tea.

    Riaz Shah · August 17, 2018 at 3:27 pm

    I feel you Peter, corruption is everywhere.

    Even in my line of work, we are asked to pay an “Authorization” fee just so that our event would be approved by the client. At first I was oblivious thinking that it’s normal but when I found that it doesn’t exist and that almost every Tom Dick and Harry that I met started asking for free stuff of some of of cash deposit to their accounts just for their own benefits, I could not help but to feel in these people.

    But in the case of Moonton, I wouldn’t worry much on the lawsuit. They make millions every week so $2.9 million would probably dent their banks a little but they’ll recover that back in a week or two. Just this evening, three of my friends spent $800 on in-game skins (I would rather spend that money to buy a new PS4), just imagine how much Moonton earns if a thousand players spend that much on their in-game stuff!

    Thanks for dropping by man, have a good Friday!

Jason JM · August 15, 2018 at 4:52 pm

Honestly, I don’t play Mobile Legends at all. Only watched my wife play the game while my son supports from the side! lol!

Lawsuits against Chinese companies is not a surprise at all I guess.. Well considering plagiarism is a “hobby” to them since decades ago. It’s just funny that some of the Chinese companies did no or little effort in creating new ideas not only in the gaming industries but others as well.

I remember 3 years ago that my friend’s mom bought for him an “iphone” from the internet which turns out to be a fake. The phone had a pineapple logo, dual sim and a stylus. Well that was funny!

    Riaz Shah · August 15, 2018 at 11:32 pm

    I guess they definitely are Jason!

    I had a very similar experience to the pineapple iPhone, I bought online a batman gear and when it arrived in Malaysia, it was written there”Blackman” instead but with a bat symbol! Not forgetting the times when I bought clothes online, they looked savagely different when they arrived here with hidden flowers, hidden tears and being of extremely small sizes. Make no mistake, they can drop down their price really low but their quality is something to worry about.

    And having your wife play games instead of you, cmonnn 🙁

Mike Viray · August 11, 2018 at 2:44 pm

I’m with riot games on this one. As popular as ML is, I don’t think that continuing to profit from another company’s works is something to live by.

Moonton has the capacity to make a good, all-original game. It’d be quite interesting to see them come out with something that doesn’t remotely remind one of LoL. They’re pretty much banking off a lot of people’s lack of knowledge of LoL.

    Riaz Shah · August 14, 2018 at 1:10 am

    Agree with you on that one Mike, too many people copy from others, re-brand, and call it theirs and make profits out of those infringements. Whatever happened to creativity these days

Michael Gore · August 7, 2018 at 3:29 pm

Lawsuits are unfortunately a fact of life in the games industry. If it’s not celebrities it’s former employees and on and on…

It’s really annoying this suit since they are just similar games, that’s it. Did EA sue the maker’s of Cities: Skylines? No. Why? Because they are just similar games.

This needs to stop, and soon, Game companies have actually been destroyed in the past because of this infantile behaviour and another exampleof one company just wanting a monopoly on a genre.

    Riaz Shah · August 7, 2018 at 10:51 pm

    True that Michael, some even say that it is a stunt act to gather more followers and sell more copy because the supporters wouldn’t want their favourite game developer fall. It’s getting harder and harder to find out which facts to believe anymore.

Jacqueline · August 4, 2018 at 10:32 pm

Very interesting post. Is anyone surprised that the Chinese are stealing.I mean copying anything? What surprised me though is that there was a successful lawsuit. Congrats to Rot Games. My fiancé is in the games business and it seems to be all about people who write games to sell them to people who market them to make money. Big Business to be sure. What games do you prefer to play?

    Riaz Shah · August 4, 2018 at 11:58 pm

    Not surprised at all Jacqueline,

    Chinese taking over Chinese to maintain monopolization. Gaming is definitely a big business, developers make more money than movie makers or actors to be exact, and gamer content creators have a specific role into bringing up the industry. What games does your husband cover? Mine would be RPG games, MMORPG, mobile MOBA, and of course Fighting Games.

Bailey · July 25, 2018 at 9:24 pm

I had seen both these games and wondered why they were so similar! I don’t usually play MOBAs but this was till interesting.

I’m definitely not a big fan of copy-cat games, and I’m happy to see that Riot Games came out on top. Are law-suits like this common in the industry?

    Riaz Shah · July 26, 2018 at 3:13 am

    Definitely common Bailey, 

    previously we had a Fortnite and PUBG lawsuit and it was messy! And then there was another one between PUBG and Rules of Survival. Copying is inevitable, everyone does that but how you take that inspiration into another type of idea is the proper way to do it rather than straight out full on copy mode.

JohnB · July 22, 2018 at 5:34 pm

These two games look indeed very similar. League Of Legends is huge and while there are many games that have the same concept, Mobile Legends has just copied the game in all its aspects and baptized it as their own. I would be furious about it. The same happened with PUBG and Fortnite with the former suing the latter for obvious reasons which sound rightful to me.

    Riaz Shah · July 23, 2018 at 6:40 am

    Agreed John, but at least Fortnite’s Gameplay is in a way more unique and not an exact replica of PUBG as how Mobile Legends is on LOL. I love how they incorporated humor into fornite though, makes it much more enjoyable to play

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