Blizzard Entertainment is currently in the process to sue a Chinese developer for ripping off HearthStone: Heroes of Warcraft.
According to a report filed today by MMO Culture, developer Blizzard and its Chinese partner NetEase have filed a suit against developer Unico over the mobile game Legend of Crouching Dragon, a blatant copy of HearthStone.
Legend of Crouching Dragon was first revealed back in October 2013 for the Android and iOS devices. Suffice to say many devoted Blizzard fans were not too pleased. Blizzard though is not going to let this one go, having filed a suit that seeks $1.65 million in damages and probably contains instructions to shut the game permanently down on the basis of infringement of intellectual property rights.
Blizzard CEO Mike Morhaime addressed the ripoff personally during BlizzCon last year saying, “I am aware of another game that is infringing on our Hearthstone intellectual property, and so our legal department is taking legal action against that to protect our intellectual property.”
Chinese studios ripping off western games is not a rare sight. So far, at least two Chinese titles have been named that are almost identical to Riot Games’ League of Legends; one of which is named 300 Heroes. I’m not too familiar with the country’s laws but from what I’ve seen so far, there is little Western companies can do in such scenarios.
HearthStone: Heroes of Warcraft is currently in open beta and is preparing for its official launch that will take place later this year. The game will launch for the PC and Mac first, after which it will land on iOS and Android platforms as well.