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Runic claims Torchlight assets stolen by Chinese developer

Armed Heroes Online dev defends inspiration for iOS title

Torchlight developer Runic Games is claiming that assets, including art and sound, have been stolen from its game by Chinese developer EGLS.

EGLS has released iOS title Armed Heroes Online with assets that look very similar to those of console title Torchlight.

"All of the monster assets and every dungeon tileset, as well as voices, and most sound effects, are direct rips from Torchlight. We're having to contact Apple about it, so, just a heads up - this may not be available for long," wrote Runic's Travis Baldree on the Touch Arcade forums.

Serena Zhang of EGLS defended Armed Heroes Online, stating that while some of the company's team are influenced by games and movies that's a long way off "directly decoding or 'stealing' assets from other games."

Zhang suggested that both developers are influenced by Blizzard's World of Warcraft and WildTangent's Fate - a game that Runic's Baldree originally worked on.

"We guarantee that all of our models are made by us, and each mapping is drawn with our own hands," wrote Baldree.

"As mentioned at the very beginning, our team got inspirations from other brilliant games and movies, but had never straightly stole assets from Torchlight. What Travis Baldree said rudely depreciated the efforts our team had devoted into the game.

"We would love to submit any documents, files and other materials related to the game development to Apple to prove ourselves if Runic insists on that we 'wholesale stole most of the assets from Torchlight'"

Armed Heroes Online, released on July 9, is still available on the App Stores at the time of writing.

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Latest comments (5)

Bruce Everiss Marketing Consultant 4 years ago
Chinese steal intellectual property. Never!!!!

It is rumoured that they stole the design for the F 35 Lightning 2 from the British Aerospace computer and then put it into production far more quickly than the West could manage as the J 18 Night Owl.

Chinese consumers used to pile themselves up with fake luxury consumer goods. LV, Burberry, Hermes etc etc. Now they have become more sophisticated and in many circles only the real thing will do. Fakes attract derision.

However when it come to digital IP a very high percentage of their output is plagiarism or worse.
The only answer is for the West to ban Chinese manufactured exports until they respect and pay for our intellectual exports.
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Chris Wood Lead Game Designer, Waracle4 years ago
The only answer is for the West to ban Chinese manufactured exports until they respect and pay for our intellectual exports.
Unfortunately the West has built its economies on the back of those exports - the whole house of cards would come tumbling down .. plus no more Iphones - Apple Geeks would go mad :-)
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Huge tracts of China, India and much of the rest of the developing world will never respect western IP laws in our lifetimes. There's an assumption too that IP laws are some sort of self-evident universal human standard rather than very specific legal constructs that wealthy countries agreed with eachother in order to make their rich folks richer. Brazil, an otherwise paid up and respectful WTO member, laughed at America's attempts to get it to stop making cheap AIDS drugs because it was "infringing intellectual rights" to copy drugs that would save the lives of average and low income people. Brazil was right to treat it as a principled national stance about saving lives when the only argument in favour of enforcing IP laws was basically more money for already wealthy foreign folks.
"Yeah but it'll stifle creativity and research etc. to steal others ideas or products" is what we always hear in return, as if businessmen won't always want to make money come hell or high water. It also entirely ignores that these companies consistently steal ideas from previous products, from their competitors, from life, from nature itself, at every conceivable stage of development and employ huge teams of lawyers to investigate the rights of anything they want to rip-off. No trademark? Go die. No gaggle of lawyers to defend yourself in court? That idea will do nicely thank you.

Developing countries have some cause to see these laws for what they often are - kicking the ladder away behind you. For me the principle is not a million miles away from the free speech argument, Goose/Gander and all that.

Anyway I apologise this is off topic but Bruce's post brought up the issue. I don't like the fact that companies are lame enough to rip off others hard work, but only in a creative sense - they're bankrupt assholes. But there's a lot about enforcing IP laws that make otherwise normal people/companies do pretty disturbing things and that makes it hard to believe in them across the board.

Ok shutting up.
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Bruce Everiss Marketing Consultant 4 years ago
@Barry Meade

The process for creating a new drug is when researchers identify a potentially useful molecule. This is then patented and research, development and testing commence. The patent only lasts 20 years after which anybody can and does copy it in what is known as the generic market.

From the initial identification of the molecule to it coming to market takes 10 to 11 years (small biotech companies can sometimes get this down to 7 to 8 years). During the development process 9,999 out of 10,000 candidate molecules will fail in some way. The one that succeeds and makes it to market will cost $1.3 to $1.8 billion in order to make that j0urney.

If we take the average cost of getting to market as $1.5 billion and the average sales life before the patent runs out as being 10 years you can see that a new drug has to make a profit of $150 million a year just to break even. So it is hardly surprising that 80% of new drugs fail to make a profit in their patent lifetime.

Against this background the big pharmaceutical industry worldwide is retrenching. They are putting far less candidate molecules down the development pipeline. And we are all poorer for this as we will not get new drugs that would have raised the quality of our lives.
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Still off topic but: Yip I agree Bruce. Yet all markets expand and contract, and all prices go up and down, based on current realities and not what we wish for. Pharmaceutical corporations are no different. Ya win some ya lose some etc. and in some cases they deserve to lose. The public may like to entertain the idea that it's Pharma's primary job to save lives and make people healthy... not so their shareholders or executives. Unfortunately for their case, unhealthy people make them a lot of money. Ergo Brazil doesn't care about them or their rights when folks are dying, and rightly so.

Anyway sorry to waffle, let's go off-board if you want to reply sir.
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