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Blizzard sues Hearthstone clone developer

Blizzard sues Hearthstone clone developer

Wed 22 Jan 2014 7:25pm GMT / 2:25pm EST / 11:25am PST
Legal

Warcraft maker and NetEase looking for $1.65 million from developer of Android, iOS look-alike

Blizzard Entertainment and its Chinese licensing partner NetEase are accusing a Chinese developer of cloning Hearthstone: Heroes of Warcraft, according to an MMO Culture translation of multiple Chinese-language reports. The alleged clone in this case is Legend of Crouching Dragon by Unico Interactive.

Blizzard and Netease are claiming that Legend of Crouching Dragon infringes on their rights, and the pair is seeking 10 million Yuan ($1.65 million) in restitution. A YouTube video showing gameplay from Unico's tactical card game shows clear similarities in the layout, interface, and visual style of the two games.

While the legal sparring has already started, neither game has had a full release yet. Hearthstone entered its open beta phase yesterday, while Legend of Crouching Dragon has been in beta for several months. Hearthstone is not available on mobile platforms yet, but Blizzard has announced plans to bring the game to iOS, Android, and Windows Phone 8 Touch.

As of press time, a Blizzard representative had not returned request for comment.

14 Comments

Paul Johnson Managing Director / Lead code monkey, Rubicon Development

925 1,560 1.7
They're both shit. Combat Monsters is where it's at. :)

Posted:9 months ago

#1

Andreia Quinta Creative & People Photographer, Studio52 London

228 631 2.8
I do hope I'm interpreting the smiley face at the end correctly as a joke Paul, as I've been in the Hearthstone beta for a few months now and I love it to bits! <3

:)

Posted:9 months ago

#2

Paul Johnson Managing Director / Lead code monkey, Rubicon Development

925 1,560 1.7
The smiley is for my rudeness, but the comment stands imo. :)

(Combat Monsters is our own take on this genre. Not as pretty graphics, but shitloads more gameplay and content last time I looked. That once mattered more.)

Edited 1 times. Last edit by Paul Johnson on 23rd January 2014 5:29am

Posted:9 months ago

#3

Jessica Hyland Character Artist

352 1,502 4.3
Looks like a totally different game to me, Paul...

I've been playing in the HS beta(which is now open to all in EU as of today!) and I absolutely love it. I haven't played such a beautifully polished and relentlessly fun game in a long while. Not normally a competitive player but the gentle difficulty curve and strategising really grabs me. I've even bought a few packs of cards, and the process of opening and discovering what's inside a pack is incredibly satisfying. Polish polish polish, that's what makes Hearthstone extra special.

Posted:9 months ago

#4

Kieren Bloomfield Software Engineer, EA Sports

96 87 0.9
So hang on, Blizzard are complaining someone is copying their game, before they've even finished making it?

There has to be something said for keeping your cards to your self until the hand is complete...

Posted:9 months ago

#5

Steve Wetz Reviewer/Assistant Editor, Gamer's Glance

213 529 2.5
Popular Comment
I feel like a CCG with mythological creatures has been done before... possibly by some wizards who call the west coast home.

Posted:9 months ago

#6

Rafa Ferrer Localisation Manager, Red Comet Media

64 120 1.9
@Steve - You beat me to it.
If I look for a good, polished to an ever-successful-since-the-90's level, original collectible card game that every other developer in this field has tried to copy and failed to date, both printed (WoW and many others) and digital (since the first Duels of the Planeswalkers for Xbox Live, PSN and Steam, and now mobile), I know where to look.

Posted:9 months ago

#7

Edward Buffery Pre-production Manager

149 96 0.6
Some cloning accusations are grey areas and open to personal interpretation and / or over-zealous legal departments suing simply because they can. This however, seems pretty black and white...

Posted:9 months ago

#8

Steve Wetz Reviewer/Assistant Editor, Gamer's Glance

213 529 2.5
I dunno. We're talking about someone complaining that their clone of a clone got cloned. Unless you live on Kamino, how could you complain?

Posted:9 months ago

#9

Roland Austinat roland austinat media productions|consulting, IDG, Computec, Spiegel Online

138 80 0.6
So Blizzard clones Magic Online and sues because now their clone gets cloned? What a world we live in!

Posted:9 months ago

#10

Jessica Hyland Character Artist

352 1,502 4.3
Popular Comment
I'm seeing a lot of people who don't really know much about CCGs in this comments thread...

Besides the fairly obvious nature of this case - the Chinese developer cloned the styling of the cards, the menu layouts, the 'searching for an opponent' interface, even how play transitions from one screen to the next, just everything - looking at any given card game and calling it a clone of M:tG is like looking at any FPS and calling it a clone of Halo. Yes, there are mechanical similarities, but that's what makes a genre a genre, and Hearthstone certainly has enough uniqueness and style to call itself a game and not a mere clone.

Posted:9 months ago

#11

Andreia Quinta Creative & People Photographer, Studio52 London

228 631 2.8
Jessica nailed it.

Posted:9 months ago

#12

Alfonso Sexto Lead Tester, Ubisoft Germany

831 668 0.8
@Paul
They're both shit. Combat Monsters is where it's at. :)
And people here saying that I am unprofessional and aggressive in some of my answers...

Posted:9 months ago

#13

Paul Johnson Managing Director / Lead code monkey, Rubicon Development

925 1,560 1.7
Just add smileys.

Posted:9 months ago

#14

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