Successful games can often inspire similar titles. But some are more blatant than others. Which is why it’s no surprise Blizzard goes after Chinese Overwatch clones when they’re particularly shameless. In this case, it’s mobile game Heroes of Warfare by developers 4399.
Blizzard and Chinese partners NetEase are suing 4399 for intellectual property infringement, which means ceasing production, monetary compensation and removing Heroes of Warfare from the iOS and Android app stores.
How much of a copy is Heroes of Warfare? Well, it appears to have similar heroes in design and play style. The user interface looks very similar. And the maps look pretty much identical. It’s close enough that you could believe it was a mobile port. As this Youtube video of the game shows.
Anyone instantly think of Ilios?
This isn’t the first mobile game to be almost identical to Overwatch. There are plenty of other titles which have tried the same trick, such as Hero Mission. Which adapted the main characters slightly, but then went on to infringe a variety of other games and films with unlockable skins. For instance, it changed Winston into a Panda, and then added a Kung Fu Panda skin.
Other famous first person shooters have also been imitated, from Team Fortress 2 to a Call of Duty inspired game released by the Chinese military. What’s possibly more interesting is the fact software publishers might increasingly be playing whack-a-mole to try to legally remove the most blatant and successful examples. It’ll be interesting to see whether Blizzard succeeds.
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Also published on Medium.