Riot Games, or more precisely, their parent company, Tencent Holdings, a Chinese conglomerate that offers various internet services, was just granted USD 2.9 Million in a lawsuit against Shanghai Moonton Technology.
For those unfamiliar with Riot Games, they are the developers of a computer-based multiplayer online battle arena called League of Legends, or LoL for short. In 2014, Riot publicized their player base of 67 Million monthly players and 27 Million daily players. Meanwhile in 2016, Riot confirmed that League of Legends had 100 Million monthly players. It is unclear how many people play League of Legends monthly or daily in 2018, however, especially with new games like Fortnite taking the gaming world by storm. In addition, its speculated that many League of Legends players switched over to Mobile Legends, the mobile game in the center of the lawsuit between Tencent and Moonton.
For those who have played both League of Legends and Mobile Legends, the similarities between the two are obvious, starting with the name logo and ending with the gameplay. The ‘classic mode’ for both the games start with two 5-player teams moving along 3 lanes in order to destroy turrets and eventually, the other team’s nexus. Furthermore, the ‘Heroes’ in Mobile Legends have similar skills to the ‘Champions’ in League of Legends.
Riot Games initially sued Moonton last year for infringement in the Central District Court of California, but the lawsuit was dismissed due to forum non conviens, or simply because another court, such as one in Shanghai, would have more jurisdiction over the case. Therefore, Tencent filed a non-disclosure and non-compete lawsuit against Moonton in a Shanghai District Court. Prior to the initial lawsuit in 2017, Riot Games attempted to contact both Apple’s App Store and the Google Play Store in efforts to remove Moonton’s game from the market. After which, Moonton removed the game “Mobile Legends: 5V5 MOBA” and re-released it under “Mobile Legends: Bang Bang.” Following the 2017 lawsuit, Moonton released a statement on their Facebook page claiming articles released by media were “unreal” and they “reserve the right to protect ourselves and pursue legal actions”. Unfortunately for them, legal action was taken in Shanghai where the court awarded Tencent RMB 19.4 Million (USD 2.9 Million).