Overwatch has over 30 million players across PC and consoles and has made an awful lot of money for developer Blizzard Entertainment. But with success comes people who would like a slice of that pie for themselves, meaning that there are plenty of clones of the team-based shooter, too.
Today, Blizzard announced that it would be taking legal action against one of those rip-off titles. Blizzard and NetEase (which operates Overwatch in China) are suing 4399EN GAME, the makers of a mobile MOBA called Heroes of Warfare.
That game essentially looks like Overwatch running on incredibly low graphics settings. It includes a purple sniper lady (like Widowmaker), a buff man with a shield (like Reinhardt), and a pink-haired version of Solider: 76. Its character designs actually look as though they have been lifted from Hero Mission, which is the other Overwatch clone that made headlines earlier this year.
Incredibly, the comparisons even go further than that. Heroes of Warfare‘s maps seem to be based on Overwatch locations (including Ilios Well, Numbani, Nepal and Hanamura), its games end with the same, votable medal cards, and even the tooltips use the same font that Overwatch tooltips do. It’s little wonder why Blizzard and NetEase are taking this to court.
The two companies are asking for damages and that Heroes of Warfare be removed Apple’s App Store. Additionally, Blizzard and NetEase would like an apology from 4399EN GAME over the alleged copyright infringement.
Overwatch clones like Heroes of Warfare are an obvious threat to Blizzard’s property, but not just because players may spend money on the ripped off version. As seen with the Cuphead clones that made the headlines earlier this week, it can be easy for unsuspecting players to be fooled, too, especially when a game borrows so heavily from the source material.
Not only does that lead to disappointment for would-be Blizzard customers, but it could also tarnish Blizzard’s reputation. Some players could think that the clone game is an official mobile port, and if they have a bad experience it reflects poorly on the company.
This lawsuit also highlights just how far Blizzard will go to protect its game, and if successful, it could be yet another deterrent to people who aim to profit off of the game’s popularity. Blizzard previously filed a lawsuit against Overwatch cheat makers, which it won. The company clearly isn’t afraid to take it to the courts, and this could discourage people from getting on Blizzard’s bad side in future.
Overwatch is available now on PC, PS4 and Xbox One.