Design matters and League of Legends, an extremely popular online game, takes its elements seriously. As such, players of the game, boasting over 160 diverse playable characters, couldn't hesitate to lambast a mobile Gacha game. The reason? The mobile game allegedly utilized 'too similar' ability icons for its characters.
League of Legends, often simply referred to as LoL, is more than a game for many of its players. At the heart of the game are the champions - the range of unique characters that gamers play as. With figures such as Ashe, the frosty Frejlord archer, and Zed, an assassin shrouded in shadows from the land of Ionia, it's a game that caters to a variety of playstyles.
These characters, or champions as they're known in the game, come equipped with distinctive abilities. These abilities, usually numbering four, together with their passive, deeply impact the game's performance. A significant aspect of each ability is its iconic visual imagery, designed to help players quickly identify what an ability does and strategize against it.
The familiarity and connection with these ability icons among LoL players are strong. It's not uncommon for players to recognize the particular skill icons of their favourite champions at a glance. Some players have spent years memorizing these icons, making them synonymous with the game's experience.
Understandably, when a mobile game started presenting similar ability icons for its champions, LoL gamers were not amused. They were quick to point out the striking resemblances, expressing their disgruntlement on various social networks.
The mobile game in question is titled War Spell: Tactics RPG. Allegedly, the game features characters and skill icons that exhibit striking similarity with those found in League of Legends. These parallels are most notably seen in champions such as Xayah, Tristana, Graves, and Tahm Kench.
Since these allegations arose, sentiment among League of Legends players, at least on Twitter, has largely been critical. Comments hinting at pending legal action against the mobile game's developers have been especially frequent.
'This is so lawsuit worthy, they really tried to World of Warcraftify League of Legends', was one such comment on the issue. Another user echoed this sentiment, tweeting, 'I can smell the lawsuit'.
Not only has the mobile game allegedly ‘borrowed’ several familiar ability icons from League of Legends, but several characters also share noticeable design similarities. Examples of these shared characteristics include the use of similar weaponry and methods of dealing damage.
Accusations have also risen that this mobile game not only mirrors League of Legends but also Heroes of the Storm. If these allegations hold water, it would imply that the mobile game has plagiarized artwork from multiple sources.
With social media posts expressing discontent continuing to circulate, the issue has been drawing increasing attention in the gaming world. Whether this will result in any legal repercussions remains unclear.
Yet, with the uproar around the issue growing, it would not be surprising if Riot Games, the company behind League of Legends, decided to look into the issue more closely. After all, every company has an interest in ensuring that its intellectual property is respected.
In the world of online gaming, where design elements can make or break a game, such incidents are taken with a lot of seriousness. It's not only about possible copyright infringement but also about respect for the hard work that goes into creating a unique gamer experience.
To the players who dedicate their time and sometimes even livelihood to these games, such apparent acts may feel like a betrayal. Therefore, it will be interesting to see how this situation unfolds and what steps, if any, are taken by Riot Games in response to this alleged case of imitation.