League of Legends

Riot Games Sues Alleged Wild Rift Copycat

A screenshot of Mobile Legends: Bang Bang.
A screenshot of Mobile Legends: Bang Bang. / Courtesy of Moonton Technology

Riot Games has filed a lawsuit against Shanghai-based Moonton Technology for allegedly copying League of Legends: Wild Rift in its game, Mobile Legends: Bang Bang.

Riot filed the suit Monday in U.S. District Court for the Central District of California, seeking "to stop Moonton from continuing its deliberate and sustained campaign to free ride on Riot's highly valuable rights in the mobile video game League of Legends: Wild Rift," per a copy of the suit obtained by Reuters.

Riot Games has taken legal action against Moonton several times for allegedly copying Wild Rift in games titled Magic Rush: Heroes and Mobile Legends: 5v5 MOBA. Each time the games disappeared from stores, a new version with a new name would appear soon after, and each time Riot viewed it as an infringement on the League of Legends IP.

Alleged infringements include similarities in user interfaces, character designs, in-game abilities, promotional material and more.

"Over the years, as Riot updated its video game, Moonton would copy it," reads the new lawsuit. "When Riot updated the game's promotional materials, Moonton copied them. And when Riot released a new trailer, Moonton copied it. This is a critical issue for Riot."

A 2017 Riot lawsuit against Moonton was dismissed that year when the court determined it should be pursued in China rather than the U.S., as Riot Games is owned by Chinese conglomerate Tencent, and Moonton is both based in Shanghai and owned by ByteDance (which acquired it with a $4 billion bid that defeated another from Tencent).

Riot sued another alleged copycat in January, accusing Vietnamese developer Imba Technology of copying League of Legends with its game I Am Hero: AFK Tactical Teamfight. That suit is still underway.