Heroes Never Infringe
An Overwatch lawsuit in China has been won by Blizzard Entertainment and NetEase.
Chinese game developer 4399 published two games, one of which was titled Heroes of Warfare. The games bore a striking resemblance to Blizzard Entertainment's first-person shooter Overwatch in more ways than one. Consequently, Blizzard and NetEase took 4399 to court.
Examine the evidence for yourself. Both the header image and the image below taken from Niko Partners Senior Analyst Daniel Ahmad's tweet about the lawsuit show comparisons of the two games side by side. Overwatch is on the left and 4399's Heroes of Warfare is on the right.
Overwatch Copyright Lawsuit Results in $570,000 in Damages
Typically, one might not expect any legal action in China having to do with copyright, trademark, or similar areas to end up in a Western company's favor, hence the neverending flow of bootleg products out of China. The one exception to this unspoken rule, however, is when one Chinese company infringes on the rights of another.
It is here that I will repeat the fact that Blizzard Entertainment has partnered with NetEase in China, nevermind that the Chinese gaming and technology conglomerate Tencent owns a small percentage of their parent company.
As a result of the Overwatch lawsuit, 4399 has been ordered to pay $570,000 in damages to the companies for infringing on Blizzard Entertainment's intellectual property, a legal decision that's clearly understandable to anyone who is the bearer of functioning eyes.
There will always be bootlegs and knockoff products, but every now and again, one of the offending companies is taken to task. There's sure to be other Overwatch clones as time goes on, and Blizzard will probably take them to court, too.
What do you think of the results of the Overwatch lawsuit in China? Do you think the courts made the correct decision? Let us know in the comments below!