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Published: July 3, 2023

Written by: Stoyan Todorov

  • Imba Network, a Vietnamese video game studio, released a game called I am Hero
  • The title bears way too many similarities to Riot’s Teamfight Tactics as many have pointed out
  • This caused Riot Games to file a lawsuit against Imba Network

Riot Games takes Imba Network to court after noticing the latter studio is copying its autobattler title Teamfight Tactics.

Imba Network Takes Inspiration Too Far

Artistic inspiration is something that is widely acknowledged in the world of media. Many artists would draw heavy inspirations from other games, movies, animation series, or even books. However, sometimes inspiration goes too far. This is the case with Imba Network – a Vietnamese game development studio that borrowed one too many ideas from Riot Games. The latter studio wasn’t happy.

Imba Network has released a game called I am Hero: AFK Tactical Teamfight that is suspiciously similar to Riot Games’ Teamfight Tactics. It was noted that far too many things correspond to the Runeterra-based autobattler. This includes not only gameplay mechanics but also characters, visuals, and lore.

Because of this, Riot has deemed I am Hero to be a blatant copy of its work that has only slapped a few changes on top. The game company has decided to not let things stand as they are and take the issue to the court. According to Polygon, Riot filed a lawsuit last Thursday.

Riot Games Retaliates

To prove its point, Riot Games pointed to some of the most obvious examples of inspiration gone too far. In its lawsuit filing, the game company presented images of its own Runeterra character Teemo and compared him to Tomee, a character from I am Hero. Not only is Tomee an anagram of Teemo, but his backstory is almost an exact copy of Teemo’s. Both characters are scouts with Teemo being called “the Swift Scout” and Tomee – “the Hasty Scout.”

This isn’t the full extent of Imba Network’s alleged intellectual property breach but is one of the most convincing examples. Players who have tried out both Teamfight Tactics and I am Hero have also commented on the similarities in the latter game’s reviewing section.

Riot Games now demands the restriction of I am Hero from the app stores and wants to be paid $150,000 for copyright infringement.

Riot Games is one of the most popular gaming companies so it is hardly surprising that many other developers have sought inspiration from it. Yet, some go way too far with the inspiration in hopes of replication Riot’s success. Not only does this result in a product that lacks originality but it also is quick to attract Riot’s vengeful gaze.

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