Behind its success, the popular multiplayer online battle arena (MOBA) game Mobile Legends: Bang Bang has drawn controversy. On its first debut in July 2016, this game from Moonton has received demands from Riot Games.
The developer of the MOBA League of Legends (LoL) game series. It all started when Moonton was about to release his first MOBA game on the Google Play Store. At that time, Mobile Legends: Bang Bang still carried the name Mobile Legends: 5v5 MOBA. Riot Games accused Moonton for plagiarizing the intellectual property of the LoL game.
This led to Moonton’s decision to have to delete Mobile Legends: 5v5 MOBA from the Google Play Store. It was only on November 9, 2016, that Moonton released this game again with a new title, namely Mobile Legends: Bang Bang.
One year later, Moonton was again sued by Riot Games. This time, the lawsuit is addressed to three game titles made by Moonton, including Magic Rush: Heroes, Mobile Legends: 5v5 MOBA, and Mobile Legends: Bang-Bang.
This time, Riot Game alleges that Montoon has cheated on various elements contained in LoL.
“There are most elements (in the game) that are directly and deliberately taken from LoL, including but not limited to LoL characters, artwork, map designs, to character and monster designs,” wrote Riot Games.
Riot Games also raised objections regarding the Mobile Legends game title which sounded similar to League of Legends. This case was brought to the California Central District Court in the US but had to be dropped on the grounds of forum non conventions.
Not long ago being sued by Riot Games, Moonton received new demands, from Tencent, the Chinese company that oversees the developer of Riot Games.
Initially, Tencent filed his lawsuit through the California Central District Court in the US in 2017. However, the case was withdrawn again because it had been transferred to a court in Shanghai. In March 2021, TikTok’s parent company, ByteDance, officially acquired Moonton.
The acquisition process is one of ByteDance’s steps in expanding its business reach in the gaming industry.
Nobody said exactly how much money Bytedance had to spend. However, based on unidentified sources, it is estimated that the funds reached around 4 billion US dollars.
After falling into the hands of ByteDance, Moonton will reportedly continue to operate independently. ByteDance will automatically compete directly with Tencent. However, is it possible for Mobile Legends to be closed?
No one knows for sure what fate will be experienced by Mobile Legends: Bang Bang in the future. Currently, Mobile Legends: Bang Bang is one of the most popular games in Southeast Asia.
In Indonesia, this game ranks first in the most popular mobile game category based on the number of players. Based on Hootshuite and We Are Social data released some time ago.
However, if we refer to Moonton’s track record, the developer seems to have to abandon his old habit of “copying” concepts from other games in order to maintain leadership in the MOBA market.