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21 Comments

Armed Heroes Online Developer Starts Backing Down

Company doesn't admit to copyright infringement, agrees to make changes.

Runic claims art, audio assets were taken from Torchlight and placed into Armed Heroes Online.

The increasing evidence that EGLS, developer of iOS hack ‘n slash Armed Heroes Online, had “borrowed” both visual and audio elements from Runic GamesTorchlight seems to have done its job.

In a statement released to Joystiq (I’ve been unable to procure a copy, despite reaching out through several avenues), EGLS said it would begin to change Armed Heroes Online.

“We do note that the recent controversial discussions about Armed Heroes Online had brought harm to our company's reputation and worse got our players confused and upset, which is not what we expect to see,” said the company in a statement. “As a professional game developer, EGLS has been always dedicating our every effort to bring out better game experience for our players. Players always come first. There, we prefer to modify some parts of Armed Heroes Online where have caused those disputes rather than go on arguing. As long as this carves out a way out of angry disputes, it will be definitely worth our efforts.”

Nowhere in the statement does EGLS actually admit to any wrongdoing, and it continued to make the argument that there were simply similarities between Armed Heroes Online and other games, not copyright infringement.

You can look through my story from yesterday to judge for yourself what constitutes a similarity.

In any case, Armed Heroes Online is no longer on the App Store, Canada or otherwise. It’s unclear if that was the result of Runic Games’ lawyers or EGLS pulling the game down itself. The company also claims it will release material to Apple and other parties if issues persist once it has "modified" the game and resubmitted to Apple.

Patrick Klepek on Google+
21 Comments
Posted by patrickklepek
Runic claims art, audio assets were taken from Torchlight and placed into Armed Heroes Online.

The increasing evidence that EGLS, developer of iOS hack ‘n slash Armed Heroes Online, had “borrowed” both visual and audio elements from Runic GamesTorchlight seems to have done its job.

In a statement released to Joystiq (I’ve been unable to procure a copy, despite reaching out through several avenues), EGLS said it would begin to change Armed Heroes Online.

“We do note that the recent controversial discussions about Armed Heroes Online had brought harm to our company's reputation and worse got our players confused and upset, which is not what we expect to see,” said the company in a statement. “As a professional game developer, EGLS has been always dedicating our every effort to bring out better game experience for our players. Players always come first. There, we prefer to modify some parts of Armed Heroes Online where have caused those disputes rather than go on arguing. As long as this carves out a way out of angry disputes, it will be definitely worth our efforts.”

Nowhere in the statement does EGLS actually admit to any wrongdoing, and it continued to make the argument that there were simply similarities between Armed Heroes Online and other games, not copyright infringement.

You can look through my story from yesterday to judge for yourself what constitutes a similarity.

In any case, Armed Heroes Online is no longer on the App Store, Canada or otherwise. It’s unclear if that was the result of Runic Games’ lawyers or EGLS pulling the game down itself. The company also claims it will release material to Apple and other parties if issues persist once it has "modified" the game and resubmitted to Apple.

Staff
Edited by Silvergun

Well that's good news. Guess it would be a bit much to expect them to up and admit they stole assets though. Probably smart from a legal standpoint too.

Edited by Nill

The verbatim Torchlight sound files were pretty much a smoking gun anyway.

Posted by Maitimo

There kinda seems to be too much to actually generate all new assets themselves in a reasonable amount of time. Probably just means they'll pinch stuff from somewhere else, maybe go to the effort of changing a few names. Or create one or two new things, make a show of adding those, and wait for the controversy to die down. I can't see this ending in a "good" way.

Posted by Marcelloz

Good for them, good for the business. Things like this will kill creativity and will only encourage company's to protect their assets more.Interesting what they will come up with :-)

Posted by CptMorganCA

Glad it's off the App Store, glad that they're doing something to change the game. But I will truly, truly, never buy any product from this developer. They don't deserve any compensation for what they've done. As far as I'm concerned, these people don't deserve to make games.

Posted by DerekDanahy

Yeah fuck them.

Online
Posted by Deusoma
@Maitimo: It's already been taken off the store, and I suspect whoever is in charge of applications will be going through it with a fine-tooth comb this time to make sure Apple doesn't look bad for hosting stolen material. So if they keep trying to play the system this way, their game will simply not be released, and that sounds like a happy ending to me.
Edited by RaQin

NOBODY should buy their game...spread the word in every forum and every site...

"ELGS, the creators of Armed Heroes Online, chose to steal assets from another game developer (Runic Games) in favor of doing their own work. And when their integrity was proven to be flawed, they denied the proven claim, and fought to continue selling their game even with the pirated assets. DON"T BUY ARMOERED HEROES ONLINE...PERIOD."

Edited by FaPaThY

They'll probably just steal from some other, lesser known game to 'modify' it. Maybe they'll even edit the models and filenames a bit too so it isn't so obvious next time.

Surprised Blizzard hasn't said anything yet. The Necromancer armor at 19sec in the below video might be familiar to any Warlocks in WoW. The staff at 22sec looks like a weapon from TBC too.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=__jfv54t294

I wonder how much of the visuals they actually did themselves.

Posted by avidwriter

Yea, this is pretty much admitting guilt.

Posted by Village_Guy

Good that they got pulled down. I never understood why some people put work and time into stealing models, meshes and textures from other games.

There are plenty of sites that host free and open-source 3D models, textures and all that jazz - why not just take it from there instead of stealing it from other games?

Edited by Sweetz

@Silvergun said:

Well that's good news. Guess it would be a bit much to expect them to up and admit they stole assets though. Probably smart from a legal standpoint too.

Given that they're in China, they're probably not afraid of being prosecuted since stealing IP is a way of life there. However, it would mean that places like App Store wouldn't carry the game and possibly any of their other titles which obviously would have a big impact on their profits.

Posted by SilverGalford

that's a good start

Posted by Larannis

I love how they claim " similarities" between the games. So they just happened to name sound files in thier game the exact same thing as runic did huh?

Posted by warmonked

I want these people to die in a fire. That's not too extreme, is it?

Posted by SerHulse

@Larannis said:

I love how they claim " similarities" between the games. So they just happened to name sound files in thier game the exact same thing as runic did huh?

Well, let's be fair to them for a second here, "undeaddwarfgeneraldeath4.wav" is a very common file name.

Online
Posted by beepmachine

The popularity of mobile games has been great for developer exposure and everything, but it's also opened the door to a lot of people who have no business making games.

Posted by Saganomics

@warmonked said:

I want these people to die in a fire. That's not too extreme, is it?

It's a little extreme.

Online
Posted by _Chad

I like the slight they try to make Runic "as a professional game developer"

Posted by amishmonster

@Village_Guy: I had looked into some of those sites for an aborted iOS game a while back, and they're not very comprehensive or high quality. You do seem to get what you pay for in that realm. Unless you steal it from Runic, of course.