Pudong court finds infringement against 'Overwatch'

Ke Jiayun
Blizzard Entertainment and NetEase were awarded nearly 4 million yuan from companies that developed games which violated the former's copyrights.
Ke Jiayun

US video game giant Blizzard Entertainment and its local agent NetEase won nearly 4 million yuan (US$569,000) from a Xiamen-based game publisher and its Guangzhou branch whose games copied elements of Blizzard's team-based shooting game "Overwatch," the Pudong New Area People's Court ruled on Wednesday.

According to the court, the two plaintiffs found that a mobile game called "Clash of Fighters" and an online game called "Gunplay Battlefront," both published by Xiamen-based 4399 Network and its Guangzhou-based subsidiary, copied aspects of "Overwatch," including its character design, game play, maps and other elements.

The plaintiffs filed an infringement lawsuit which claimed that the copyrights of "Overwatch" were being violated.

The defendants alleged that "Overwatch" also contained similar elements to previous games, and thus it did not own the elements it claimed rights over. They further claimed that their games were the products of their own development and innovation, though they may have resembled "Overwatch" in certain respects.

In the end, the court ruled in favor of Blizzard and NetEase, and upheld their demands for 3 million yuan in compensation from "Clash of Fighters."

For "Gunplay Battlefront," because this title had been unavailable since July 14, 2017, the court set the amount of compensation at 500,000 yuan. It also ordered the defendants to pay more than 470,000 yuan for the plaintiffs' attorney and notary fees.

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