Art assets from Runic Games‘ Torchlight franchise bear more than a passing resemblance to those used in iOS MMO Armed Heroes Online, from Chinese developer Entertainment Game Labs (“EGLS“). And Runic Games head Travis Baldree is calling foul, taking to Twitter this week to say, “So, wow – this game is releasing on the app store. They wholesale stole most of the assets from Torchlight,” and linking to the EGLS game website.
Baldree made the image seen above as well, comparing the two games’ art assets from source material he found in YouTube clips of Armed Heroes Online with those of his company’s game. Beyond talking, Baldree tells us that Runic “have contacted Apple with a takedown request but haven’t heard back yet.” The company’s goal at the moment is “simply to get the game removed from the App Store until it no longer infringes upon our copyright.” It’s unclear if representatives from Runic’s parent company, Chinese MMO company Perfect World, have been in contact with EGLS separately.
Baldree says Runic “have been unable to directly contact the company,” but a rep from EGLS posted on Touch Arcade’s forums with a lengthy public statement today. “We can hardly agree with Mr. Travis Baldree who judged that EGLS ‘wholesale stole most of the assets from Torchlight!’ only based on the similarity between several small monsters. The judgment is simply untenable,” the post reads.
It goes on to say that some EGLS employees “are both crazy game fans and ecstatic movie lovers,” alleging that the comparisons drawn are nothing more than an accident at best. Bizarrely, the statement then compares Torchlight to WildTangent’s PC RPG Fate, as well as Diablo 2 – both games that Runic employees were instrumental in developing.
Armed Heroes Online remains available via iTunes for now, but we don’t expect it’ll be there for much longer. The game is free-to-play with in-app purchases (read: microtransactions). An EGLS rep didn’t respond to request for comment as of publishing.