By Tim Frederick | Jul 19, 2012 12:25 PM EDT
Runic Games, maker of the PC RPG Torchlight and its upcoming MMO sequel Torchlight 2 (currently in closed beta) have spied some of their work from the original Torchlight in a new iOS game; problem being, that game was not developed by them, and has nothing to do with their company.
The game, an iOS action-RPG developed by Chinese company EGLS, has clearly drawn inspiration from similar games like Torchlight and Fate; but inspiration is all it's drawn and nothing more says Serena Zhang of EGLS, who defended the game with a lengthy post over on the forums of Touch Arcade, showing the differences between the games, while avoiding the obvious similarities, some of which can be viewed here.
Her post did nothing to address the real issue of why certain art assets are clearly copies of ones from Torchlight, with nothing more than very minor edits or the tweaking necessary to fit them into their mobile game engine, if any at all, and was largely condemned by the following posters, including Runic Games' Travis Baldree, who responded in one post by saying:
"I find it amusing that you have chosen to use WoW assets to compare to the monsters - rather than the Torchlight monsters that I specifically compared them to in my screenshot image."
And added in a later post:
"...the monsters appear in the same tilesets, using the same sounds, and with the same animations. Those goblin death animations are identical to ours. The idea that they've just carefully observed every proportion, texture, and vertex and somehow recreated it with this level of fidelity is completely implausible."
More damning than some of the graphical similarities between the games is the fact that some of the sound files used in Armed Heroes Online seem to have been ripped directly from Torchlight; complete with the same file names (including the unintentional misspellings of some of the original file names, and with the same class and boss names of the original Torchlight files still intact).
Runic has contacted Apple and is confident the game won't last for long on the App Store, though it is still available to be purchased and downloaded as of the time of writing this.
This is not the first time plagiarism has reared its ugly (and eerily familiar looking) head in the gaming world. Limbo of the Lost, a graphic adventure released in 2007 in Europe and 2008 in the U.S, was especially notable for the fact it contained assets blatantly ripped from not just one, but several different games, including The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion, Thief: Deadly Shadows, and Painkiller. Limbo of the Lost was eventually pulled from the shelves and has not been seen since; a fate Runic hopes will befall Armed Heroes Online.
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