Things have been tough for Blizzard recently. The company's banning of a pro-Hong Kong Hearthstone player has led to much criticism and has made them the butt of many jokes in the gaming community, and then there's the plummeting Blizzard game sales for the company overall. On top of all that, the company also had to deal with a Chinese game company copying and stealing elements from Overwatch.

Fortunately for Activision Blizzard and its Chinese partner NetEase, they won the copyright lawsuit. The Pudong New Area People's Court ruled that the Chinese game developer 4399 Network was guilty of copyright infringement for taking elements from the popular first-person hero shooter and adding them to two of their games, those being the mobile game Clash of Fighters and an online game called Gunplay Battlefront.

These two games have been accused of stealing quite a bit from Overwatch, from its general gameplay to the character designs and even the playable maps. 4399 Network argued that Blizzard didn't own the elements it claimed to have rights to, and in fact claimed that Blizzard had stolen these aspects that were present in previous games. 4399 Network also claimed that despite the similarities to Overwatch, their games were all original developments. Because of these reasons, the Chinese company believed that they could not be accused of copyright infringement.

Blizzard hasn't been found guilty of stealing elements from any other game when making Overwatch, though, so the Chinese court threw out that claim and ruled in favor of Blizzard. As a result, Blizzard and NetEase have been awarded 4 million Yuan, which is roughly equivalent to $569,000 USD. When broken down, that's 3 million Yuan for the Overwatch elements used in Clash of Fighters and 500,000 Yuan for Gunplay Battlefront. The reason why they received so much less for the online game is because it has been unavailable since the summer of 2017. 4399 Network must also pay for Blizzard and NetEase's legal fees, which equates to about 470,000 Yuan.

overwatch battle

These aren't the only Chinese knock-offs Blizzard has had to deal with. About two weeks ago, Blizzard had already won a lawsuit against 4399 Network over another one of their Overwatch clones called Heroes of Warfare. And back in August, Blizzard sued Chinese company Sina Games for intellectual property infringement, calling their game Glorious Saga a "blatant Warcraft knock-off”.

Overall, Blizzard must be glad to get this whole copyright mess cleaned up before the release of Overwatch 2, which was announced at BlizzCon 2019 earlier this month. The sequel seems to work more like an expansion, though, as original Overwatch players will get all the same maps that Overwatch 2 will have, and progression and cosmetics will carry over to the next game. Overwatch 2 director Jeff Kaplan also teased that the long-awaited story mode will be a decently long experience.

Source: Happy Gamer