Creators Of Torchlight Ripoff Say It's Not A Torchlight Ripoff

The creators of action roleplaying game Armed Heroes Online have denied allegations that they ripped off Torchlight's art assets, taking to the Touch Arcade forums today to call the claims "untenable".

Over the weekend, Runic Games President Travis Baldree pointed out that Armed Heroes Online had stolen a large number of art assets from his company's action-RPG Torchlight, posting an art montage (below) as proof. He also unzipped sound effect files from the game and said they shared the same names as many of the files in Torchlight.

But in a post this afternoon, a Touch Arcade user named Serena Zhang who says she is from Armed Heroes developer EGLS said they'd "never straightly stole assets from Torchlight," claiming they drew inspiration from World of Warcraft and other games. As proof, she posted several Armed Heroes images lined up next to character models from Torchlight. She also pointed to similarities between skills in Torchlight and Diablo II, saying Runic drew inspiration from other games too.

"We sincerely hope that Mr Travis Baldree can note that the similarity between Armed Heroes and Torchlight may be due to that we both learn from Blizzard, unless you are suggesting that except you the rest must not learn these advanced skills from Blizzard who has long been one of the great leaders within the industry," Zhang wrote. "Moreover, if anyone has ever pay attention to games of similar themes, he or she should have found that there are always several games of same type compete with and learn from each other's game designs, functions and other settings."

But Baldree says Armed Heroes directly took assets from Torchlight, and indeed, the above image makes that seem pretty clear. In a response to Zhang, Baldree posted two more comparison images.

"I have no problem with inspiration," he wrote. "We are obviously inspired by Diablo, and make no bones about it. But we don't include any Diablo artwork or sounds in our game.

"Posting pictures of random models with no association isn't much of a defence, I'm sorry. Twiddling the geometry a little bit and doing minor texture alterations doesn't equate to original artwork or even artwork 'inspired by.'"


Comments

    I agree they are very similar, but I still agree with somone in the last post that this is the exact same as Torchlight and Diablo, Torchlight is not available on iOS so it's not eating into sales and may actually good promotion for Torchlight and Torchlight 2. Much the same way that Torchlight on the 360 does not eat into Diablo sales.
    Some assets are similar, granted very similar, this does not equate to stolen work. Mass Effect and Gears have a similar grey pallette, OMG THEY'RE THE SAME GAME

      They have wholesale taken the assets from the game. The sound files have the exact same file names, right down to typos. This is nothing like Torchlight and Diablo, Torchlight used some ideas from Diablo but didn't copy assets and since Max and Erich Schaefer who created Diablo are the founders of Runic games it's only normal that they would reuse some of their own ideas. It's not about eating into sales as much as it is profiting from someone else's hardwork.

        I understand the "stealing someone else's hard work" aspect, it's the big issue Runic seem to be making of it, this could be quite easily settled behind closed doors, but they are crying foul in public to get free promotion and to take away from other aspects of Armed Heroes that weren't "stolen"

      That's like saying that halo isn't available on ps3,iPad,wii,vita or 3DS so I am completely entitled to go and grab all the assets from it and release it on all those systems.

      It's stupid arse holes like this that lead to the extremely overprotective copyright laws an the changes that companies like Disney donate money to create perpetual copyright instead of it becoming free to the public domain

        Yes it is exactly like saying that, Halo is not available on those systems and through the use of similar assets you would be entitled to do it. As I pointed out, in my opinion they are similar but not all identical, if they were identical, sure that is infringement and should be resolved, but takin 10 assets from a game and comparing them to 10 assets of your game is hardly a fair comparison.

        As to your comment of stupid arse holes like me causing the issue, I hold no sway over the legal system regarding this at all, I am not a game dev and I do not plagarise any work that I do, I would not use similar assets from any other medium because I am not that kind of person, however when others use similar assets, there should be no issue. Besides, your argument is contradictory, I think that the assets are not the same and should be used equally and this is somehow stopping assets from being pushed into the public domain to be used equally. If it's such a big deal then why should a company like Disney lose their ownership of their assets because of an archaic intellectual property law? Surely they should be allowed to hold perpetual rights to their assets?

          No, they have wholesale taken the assets from Torchlight's modding kit and added them to their own game. The soundfiles are *indentical* right down to the filename (typos and all). They haven't modelled their art closely to Torchlight, or anything like that, they have taken the files straight from Torchlight, compressed them a little and included them. Runic actually offer free use of their assets for any purpose as long you aren't making profit from it, which these guys are.

            I wasn't aware that the original source assets were available to the public. Now that I am, I retract my previous statement (from the previous article) that it was "very inspired by".. it seems they have just slightly modded the torchlight source assets and put them into their game. If that's not explicitly authorized in the agreement for use of the assets, it's most definitely theft.

            My original statement was based on the assumption that someone(s) created the Armed Heroes assets from scratch with the Torchlight games for reference.

            Not that they'll read it, but apologies to Runic.

            (Though the original article could have made this more clear in the first place).

      It's not a matter of whether it eats into their sales or not, it's a matter of intellectual property theft. What gives them the right to make any profit whatsoever from somebody else's years of hard work?
      While the Armed Heroes assets are lower res, but they're still clearly the same assets, not just 'very similar' or even 'inspired by'.

        Zac, judging by all your other comments in this thread, it seems to me that your problem is that you are not a producer or maker of things so you cannot even start to comprehend how in /principle/ it's wrong for someone else to profit for something you worked hard for. Who cares that it's not "eating" off your market? Why should laziness and lack of creativity get to profit from the work of others? You say that Torchlight is actually getting something akin to "free promotion" but I don't see that Armed Heroes says anywhere "hey, did you like this game? Do you have a PC? Then you totally should go and play Torchlight because our sweet models and sounds were actually taken from it!"

        The only "promotion" comes from the makers of Torchlight discovering the app and letting everyone know that these guys are thieves. Had they failed to spot that app, they would have gotten 0 promotion out of getting their work stolen.

      Wrong. They have obviously either:

      a) Copied meshes and reduced the polycount, or
      b) Created meshes with the Torchlight assets displayed on a second monitor, copying the vertex placement almost directly,

      Both of these are strictly taboo in the 3D modelling community. This game is most definitely, and shamelessly, ripping off assets from multiple games, and they shouldn't be allowed to do this.

      Have you looked at the comparisons? It's obviously theft.

        Have you reviewed all of the comparisons? Many are similar but there are an equal amount that are not similar at all except for number of apendages and that some end in claws

          UMMMM... even one theft would be enough, wouldn't it?

      dude, some of those things looks EXACTLY THE SAME

        some look very similar with a lower texture, whereas many others are given no context at all, it is unfair to base such a claim on so few comparisons

          It is those few comparisons that make the claim of infringement perfectly valid. I am not a lawyer but from past cases of this kind of thing, if you use assets that you are not licensed to use, in tact or modified, it is illegal. If Oracle can justifiably claim infringement (court ruled in their favour) on 9 lines of code out of the millions in Android, Runic can justifiably claim infringement with only a few matching assets.

      @Zac - You are totally wrong. People create those assets for a living. Those assets may well often be inspired by assets from other games, sure. But in this case they took the actual asset files from the games and used those - perhaps with some modification. Everything else is irrelevant. All the stuff about platforms is irrelevant smoke you are blowing. This is about someone making money off someone elses work. Not copying, not imitating, but directly from their actual work. Assets that the company invested probably a lot of time and money in creating.

    As someone who played Torchlight quite a bit. . . Armored Heroes is blatantly stolen.
    Its not just the models but the world geometry and textures, the sound effects. Its an 80% rip off.

    I was with EGLS until I saw those pictures. Its pretty obvious that its a blatant theft of artwork.

    It's obviously a direct rip-off!!! I hope they get sued for everything! I really hate it when people think they can sell something they don't own. Games always get inspired from other games yes, but this is clearly not the case here.

    There is similar and there is downright identical it looks like they are low res versions of Torchlight, with maybe a pallet swap.

    Inspired does not mean the same. You can see the inspiration from Blizzard in Torchlight, in the weapons in the characters, even in the gear bonuses. But it's not the same art assets of Diablo 1/2 in Torchlight.

    Also their inspiration from Blizzard may be that they totally stole art assets from them too, I recognized quite a few WoW raid sets in that game. I wouldn't say I'm surprised that China is shamelessly ripping off somebody else, it's practically what they do now days.

    Inspiration and outright copying the meshes and textures are too different. Theives

    I think you're all mad. They are all completely different. Totally. Sharky. Complete.

    Every time I go to Touch Arcade I see this sort flargrant plagarism. I'll echo the sentiment that these guys (EGLS) should get taken for everything they've got.

    re modeled and re textured but indeed.. they attempted to copy them.

    That artwork for the models take a lot of time, effort and inspiration to create, these guys have thought to shortcut their game by stealing, that's not cool. In court they'd lose and lose big and deserve it.
    This isn't a case like that patent rubbish between Apple and Android where things just happen to have to work in similar ways, this isn't copying either, this is directly stolen assets.

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