Korean Dev Allegedly Ripped Off One Of The Wii’s Best-Looking Games

Korean Dev Allegedly Ripped Off One Of The Wii’s Best-Looking Games

Muramasa: The Demon Blade was truly a lovely game. While it was originally released in 2009, there are now allegations that it’s been copied by a Korean game developer. There are claims that the knock-off even stole Muramasa’s original code.

As noted on My Game News Flash (via tipster Sang), upcoming Android title Soul Hearts from NeoWiz Games seems to use an art style that looks incredibly close to Muramasa‘s. Let’s compare. Note that Soul Hearts is on the top of each set and Muramasa is on the bottom.

And according to Korean Twitter user Chungbi, it looks like Soul Hearts features some of the same items that are in Muramasa. Here is a comparison.

And a closer look, courtesy of Twitter user Routed00:

The implication is that Soul Hearts might have even lifted data from Muramasa. The allegations were serious enough that NeoWiz has commented on the situation, telling Korean game site Gamemeca (via Sang), “It is true that some parts of Murasama were used as an inspiration for the backstory and the lore, but the gameplay is totally different.”

A company spokesperson told ThisIsGame (via Sang), “Soul Hearts was trying to portray an old Asian world. It seems like it was inspired a lot by Murasama in the process. Regardless of whether it was actually plagiarized or not, I’m sorry about this. The game has just finished Closed Beta Testing so we will thoroughly go over any parts that may cause issues and change them before the release.”

Sounds like they’re not saying Soul Hearts is a knockoff, but that they’re more than happy to change the parts that are causing controversy. M’kay!

네오위즈게임즈 신작 ‘소울하츠’, 일본 유명 RPG 표절 의혹 [ThisIsGame Thanks, Sang!]
나라 밖으로 새기 시작한 표절, 네오위즈 ‘소울하츠’ 논란 [Gamemeca]
韓国の横スクロールアクションゲームが完全に『朧村正』のパクリ、これアカンやろ・・・ [オレ的]

Top photo: Tokyo Luv


  • A great deal of the art in there is clearly very similar in style, but not copied wholesale.

    For example, if you compare the huts, the roof shingling is more distinct, the awning above the doors is different, the signs are more square and the perspective is slightly different. In the forest section, the backgrounds are richer and the branches located differently, although some of the detail ion the trunks looks suspiciously similar.

    The details on the ferns definitely looks suspicious, however, and as I mentioned, the actual tree trunks are suspiciously similar in some details.

    My read is that the games have very similar but not identical styles, and so much of the artwork looks quite similar. The cases where the art is simply copied (and there do appear to be some of those) were likely due to one or two artists economising on their work time, rather than a deliberate effort by the company.

    So, not quite another Flappy Birds beatup, but somewhat exaggerated.

  • Hey guys. Remember that whole Flappy Bird fiasco where you started ripping on the Dev and claiming he stole artwork that looked vaugley familliar.


    let’s do that again. It was obviously the correct choice.

  • It may not be an exact copy of the assets, but the styles and aesthetics are so similar I can’t help but think it’s hoping to catch out people who don’t look at the developer name. It’s one thing to be inspired by a game or attempt to show a particular period, it’s another to do the bare minimum in changes to avoid copyright.

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