The makers of a Chinese Hearthstone clone have come out to the public to “refudiate” reports that they had been sentenced to pay Blizzard over $US1.6 million. Tencent News reports that Unico Interactive, the makers of “Crouching Dragon Legends,” has been ordered to pay Blizzard and its Chinese partner NetEase for copyright violations.
Apparently, Unico was ordered to pay Blizzard and company 10,000,000 RMB ($1.9 million).
Unico says that it hasn’t received any documentation from the Shanghai First Middle Court regarding compensation to Blizzard and NetEase. The company said that it was unhappy with the press reporting “false stories” and that it is working with lawyers to see if there is any action to be taken.
The last part of Unico’s statement says that the company respects intellectual rights and that its only goal is to serve players. Unico said that it will continue to expand and create new games for its fans.
Unico’s statements come after reports that the company lost its battle against Blizzard and NetEase.
(The top logo is Hearthstone in Chinese, the second is “Crouching Dragon Legends”. Spot the difference?)
Back in January, Blizzard and NetEase filed a copyright violation lawsuit against Unico for infringing on Hearthstone. Blizzard won the legal battle last Friday.
The company’s game has been taken off various app stores, including Apple’s App Store. The game and its servers have been put on hold since February, and in a statement on its website, Unico says that it will reimburse players’ earnings and real-world cash with items and in-game currency in future games.
A cursory look at Unico’s game shows that it is pretty much Hearthstone, but with a Romance of The Three Kingdoms theme. Players who have played “Crouching Dragon” comment that the game is pretty much the same as Hearthstone, with cards just being re-themed, say a paladin being re-skinned into Liu Bu.
Gameplay is also stated to be the same, with the same timed fast-paced card slinging as the original. The one key point of difference is perhaps the addition of a campaign mode.
No word on when the Chinese courts will announce an order or an award to Blizzard over the copyright violations.