Travis Baldree, president of Runic Games is publicly calling out Chinese mobile developer EGLS for stealing art assets and sound files from his company's game, Torchlight. The game in question is an iOS-based massively multiplayer game called Armed Heroes Online. Baldree noticed the striking similarities in the character art from the game and Torchlight and took to Twitter earlier this month to point it out:
"So, wow – this game is releasing on the app store. They wholesale stole most of the assets from Torchlight." Shortly thereafter Baldree compiled a side-by-side image of art assets from Torchlight and Armed Heroes Online to show that this was more than a mere coincidence. Baldree claims that his company is looking into some legal recourse against the company and to ultimately get it pulled from the Apple App Store in Canada where it is still currently available despite the very public controversy about the game.
A response from a person claiming to be representative from EGLS was posted on the official Touch Arcade forum. He (or possibly she) tried to mount a defense and denied that the company had engaged in copyright infringement.
"We can hardly agree with Mr. Travis Baldree who judged that EGLS 'wholesale stole most of the assets from Torchlight!' only based on the similarity between several small monsters. The judgment is simply untenable," the post reads.
Baldree also took it upon himself to download the game and look at its guts. What he found were more indications of theft from Runic's game – sound files that were lifted wholesale and inserted into Armed Heroes Online – complete with misspellings found in the original Torchlight sound files…
GiantBomb has even more dirt on EGLS, which ultimately leads nowhere because of the company's dodgy web presence and equally dodgy employees who are mostly being silent on the matter.
We'll have more on this story as it develops.