MMO Business Roundup: China’s gaming crackdown, NetEase Connect, Wild Rift plagiarism, and Valve’s anti-trust lawsuit

    
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Welcome back to another roundup of MMO and MMO-adjacent business and industry news.

China: The Chinese government is continuing to widen its long-running crackdown on gaming, particularly youth gaming; according to Reuters (via GIbiz), the country is now pursuing streaming platforms with a “special campaign” of regulations to limit what people under 18 can do on those platforms, including tipping, viewing after 10 p.m., and participating as streamers themselves.

NetEase Connect: Chinese company NetEase has announced it’ll run its NetEase Connect event on May 20th. “A total of 15 titles spanning a variety of genres will be covered during the event, including six brand new game reveals,” the company says. Among those will be Harry Potter: Magic Awakened and The Lord of the Rings: Rise to War, both multiplayer titles on the MMO genre’s periphery. The English-language version of the stream begins on all the big platforms at 1:30 p.m. EDT on the 20th.

Riot: Riot’s lodged yet another lawsuit against a copycat company, this time Chinese company Moonton Technology, or perhaps we should say again, as Moonton has a long-established reputation for ripping off Riot Games in its own string of titles; when one title is removed for infringement, Moonton appears to just tweak it, change the name, and put it back up. According to Riot’s latest lawsuit, Moonton has copied not just League of Legends Wild Rift but its “promotional materials,” even its trailer, for its copycat mobile game Mobile Legends Bang Bang, a title I hope I never have to type again.

Valve: Finally, we come to Valve, which is back in court as a US district judge has allowed part of the anti-trust case against it to proceed. According to Bloomberg Law, the suit is a consolidation of multiple claims in a class-action format whose plaintiffs are now consumers rather than developers; those consumers argue that Valve’s platform policies in regard to game developers are exploitative and punitive such that they artificially manipulate the gaming industry’s prices.

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