Moonton Just Won a Defamation Suit Against Tencent
Moonton, the developer of the hit title Mobile Legends: Bang Bang, sued Tencent, the publisher of Wild Rift, and won. Mobile Legends is the leading title for multiplayer online battle arenas or MOBA genre in the Philippines.
In a statement sent to Esquire Philippines, Moonton alleged that Tencent caused serious damage to Moonton’s reputation after it allegedly spread false information about Moonton Games.
“This behavior caused serious damage to Moonton Game's business reputation and should bear legal responsibility. According to the China Judgment Documents Network, the case of Moonton Games suing Tencent for commercial defamation disputes has recently been finalized,” Moonton said.
According to the Shanghai Intellectual Property Court, Tencent committed commercial slander against Moonton. The court ordered Tencent to pay Moonton 220,000 yuan or P1.8 million for economic losses and reasonable expenses due to the lawsuit.
In 2019, Moonton Games sued Tencent for alleged unfair competition and alleged fabricating and spreading false information. In October 2020, the Shanghai Pudong District People's Court made a first-instance judgment after a trial, finding that Tencent constituted commercial defamation. The court discovered that Tencent “chose to entrust a local lawyer to fabricate and spread misleading information” to an Indonesian partner right before the Mobile Legends: Bang Bang Professional League was scheduled to happen.
It is not the first time Moonton and Tencent battled each other in court.
In 2018, Xu Zhenhua, the founder of Moonton, was sentenced to compensate Tencent 19.4 million yuan for violating a non-compete agreement. Tencent subsidiary Riot Games also sued Moonton’s Mobile Legends for allegedly plagiarizing League of Legends. After that, Tencent took Moonton to court again accusing Mobile Legends of plagiarizing and infringing on Honor of Kings.
Mobile Legends is the Top MOBA in the Philippines and Southeast Asia
Moonton Games was established in 2014 and has captured the Southeast Asian game market, carving a dominant position in the region as the leading title in the multiplayer online battle arena or MOBA genre.
Moonton’s Endless Showdown / Mobile Legends: Bang Bang launched in June 2016 surpassed Tencent's Honor of Kings as Southeast Asia’s leading MOBA title. As of June 2022, the monthly active users of Mobile Legends exceeded 100 million.
As of October 12, 2022, Mobile Legends is the top-grossing game downloaded through Google Play with over 500 million downloads. This is followed by Roblox in second place, Call of Duty: Mobile in third, and Clash of Clans in fourth place. Clash of Clans, once the Philippines’ top-grossing game for a number of years prior to 2019, had fallen out of the top five games on Google Play but has been experiencing a resurgence in users lately.