Hearthstone has barely entered open beta, and already Blizzard is rolling up its sleeves and going fisticuffs to protect its newborn baby. The company has teamed up with its Chinese partner NetEase to file a lawsuit against Chinese developer Unico, over its alleged Hearth-clone 'Legend of Crouching Dragon.'
The suit seeks $1.65 million in damages, MMO Culture reports (via GameSpot), and could shut down Crouching Dragon based on property rights infringement. The game appears to borrow visual cues and the basic mechanics of Hearthstone. It came around remarkably fast, having been introduced in China in October 2013--just seven months after Hearthstone was announced.
Hearthstone is in beta on PC right now, with plans to expand to tablet devices. Legend of Crouching Dragon is mobile only.
This isn't the first time Blizzard has signaled legal action. At BlizzCon, CEO Mike Morhaime addressed it directly. "I am aware of another game that is infringing on our Hearthstone intellectual property, and so our legal department is taking legal action against that to protect our intellectual property," he said.