I’ve recently been achievement hunting on Steam, in an attempt to try and land some sweet Steam gifts. Still, since I’m a poor college student, I’ve just been chipping away at the achievements that are available for the free-to-play or very cheap games. One of these free-to-play games that have an achievement available is Petroglyph’s Rise of Immortals.

First thing I noticed after opening up the game was that its character selection page had an avatar style curiously familiar to League of Legend‘s champion selection section. No worries. Since they’re both MOBA (Multiplayer Online Battle Arena, for those of you who hate videogame acronyms) games, I wasn’t too concerned. I understand. If you can’t beat ‘em, imitate ‘em, right?

Notice the similarities? Yeah. (LoL on top. RoI on bottom.)

Right.

I had played and closed Rise of Immortals within the next five minutes. Disgusting. Petroglyph didn’t even attempt to hide the fact that they were blatantly copying LoL. Oh, the atrocity didn’t end at the character selection page. The arena set up was the same. The turrets were placed almost in the exact same spots as they’re set up in League of Legends. The playable characters each had four special skills that players could tally up skill points in to improve. Last of all, there was an item vendor sitting at the very of the arena for you to purchase items that endowed advantages in health, speed, and mana. Oh, and these items stacked in a similar way as well.

Petroglyph did nothing to improve the gameplay of Rise of Immortals. Obviously, by “improved”, I meant “changed at least ONE thing.” Nope, nope. Petroglyphs shamelessly copied Riot Games, hoping to ride off of the latter’s success.

I know that it’s a bit naive to separate Petroglyph out from other game developers. Hell, that level of plagiarism has been going on within the videogame industry since day one. I’d go so far as to make the claim that it’s getting worse as the years go by. Innovation is hard to come by, especially when an industry becomes better and better established as the videogame industry is becoming. It’s hard to imagine how to better improve a MOBA game from Riot’s successful formula. There’s still no reason to not try something new.

Innovation is the crux of the videogame industry. Look at how far videogame technology has come in the past few years. Forty years ago, people were playing Pong. Now, we’ve come to full-blown photo-realistic graphics where we can shoot down make-believe terrorists in Call of Duty or strike down a draugr in Skyrim. Maybe the sky isn’t the limit for videogames. There has to be some point in which we absolutely cannot get more realistic with videogames, but that time isn’t now. Our games are still riddled with bugs that prevent us from full immersion. No single genre has been fully perfected to ensure maximum fun and no single genre ever will. However, creativity shouldn’t be staunched because of money.

That’s when videogames begin to fail. Look at games like Homefront. It had so much potential, but in the end failed miserably due to time and money constraints. Can you imagine what it could have been had it not tried to copy every Modern Warfare convention (poorly) out there? It wouldn’t be remembered as the FPS that was so heavily marketed with so much potential, but ended up failing because it was a Modern Warfare imitation. No. It would’ve been remembered as Modern Warfare, if that makes any sense. Or it’d be put in the same place that Modern Warfare would be.

So, it’d be nice. A little innovation please, Petroglyph. Even the smallest thing can move the industry forward.