Does New Korean Game Rip Off Team Fortress 2?

Korean developer SK iMedia has responded to accusations that its upcoming online game H.A.V.E. Online is a little too similar to Valve’s Team Fortress 2 for coincidence, dismissing the claims as those of blind men describing an elephant.

H.A.V.E. Online is a team-based online shooter in which action figures come to life, form teams and go to war. Classes like snipers and heavy weapons guys (or gals, in this case) are represented and the combat looks fast and furious. Based on the first promotional trailer, it also looks remarkably like that of Team Fortress 2.

So much so, in fact, that gamers in South Korea are actually angry about it; Kotaku says H.A.V.E. Online is being called “an embarrassment” to the Korean videogame industry. SK iMedia was silent on the matter when it first came to light but has now released a statement urging gamers to reserve judgment until they see the game in action.

“Debating [whether or not it’s a rip-off] is like having blind men touching an elephant and describing what it looks like,” the company said. “We will reveal the gameplay soon. Other than that, we have no comment at this time.”

Is it or isn’t it? A video posted on YouTube highlights the similarities between the H.A.V.E. Online promotional trailer and several of the videos released in support of Team Fortress 2 and there’s no denying that SK iMedia was, at the very least, powerfully inspired by Valve. I’m not quite ready to join the lynch mob yet – this is just a trailer, after all – but I’m keeping my torch and pitchfork close at hand.

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