Mobile Legends: Bang Bang
|Mobile Legends: Bang Bang|
|Genre(s)||Multiplayer online battle arena|
Mobile Legends: Bang Bang (Chinese: 无尽对决; pinyin: wújìn duìjié)[Note 1] is a mobile multiplayer online battle arena (MOBA) developed and published by Moonton. Released in 2016, the game has become popular in Southeast Asia and was among the games chosen for the first medal event esports competition at the 2019 Southeast Asian Games in the Philippines.
In July 2018, Tencent on behalf of Riot Games won a lawsuit in Shanghai against Moonton CEO Watson Xu Zhenhua for Mobile Legends' plagiarism of League of Legends, and was awarded a settlement of $2.9 million.
Mobile Legends: Bang Bang is a multiplayer online battle arena (MOBA) game designed for mobile phones. The two opposing teams fight to reach and destroy the enemy's base while defending their own base for control of a path, the three "lanes" known as "top", "middle" and "bottom", which connects the bases. Weaker computer-controlled characters, called "minions", spawn at team bases and follow the three lanes to the opposite team's base, fighting enemies and turrets.
In each team, there are five players who each control a character, known as a "hero" using analog/joystick controls. Heroes can be grouped into 6 different roles, Marksman, Assassin, Mage, Support, Fighter and Tank.
Additionally, Mobile Legends: Bang Bang have different kind of arcade games, featuring different gameplay mechanic respectively, such as:
- Survival, a battle royale game mode
- Chess-TD, a tower defense game mode
- Magic Chess, an auto battler game mode
Moonton regularly collaborates with Southeast Asian countries to create new characters from their respective histories or folklore to further increase the game's appeal, introducing characters such as Lapu Lapu (Philippines), Minsitthar (based on Kyansittha; Myanmar), Kadita (based on Nyai Roro Kidul; Indonesia), and Badang (Malaysia).
Development and release
After Moonton's staff of 20 finished developing its first game called Magic Rush: Heroes, released in 2015 to commercial success, they proceeded with developing the company's next project, a mobile multiplayer online battle arena (MOBA) game later titled Mobile Legends. The staff's experience with engineering Magic Rush for a global market, such as in customizing its features for the differing cultures and state of telecommunications of various countries, became beneficial for them to more effectively design Mobile Legends as an appealing game for global players.
Mobile Legends was released by Moonton with the subtitle "5v5 MOBA" on 14 July 2016. The game became highly popular in Southeast Asia, notably in Indonesia, Malaysia, and the Philippines, where it was the most-downloaded free mobile game app among iPhone users in 2017. The game is distributed by Elex Tech in the United States.
After the game's initial release, Riot Games suspected that the game was imitating the intellectual property of League of Legends, and contacted Google to remove the game from Google Play. Moonton then removed the game before Google could take it down, and eventually relaunching it with the altered name Mobile Legends: Bang Bang on 9 November 2016.
In July 2017, Riot Games filed a lawsuit against Moonton because of copyright infringement, citing similarities between Mobile Legends and League of Legends. The case was initially dismissed in Central District Court of California in United States on account of forum non conveniens. Tencent, Riot's parent company, on behalf of Riot Games, then filed a new, separate lawsuit directly targeting Moonton's CEO, Watson Xu Zhenhua in Shanghai No.1 Intermediate People’s Court, which ruled in Tencent's favor in July 2018, awarded Tencent a settlement of $2.9 million (RMB19.4 million).
In July 18, 2019, Moonton announced MLBB 2.0 via its Epicon 2019 conference. MLBB 2.0 consists of an engine upgrade to a more recent version of the Unity game engine from version 4 to version 2017. Moonton also promised faster loading times and start-up speed of up to 60%. Other improvements of the update include reduced lag, improved character modelling and the new in-game map Imperial Sanctuary. The update helped increase the cross-platform social media views earned by the game from 56 million in September 2019 to 76 million the next month making the game ranked fourth of all channels from all gaming brands in the US.
Announced on June 5, 2020, Project NEXT is Moonton's next project for Mobile Legends including revamps to older heroes' 3D models, skill sets, stories, and voice lines. They also announced an improved targeting method called "Smart Targeting" improving accuracy.
In June 2017, Moonton approached Is Yuniarto, an Indonesian comic book artist that best known for Garudayana, a Javanese action fantasy comic series from Indonesia. The Garudayana comic series was published by numerous comic publishers in Indonesia such as Koloni (Original imprint version), Curhat Anak Bangsa (Garudayana Saga), Webtoon (Digital comic), and CIAYO Comics (Web comic). On 11 August 2015, Is Yuniarto stated on his Facebook page that he has officially cooperated to release the comic which is now in its fifth saga with one of the most famous online comic publishers in Japan, Digital Catapult, in which Garudayana comic originally only available in indonesian language, now also available for english and japanese language for audiences outside Indonesia.
The reason Moonton approached Is Yuniarto is to included Gatotkaca from Garudayana as a playable character in Mobile Legends: Bang Bang to promote the game, attracting local audiences as well as boosting the game popularity in Indonesia. Moonton also later included Kadita, an Indonesian goddess of the sea from Sundanese and Javanese beliefs as playable character in Mobile Legends: Bang Bang to further appeal Indonesian playerbase.
The King of Fighters
In March 2019, Moonton approached SNK for collaboration, introducing characters from The King of Fighters (KOF) as skins in Mobile Legends: Bang Bang. The skins have unique KOF ability effects and voiceovers. The 1st KOF series skins released in the game were Iori Yagami for the hero Chou, Leona Heidern for the hero Karina, and Athena Asamiya for the hero Guinevere. The 2nd KOF series skins released were Kula Diamond for the hero Aurora, K' for the hero Gusion, and Orochi Chris for the hero Dyrroth.
In January 2020, after the inclusion of SNK's The Kings of Fighters (KOF) 2nd season series skins to Mobile Legends: Bang Bang, Moonton announced that they will make collaboration with Bleach. Moonton also made a survey for fans to vote which Bleach characters to be introduce into the game in the future based on the rankings from the survey.
Mobile Legends: Adventure
515 Unite is an annual global campaign launched in integrating online and offline Mobile Legends events such as cosplay competitions and roadshows. The theme song for Mobile Legends 515 Unite 2019 event was "Bang Bang" sang by Shorelle. In May 2020, Moonton released "Party Legends" on YouTube, Spotify, and other streaming services.
Crazy Legends: Charity Homestand
In April 2020, Moonton partnered with Save the Children Philippines to help children in need due to the 2020 Luzon enhanced community quarantine by dedicating an online streaming event called Crazy Legends: Charity Homestand. Twenty streamers participated, including Dogie, ChooxTV, Z4pnu, and Eric Tai.
Official Mobile Legends tournaments have been held in the Southeast Asian region, including the annual Mobile Legends: Bang Bang Southeast Asian Competition (MSC) and having their own local leagues such as the Mobile Legends: Bang Bang Professional League (MPL).
The first Mobile Legends: Bang Bang World Championship, dubbed as M1, was held in Axiata Arena in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia from 15 to 17 November 2019. The competition featured 16 teams across the world to battle it out for a prize pool of US$250,000.
- The Nationals, a franchised esports league in the Philippines, include Mobile Legends.
- LIGA2KONTRIBIDA, a street battle event, was held at SM City North EDSA and SM Mall of Asia with Nadine Lustre as a brand ambassador. It is the second season of MLBB LIGA in the Philippines introduced in 2018 and was continued due to its success. MLBB LIGA tournaments are offline events aimed for fans and non-professional players.
- A Mobile Legends: Bang Bang corporate league was added to Philippine Pro Gaming League, an esports event organized by Globe Telecom and MET Events.
- Celebrity streamers Alodia Gosiengfiao, Ako si Dogie, Le Josette, Moymoy Palaboy, MRVii Gaming, SolidMB, Yasumeow, Yakou, YuriGaming, and Z4pnu were given challenges designed by Moonton during live streams via Crazy Legends, an event in partnership with Facebook Gaming.
- Open Kitchen Kagitingan League, a Mobile Legends tournament with a prize pool of P100,000 was hosted on October 2019
- Star Magic hosted a Mobile Legends event with 4 teams of celebrities including The Voice Kids winner Elha Nympha, Myrtle Sarrosa, and actor Zaijian Jaranilla and being captained by streamers and professional gamers including Rojean delos Reyes, Bianca Yao, Billy "Z4pnu" Alfonzo, and Lance "Mr. Vii" Vicencio.
- SM City Cebu hosted Cyberzone Game Fest 2019 with a Mobile Legends tournament.
According to a scan of recently published apps on Google Play by Check Point Research last June 2019, the Mobile Legends: Bang Bang app was affected by CVE-2015-8271 (FFmpeg RTMP video streaming), a vulnerability that also affected popular apps like Facebook, Messenger, and SHAREit.
In early 2020, the game was heavily affected by third-party plugins and scripts that allowed map-hacks prompting Moonton to publicly publish punishments made through its social media accounts revealing the account ID of the banned players. Some accounts were also hacked due to exploits to Device ID that may have been due to the third-party scripts according to an official statement from Moonton. In response, patch 1.4.86 enabled two-factor authentication when logging in to a new device.
- Formerly titled Mobile Legends: 5v5 MOBA
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