It’s not unusual for Dota 2 fanatics like myself to perceive the game’s logo in innocuous everyday objects, but when it comes to the new Apple News logo, I think even laypeople will have to agree that it bears a striking resemblance. Both marks feature a square bisected by a diagonal line descending from left to right. Both have a pair of rough triangles filling the open corners. Both are red!
Now, I’m not about to suggest that Apple copied Valve’s global sensation of a video game. As I say, those of us who play Dota are stupidly passionate about it and we’d notice an infraction of this kind pretty much instantly. Much more likely is that Apple simply didn’t know. I guess 12 million active players each month, millions of Twitch viewers, and tournament prizes that overshadow pro sports aren’t quite enough for Dota to register on Apple’s radar. It’s mind-boggling to me, but seriously, Apple works on a scale of billions, not millions, and it’s not like the company has ever shown itself particularly interested in PC gaming. Which is a shame because my dream computer is basically a MacBook that can run all my Steam games as well as a Windows PC.
The inspiration for the two logos is rather divergent. Apple’s News app is going for a stylized “N” whereas the Dota 2 mark is a representation of the one and only map on which the game is played: the diagonal represents the river splitting the Dire and Radiant sections and the corner elements are the bases that each team has to defend (the “Ancients” in the original Defense of the Ancients game title).
Lest you think that Apple is uniquely ignorant of PC gaming, though, Google didn’t do much better with its Nexus 5X last year, whose packaging looked like this:
Actually, that 5X box looks almost exactly identical to Apple’s new News. So maybe my Dota bias has swayed me to focus on the wrong similarity.