|Release date(s)||Late 2009|
The first trailer for H.A.V.E. Online was released in early July 2009. Backlash however, began to form when both South Korean and North American video game communities pointed out that the trailer and much of the overall style of the game greatly resembled Team Fortress 2, a first-person shooter developed by the US video game developer Valve. Kotaku's Brian Ashcraft also pointed out shot-by-shot similarities between the trailers for Team Fortress 2 and H.A.V.E. Online, jokingly inferring that the game should have been called "Toy Fortress Story" due to its consideration of the game being Team Fortress 2 with an "otaku toy twist" based on the trailer. Due to this negative response, some have dubbed H.A.V.E. Online an "embarrassment" to Korea's video gaming industry.
In response to these allegations, Korean news site DC News interviewed a representative for SK iMedia, who did not comment on the similarities because they had not revealed the gameplay itself yet, metaphorically comparing the response to these similarities to having blind men describe the appearance of an elephant by touching it.