Saturday, June 25, 2022

Krafton files lawsuit against Apple, Google and Garena over PUBG “Copy” Free Fire

There is no doubt that Battle Royale is the most popular genre in the video game industry right now. In recent years, almost every major multiplayer game has integrated a mode where a hundred or so players land in an area, search for weapons and kill each other. This trend started a few years ago with a rather choppy game called PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds.

It inspired heavyweights like Fortnite, Apex Legends, and Call of Duty: Warzone, each bringing their own twist to the genre. However, PUBG developer Krafton isn’t too happy with some of the games he’s inspired – namely Garena Free Fire – which he’s filed a claim against legal action. The basic claim of this lawsuit is that Garena’s battle royale is too similar to Krafton’s.

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As discovered by The edgeAccording to the lawsuit, “Free Fire and Free Fire Max extensively copy numerous aspects of Battlegrounds, both individually and in combination, including Battlegrounds’ proprietary unique “Air Drop” opening feature, game structure, and gameplay, the combination and selection of weapons, armor, and unique objects, locations, and general choices of color schemes, materials, and textures.”

The lawsuit document goes on to point out visual and functional similarities between the two games, mentioning things like the pre-game lobby area, parachuting to the map via airplane, the process of acquiring gear and mods, and even the famous frying pan.

Along with asking Garena to “immediately stop using Free Fire and Free Fire Max,” Krafton urged Apple and Google to remove the games from their storefronts. Neither party complied with Krafton’s request, leading to this massive lawsuit. YouTube has also been asked to remove videos of Garena playing games.

Before this lawsuit, it seemed like the developers of these battle royales existed in harmony, each content with their piece of the pie. Perhaps it’s the recent revelation that Garena Free Fire, along with Krafton’s PUBG, was one of eight mobile games to gross over $1 billion in 2021. The two were the only modern battle royale games on the list, and perhaps Krafton wasn’t too pleased that his competition, with a game similar to his own, was on the same list.

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