Mon. Jan 17th, 2022

PUBG’s developer is suing Apple, Google, and the developer of lucrative PUBG lookalike Free Fire

PUBG-maker Krafton filed a big lawsuit Monday: it’s suing the developer of two mobile games that it accuses of copying PUBG: Battlegrounds, the popular PC battle royale shooter it’s suing Apple and Google for distributing those games on their app stores. Krafton also accuses Google hosting the games. YouTube videos with gameplay of the two games in question, as well as “numerous posts containing a feature-length Chinese film that is nothing more than a blatantly infringing live-action dramatization of Battlegrounds.”

Krafton has a problem with the games called Free FireAnd Fire Max FreeDeveloper Garena offered the following: They appear in both the App Store as well as Google Play. Garena Free FireAnd Garena Free Fire Max. Both are included in-app purchases.

Krafton:

Free FireAnd Fire Max FreeCopy numerous aspects of the document. BattlegroundsThese can be used individually or in combination. Battlegrounds’ copyrighted unique game opening “air drop” feature, the game structure and play, the combination and selection of weapons, armor, and unique objects, locations, and the overall choice of color schemes, materials, and textures.

Krafton alleges Garena has earned “hundreds of millions of dollars” from sales from the apps and that Apple and Google have “similarly earned a substantial amount of revenue from their distribution of Free Fire.

Krafton used these comparisons to prove its case against Garena.
Image by Krafton

Krafton claims that on December 21st, it took a few actions: it asked Garena to “immediately stop its exploitation of Free FireAnd Free Fire Max” which Garena apparently refused; it asked Apple and Google to stop distributing the games, which are both still available on both app stores; and it asked YouTube to remove videos featuring Free FireAnd Fire Max Free gameplay “that include elements that blatantly infringe Battlegrounds and, separately, the infringing feature-length film,” which Krafton says YouTube hasn’t done.

In case you’re wondering about that film:

Krafton also notes that Garena sold a game in Singapore in 2017 that “copied” PUBG: Battlegrounds. According to the lawsuit, though these claims were settled they did not result in a license agreement.

I’ll admit that I hadn’t heard of Free Fire before this lawsuit, but I’ve since learned that it’s quite lucrative. Free FireAccording to data shared by Sensor Tower, players spent $1.1 billion in 2021. The VergeThe amount was up 48 per cent from 2020. The total dollar amount is still quite a bit lower than the staggering $2.9 billion. PUBG MobileEarned in player spending last fiscal year PUBG Mobile’sSensor Tower reports that figures were only up seven percent year-overyear. This could indicate that there is a problem. PUBG Mobile’sJust as the growth is slowing, so are we. Free Fire’sIt is on the rise.

We also checked with Appfigures, another analytics company. Although the data was not identical, it suggested that Free Fire This is the beginning of catching up. PUBG Mobile, PUBG Mobile Lite, and the India and China-specific versions PUBG MobileAccording to Appfigures revenue totalling $639 million was earned last year. Free FireEarned $414 Million

Apple and Google didn’t immediately reply to a request for comment. Jason Golz is a spokesperson for Garena parent Sea. The Verge that “Krafton’s claims are groundless.”



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By David Goldberg

I’m David, and I’m passionate about smart home gadgets. I’m in charge of this place. I spend my time trying to demystify the world of home automation and smart products so you don’t have to. Chances are, along the way, I’ve had some of the same questions you might be having and experienced some of the same problems you might be experiencing.

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