Tuesday, January 18, 2022

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

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PUBG-maker Krafton filed a huge lawsuit Monday: it’s suing the developer of two cell video games that it accuses of copying PUBG: Battlegrounds, the hit PC battle royale shooter, and it’s suing Apple and Google for distributing these video games on their app shops. Krafton even accuses Google of internet hosting YouTube movies with gameplay of the two video games in query, in addition to “numerous posts containing a feature-length Chinese film that is nothing more than a blatantly infringing live-action dramatization of Battlegrounds.”

The video games Krafton takes subject with are referred to as Free Fire and Free Fire Max, supplied by developer Garena. On each the App Store and Google Play, they present up as Garena Free Fire and Garena Free Fire Max. Both can be found without cost with in-app purchases.

According to Krafton:

Free Fire and Free Fire Max extensively copy quite a few points of Battlegrounds, each individually and together, together with Battlegrounds’ copyrighted distinctive recreation opening “air drop” function, the recreation construction and play, the mixture and choice of weapons, armor, and distinctive objects, places, and the total selection of colour schemes, supplies, and textures.

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

In the lawsuit, Krafton compiled comparisons like this to make its case in opposition to Garena.
Image: Krafton

Krafton claims that on December twenty first, it took a number of actions: it requested Garena to “immediately stop its exploitation of Free Fire and Free Fire Max,” which Garena apparently refused; it requested Apple and Google to cease distributing the video games, that are each nonetheless accessible on each app shops; and it requested YouTube to take away movies that includes Free Fire and Free Fire Max gameplay “that include elements that blatantly infringe Battlegrounds and, separately, the infringing feature-length film,” which Krafton says YouTube hasn’t performed.

In case you’re questioning about that movie:

Krafton additionally notes that Garena offered a recreation in Singapore in 2017 that “copied” PUBG: Battlegrounds. While claims relating to that have been settled, there was no license settlement established, in line with the lawsuit.

I’ll admit that I hadn’t heard of Free Fire earlier than this lawsuit, however I’ve since discovered that it’s fairly lucrative. Free Fire earned $1.1 billion in participant spending in 2021, in line with information that analytics agency Sensor Tower shared with The Verge, an quantity that was up 48 % from 2020. While the complete greenback quantity is fairly a bit lower than the astonishing $2.9 billion that PUBG Mobile earned in participant spending final 12 months, PUBG Mobile’s figures have been up solely seven % year-over-year, reviews Sensor Tower. That might recommend PUBG Mobile’s progress is slowing down simply as Free Fire’s is skyrocketing.

We additionally checked with one other analytics agency, Appfigures, and whereas the information was completely different, it nonetheless prompt that Free Fire is catching up. PUBG Mobile, PUBG Mobile Lite, and the China- and India-specific variations of PUBG Mobile earned a mixed $639 million in income final 12 months, in line with Appfigures, whereas Free Fire earned $414 million.

Apple and Google didn’t instantly reply to a request for remark. Jason Golz, a spokesperson for Garena mum or dad firm Sea, tells The Verge that “Krafton’s claims are groundless.”





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