What just happened? Krafton, the company behind PUBG: Battlegrounds, is suing the developer of two mobile games for allegedly copying the famous battle royale game, as well as Apple and Google for listing them in their stores. Crafton also takes issue with Google for allowing clips of a full-length Chinese film on YouTube, which he says is a copyright-infringing live-action re-enactment of Battlegrounds.
TechCrunch writes that the alleged copycats of PUBG Mobile are Garena Online’s Free Fire games, which Crafton calls “thinly veiled unauthorized versions of Battlegrounds.”
Crafton states that Free Fire and Free Fire Max “largely replicate numerous aspects of Battlegrounds, both individually and in combination, including Battlegrounds’ copyrighted unique opening feature, structure and gameplay, weapon combination and choice, armor. , as well as unique objects, locations, and a general selection of color schemes, materials, and textures.”
According to the complaint, Garena began selling a mobile game in Singapore, originally called Free Fire: Battlegrounds (now simply Fire Free), shortly after the launch of PUBG in 2017, which copied aspects of Krafton’s game. Although claims regarding the title were settled, Krafton never entered into a licensing agreement with Garena and the company was not allowed to “sell or distribute infringing games”. [Krafton’s] copyright in the USA.
On September 28, 2021, Garena released another mobile game called Free Fire Max on the Apple App Store and Google Play. Crafton says the game also uses elements of PUBG and has generated “hundreds of millions of dollars” in sales for Garena, earning Apple and Google a lot of money in commissions. edge writes that Free Fire, free with in-app purchases, made $1.1 billion from player spending in 2021.
Krafton says it asked Garena to “immediately stop using Free Fire and Free Fire Max” on Dec. 21, but was denied. Crafton also asked Google and Apple to stop distributing the games – both games are still available in stores.
YouTube, owned by Google, is also named in the lawsuit. Crafton asked the platform to remove all Free Fire and Free Fire Max gameplay videos that infringe PUBG’s copyrights. He also wants the full-length Chinese film titled BiuBiuBiu to be removed from YouTube because it is “nothing less than a flagrantly infringing live-action re-enactment of Battlegrounds.” Check it out below.
1. The directors said it’s not a PUBG movie even though it’s basically a PUBG movie.
2. Crafton said they are considering filing a lawsuit given the similarity to PUBG’s IP address.
— Daniel Ahmad (@ZhugeEX) August 15, 2021
Krafton is seeking a jury trial for its lawsuit and is seeking damages from all three parties for direct, indirect and consequential copyright infringement. He also asks for profits made by Apple and Google from Free Fire and Free Fire Max “in amounts that must be proven in court.”
Jason Goltz, spokesman for Sea, Garena’s parent company, told The Verge that “Krafton’s claims are baseless.”
Image credit: Ritesh Ranjan Sett