PUBG, or PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds, developer Krafton has filed a lawsuit against the developer and publisher of Free Fire, Garena, for making a clone of its battle royale game. The company has also sued Apple and Google for distributing the rip-off versions of its game. In addition to suing Google for distributing Free Fire and other clone apps, Krafton also accuses Google of hosting YouTube videos with the 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.”
The complaint was filed with Los Angeles federal court on Monday. It accuses Garena of using several copyrighted aspects of PUBG: Battlegrounds in Free Fire, “including its game structure and in-game items, equipment, and locations.”
Free Fire and Free Fire Max extensively copy numerous aspects of Battlegrounds, both individually and in combination, including 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 accuses that Garena has earned millions of dollars from sales of in-app purchases content and subsequently, Google and Apple have earned millions of dollars thanks to the commission it charges. The company even went on to share some images depicting the similarities between the two apps.
Garena Fire Fire had over 100 million daily users at the end of 2021, 2020, and 2019. In addition, the company proudly touted that Free Fire was the most downloaded mobile game globally. Krafton says that Garena earned more than $2 billion in 2020, with $100 million of this figure coming from the United States.
And this move isn’t coming out of anywhere. Krafton says that on December 21st, it asked Garena to “immediately stop its exploitation of Free Fire and Free Fire Max”. However, Garena simply refused. It asked Apple and Google to stop distributing these games, however, both the apps continue to be available on Apple App Store and Google Play Store.
Have you played these games on your Android or iOS smartphone? Do you think these games are ‘too similar’ to each other? Let us know in the comments section below!