PUBG-maker Krafton filed a big lawsuit Monday: it’s suing the developer of two cellular 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 2 video games in query, in addition to “quite a few posts containing a feature-length Chinese language movie that’s nothing greater than a blatantly infringing live-action dramatization of Battlegrounds.”

The video games Krafton takes problem with are known as Free Fireplace and Free Fireplace Max, provided by developer Garena. On each the App Retailer and Google Play, they present up as Garena Free Fireplace and Garena Free Fireplace Max. Each can be found at no cost with in-app purchases.

In keeping with Krafton:

Free Fireplace and Free Fireplace Max extensively copy quite a few features of Battlegrounds, each individually and together, together with Battlegrounds’ copyrighted distinctive recreation opening “air drop” function, the sport construction and play, the mix and collection of weapons, armor, and distinctive objects, places, and the general alternative of colour schemes, supplies, and textures.

Krafton alleges Garena has earned “lots of of hundreds of thousands of {dollars}” from gross sales from the apps and that Apple and Google have “equally earned a considerable quantity of income from their distribution of Free Fireplace.

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

Krafton claims that on December twenty first, it took a number of actions: it requested Garena to “instantly cease its exploitation of Free Fireplace and Free Fireplace 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 Fireplace and Free Fireplace Max gameplay “that embrace components that blatantly infringe Battlegrounds and, individually, the infringing feature-length movie,” which Krafton says YouTube hasn’t completed.

In case you’re questioning about that movie:

Krafton additionally notes that Garena offered a recreation in Singapore in 2017 that “copied” PUBG: Battlegrounds. Whereas claims concerning that have been settled, there was no license settlement established, based on the lawsuit.

I’ll admit that I hadn’t heard of Free Fireplace earlier than this lawsuit, however I’ve since discovered that it’s fairly profitable. Free Fireplace earned $1.1 billion in participant spending in 2021, based on information that analytics agency Sensor Tower shared with The Verge, an quantity that was up 48 % from 2020. Whereas the full greenback quantity is sort of a bit lower than the astonishing $2.9 billion that PUBG Cellular earned in participant spending final yr, PUBG Cellular’s figures have been up solely seven % year-over-year, reviews Sensor Tower. That might counsel PUBG Cellular’s progress is slowing down simply as Free Fireplace’s is skyrocketing.

We additionally checked with one other analytics agency, Appfigures, and whereas the info was totally different, it nonetheless prompt that Free Fireplace is catching up. PUBG Cellular, PUBG Cellular Lite, and the China- and India-specific variations of PUBG Cellular earned a mixed $639 million in income final yr, based on Appfigures, whereas Free Fireplace earned $414 million.

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


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