Krafton sues Google, YouTube, and Apple over alleged PUBG clones

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Playerunknown’s Battlegrounds studio Crafton filed suit against Apple, Google, YouTube and free-to-play game company Garena over two mobile games, Free Fire (originally called Free Fire: Battlegrounds) and Free Fire: Max which it calls “comprehensive”. copy many aspects of the groundbreaking battle royale game”.

As per reports, Garena started selling Free Fire in Singapore in 2017, soon after the launch of PUBG. court case (Via ledge) this clearly led to a complaint and settlement, but that agreement did not include any sort of licensing deal or permission to distribute the game. Despite this, a mobile version of the game appeared on the App Store and Google Play in the same year, followed by Free Fire Max in 2018.


The suit claims that both games “duplicate PUBG features including the unique game opening ‘Air Drop’ feature, game structure and overall choice of play, weapons, armor, and unique items, locations, and color schemes, assembling and selection of content.” do, and texture.”

Crafton alleges that Garena has earned “hundreds of millions of dollars” globally through the sale of apps and in-app purchases. It also points fingers at Apple and Google, which have built a bank on in-app purchases (each taking a percentage of purchases through their in-game payment processing systems) while denying requests to stop distributing Crafton’s games. done.

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YouTube has also been named as a defendant, for hosting (and refusing to remove) Free Fire and Free Fire Max gameplay as well as the Chinese feature film Biubiubiu, “an unauthorized adaptation of Battlegrounds, featuring live- The action depicts the dramatic version of the Battlegrounds gameplay.”

Videogame analyst Daniel Ahmed actually pointed out the possibility of copyright infringement in July 2021:

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Interestingly, the suit claims that prior to its efforts to remove Biubiubiu, Crafton filed a copyright infringement notice on another PUBG-like film called run so and so, In that case, YouTube took action (though the film remains available), which Crafton sees as evidence of a double standard at work: “With regard to biubiubiu, Run Am videos were posted by individual users, with no There is no doubt that there is a deep lack of pocket necessary to fully indemnify YouTube from liability for copyright infringement,” the suit states.

Crafton cited similar actions filed in May 2020 by Ubisoft against Google, Apple and game developer Ejoy over the Rainbow Six Siege mobile clone. “Apple and Google refused to comply with a videogame developer’s demand that they remove an infringing game from their respective stores,” the suit states. “The infringing developer removed the app only after the developer filed a lawsuit against Apple and Google. Significantly, neither Apple nor Google ever took any action on their own.”

In that case, after the Rainbow Six Siege clone was removed from sale, Ubisoft withdrew its legal action against all parties, and it is possible that the same may be the case in this case. For now, however, Krafton is seeking an injunction against the sale of Free Fire and Free Fire Max, the posting of a video featuring either the game and the Biubiubiu movie, and financial damages of all kinds. The amount involved could be substantial: Garena is not particularly well-known, but in 2020 its parent holding company C Ltd. Reported Revenue Over $2 billion in the “digital entertainment” category alone.

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