PUBG-the manufacturer Krafton filed a big trial monday: he is suing the developer of two mobile games he accuses of copying PUBG: Battlegrounds, the hit PC Battle Royale shooter, and he is suing Apple and Google for distributing these games on their app stores. Krafton even accuses Google of hosting Youtube videos with the gameplay of the two games in question, as well as “numerous articles containing a Chinese feature film which is nothing more than a live dramatization of a flagrant violation of Battlefield.”
The games with which Krafton disputes are called Free fire and Free maximum fire, proposed by the developer Garena. On the App Store and Google Play, they appear as Garena Free Fire and Garena Free Fire Max. Both are available for free with in-app purchases.
According to Krafton:
Free fire and Free maximum fire profusely copying many aspects of Battlefield, both individually and in combination, including Battlefield’ the copyrighted unique game opening “air drop” feature, game structure and gameplay, combination and selection of unique weapons, armor and items, locations and overall choice of color combinations, materials and textures.
Krafton alleges that Garena has earned “hundreds of millions of dollars” from sales of the apps and that Apple and Google have “also earned substantial revenue from their distribution of Free fire.”
Krafton claims that on December 21, he took some action: he asked Garena to “immediately stop its operation of Free fire and Free Fire Max,which Garena apparently refused; he asked Apple and Google to stop distributing the games, both of which are still available on both app stores; and he asked YouTube to remove videos featuring Free fire and Free maximum fire gameplay” that include elements that flagrantly violate Battlefield and, separately, the infringing feature,” which Krafton says YouTube did not.
In case you are wondering about this movie:
1. The makers said this is not a PUBG movie, although it is basically a PUBG movie.
2. Krafton said he plans to sue given the similarities to the PUBG IP.
—Daniel Ahmad (@ZhugeEX) August 15, 2021
Krafton also notes that Garena sold a game in Singapore in 2017 that “copied” PUBG: Battlegrounds. Although claims about it have been settled, no license agreement has been established, according to the lawsuit.
I confess that I had not heard of Free fire before this trial, but I’ve since learned that it’s quite lucrative. Free fire earned $1.1 billion in player spending in 2021, according to data analytics firm Sensor Tower shared with The edge, an amount up 48% from 2020. While the total dollar amount is well below the astonishing $2.9 billion that PUBG-Mobile won in player spending last year, PUBG-Mobile the numbers were up just 7% year-over-year, Sensor Tower reports. It might suggest PUBG-Mobile growth slows as Free fire skyrockets.
We also checked with another analytics company, Appfigures, and while the data was different, it still suggested that Free fire catches up. PUBG Mobile, PUBG Mobile Lite, and the China and India specific versions of PUBG-Mobile had combined revenue of $639 million last year, according to Appfigures, while Free fire earned $414 million.
Apple and Google did not immediately respond to a request for comment. Jason Golz, spokesperson for Garena parent company Sea, recount The edge that “Krafton’s claims are baseless”.
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