PUBG developer Krafton has filed a lawsuit against Garena, Apple and Google. Krafton claimed that Garena – which released the battle royale games Free Fire and Free Fire Max – copied PUBG: Battlegrounds and is suing Apple and Google for distributing the games in their respective app stores. Krafton also accused Google of hosting videos on YouTube showing gameplay of Garena’s Free Fire and Free Fire Max. Krafton has also reportedly taken some action against questionable battle royale games.
According to the copyright infringement complaint shared by The Verge, Krafton has filed a lawsuit against Free Fire and Free Fire Max developer Garena. PUBG’s developer claimed Garena copied his popular battle royale title. Krafton further mentioned in the lawsuit that Garena made “hundreds of millions of dollars” from the sale of two games and that Apple and Google made significant revenue from the distribution of the two Free Fire apps. Both apps are still listed in the Apple App Store and Google Play Store.
Krafton claims to have taken action against Free Fire and Free Fire Max on December 21st. This included first asking Garena to “immediately cease his exploitation of Free Fire and Free Fire Max, including revoking his apparent authorization to Apple and Google.” Garena apparently refused to do so. In addition, the developer of PUBG also asked Apple and Google to “stop distributing and using the two games on their platforms”, both app stores are still listed.
YouTube was also asked to remove numerous videos on its platforms that “contain elements that appear to be infringing on Battlegrounds and separately the infringing feature-length film.” These videos are still available on Google’s video sharing platform. If you’re interested in said movie, here’s a little sneak peek.
In addition, the lawsuit also mentioned that Garena sold a game in Singapore in 2017 that allegedly copied PUBG: Battlegrounds. Krafton mentioned that there was no licensing agreement between the two game developers during the settlement of the claims.
According to Sensor Tower data shared with The Verge, Free Fire earned US$1.1 billion (approximately Rs.8,153 billion) in player spending in 2021, representing a 48 percent year-on-year growth. While the amount Krafton earned over the same period was US$2.98 billion (around Rs.22,087 billion), it only showed a 7 percent year-on-year growth. The publication also reviewed Appfigures’ data and mentioned that while sales figures varied, the data indicated that Free Fire was closer to PUBG in terms of popularity and sales.
A spokesman for Sea, Garena’s parent company, told The Verge that “Krafton’s claims are unfounded”.
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