Krafton, the developer behind PlayUnknown’s Battlegrounds,” and the maker of PUBG MOBILE, last year’s No. 6 top-grossing mobile game on a global basis, is suing the app stores and a rival game maker, Garena, over copyright infringement involving Garena Online’s Free Fire games. The lawsuit alleges Garena’s games copy numerous aspects of its own, including its opening, its game structure and play, the combination and selection of weapons, armor and unique objects, locations, and the overall color schemes, materials and textures.
Google’s YouTube is also named in the lawsuit for hosting videos of the infringing material.
According to the complaint, Garena started selling a game in Singapore that copied aspects of Krafton’s game, shortly after Battlegrounds’ launch in 2017. Apple and Google began selling a mobile version of this game, which was originally called Free Fire: Battlegrounds and is now called Free Fire. The Singapore claims were settled between the two companies, but Krafton never entered into a licensing agreement with Garena, the filing states.
Then, on 28 September 2021, Garena released a new title called Free Fire MAX, which is a separate mobile game distributed on Apple and Google’s app stores. This game is meant to offer the same user experience as Free Fire, Krafton says, and it also infringes on numerous aspects of Battlegrounds. The company noted the infringing game has gone on to earn “hundreds of millions of dollars” from its…