- Krafton is taking Garena, Google and Apple to court
- The South Korean company claims that Garena’s Free Fire blatantly copies Krafton’s IP, PUBG
- Apple and Google, according to Krafton, are guilty of distributing the rip-off title on their app stores
Krafton once again takes legal action against people who are allegedly infringing its copyright, this time bringing Garena, Google and Apple to court.
Krafton Makes Legal Moves
Krafton, the company behind PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds, is about to take Apple and Google to court for distributing Garena’s Free Fire, which it calls a rip-off. Legal action against Garena itself has also been launched.
According to an article from Reuters, the South Korean video game developer claims that Free Fire infringes PUBG’s copyright and that Apple and Google are guilty of distributing it. According to Krafton, Free Fire has copied almost everything from PUBG, including game style and mechanics, in-game items, equipment, and locations.
PUBG’s developer argues that Google and Apple are guilty of copyright infringement for allowing Free Fire to exist on their app stores in the first place. Krafton considers the defendants’ offenses to be repeated ones as it claims to have previously warned them to take the game down.
Krafton hopes that the lawsuit will end up with the removal of Free Fire and Free Fire MAX from the app stores. The company also demands to be paid damages and to receive Garena’s profits from Free Fire sales.
PUBG’s Popularity Sparked a Wave of Battle Royale Games
Since its release in 2017, PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds quickly became a phenomenon thanks to its battle royale format. Although the concept wasn’t something unheard of, there wasn’t another AAA game title that quite captured it. Because of this, Krafton felt fairly disgruntled when the genre went popular and its competitors started producing popular games with a similar premise.
Because of this, back in 2018 Krafton had tried to sue Epic Games for Fortnite, which also sports a battle royale mode. Other lawsuits saw Krafton target NetEase for releasing two battle royale mobile games called Knives Out and Rules of Survival.
Yet, none of the games ended up being taken down. On the contrary, more battle royale-styled games inevitably popped up, including Call of Duty: Warzone and Garena’s Free Fire.
It will be interesting to see whether Krafton will successfully incriminate Free Fire of copying PUBG, although at this point so many battle royale games exist on the market, that this seems rather unlikely. Still, even if Free Fire doesn’t end up being taken down, it’s possible that Garena will have to pay a certain fee to settle the things.