PUBG maker Krafton isn’t happy at the moment. The developer filed a pretty hefty lawsuit earlier the week against Apple, Google and Garena Free Fire. The developer claims that Free Fire is a blatant copy of PUBG (aren’t all BRs though) and accuses Google of supporting the game through copyright-infringing content such as trailers and live-action dramatizations.
By the sound of the lawsuit, Krafton is nitpicking at a lot of things. For example, the developer says that Google is guilty of hosting YouTube videos with the gameplay of both Free Fire and PUBG without properly distinguishing them apart. In addition, Krafton takes issue with how Google has released a full-length Chinese film depicting a battle royale. Krafton says this film is a live-action dramatization of PUBG.
Krafton is going after both Garena Free Fire and Free Fire Max – two games available on the App Store and Google Play Store. In the lawsuit, the developer says that both games are a blatant copy of PUBG. They claim that Garena even developed these games to look and play the same as PUBG in many ways.
Free Fire and Free Fire Max extensively copy numerous aspects of Battlegrounds, both individually and in combination, including Battlegrounds’ copyrighted unique game opening “air drop” feature, the game structure and play, the combination and selection of weapons, armor, and unique objects, locations, and the overall choice of color schemes, materials, and textures.
The lawsuit claims that Garena has earned “hundreds of millions of dollars” from sales on Free Fire and Free Fire Max. Krafton is also suing Google and Apple for earning a “substantial amount of revenue from the distribution of Free Fire“.
Krafton claims that they already served Garena with a cease and desist on 21 December 2021. The letter demanded that the Free Fire developer immediately stop exploiting PUBG. It also asked Apple and Google to stop distributing the games and hosting YouTube videos promoting the mobile app. None of which has been done yet.
We don’t know what will come out of this lawsuit but it sounds as if it could be the big Fortnite lawsuit of 2022. Free Fire is a massive game. Especially here in SA. The app earned over $1.1 billion in player spending just in 2021 alone. This was up 43% from the previous year.
You can watch that live-action movie below and read the full lawsuit here.