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PUBG maker sues mobile clone, Apple, Google for copyright infringement

Screenshot comparisons like these do make <em>Free Fire</em> look very similar to <em>PUBG</em>.

Enlarge / Screenshot comparisons like these do make Free Fire look very similar to PUBG.

Shortly after the 2017 release of PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds (PUBG), creator Brendan Greene publicly aired his exasperation at just how many developers were releasing shameless clones of the game’s then-unique battle royale concept and how hard it was to stop those copycats. Now, PUBG‘s Korean publisher Krafton has filed a lawsuit against one PUBG clone it says has engaged in “rampant, willful copyright infringement” of the popular game.

In the lawsuit, Krafton alleges that mobile hits Free Fire and Free Fire Max “extensively copy numerous aspects of Battlegrounds, both individually and in combination.” Those games attracted over 100 million daily users at the end of 2020, according to the lawsuit, and brought in the majority of Singaporean publisher Garena’s more than $2 billion in revenue for that year.

Krafton also makes Apple and Google party to the suit for listing the infringing game in their mobile app stores and for ignoring a recent request to take them down. In addition, Google is allegedly liable for hosting YouTube videos showing Free Fire‘s infringing gameplay on its service.

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