PUBG developer Krafton has filed a lawsuit against Garena, Apple, and Google. Krafton alleged that Garena – which released battle royale games Free Fire and Free Fire Max – has copied PUBG: Battlegrounds and is suing Apple and Google for distributing the games on their respective app stores. Krafton also accused Google of hosting videos on YouTube that show the gameplay of Garena's Free Fire and Free Fire Max. Krafton has also allegedly taken a few actions against battle royale games in question.
As per the complaint of copyright infringement, shared by The Verge, Krafton has filed a lawsuit against Free Fire and Free Fire Max developer Garena. The developer of PUBG alleged that Garena has copied its popular battle royale title. Krafton further mentioned in the lawsuit that Garena has earned "hundreds of millions of dollars" from sales from two games and that Apple and Google have earned significant revenue from the distribution of the two Free Fire apps. Both apps are still listed on Apple's App Store and Google Play store.
Krafton claims that it took actions against Free Fire and Free Fire Max on December 21. First of which included asking Garena to "immediately stop its exploitation of Free Fire and Free Fire Max, including by revoking its apparent authorisation to Apple and Google." Garena apparently refused to do so. Furthermore, PUBG's developer also requested Apple and Google to "cease distributing and exploiting" the two games on their platforms, both app stores still listed.
YouTube was also asked to remove numerous videos on its platforms that include "elements that blatantly infringe Battlegrounds, and separately, the infringing feature-length film. These videos are still available on Google's video sharing platform. If you're intrigued about the said film, here's a sneak peak.
Additionally, the lawsuit also mentioned Garena sold a game in 2017 in Singapore that is said to have copied PUBG: Battlegrounds. Krafton mentioned that while the claims were settled, there was no licensing agreement between the two gaming developers.
As per Sensor Tower data shared with The Verge, Free Fire has earned $1.1 billion (roughly Rs. 8,153 crore) in player spending in 2021, that shows a 48 percent year-on-year growth. While, the amount that Krafton earned during the same period was $2.98 billion (roughly Rs. 22,087 crore), it showed only 7 percent year-on-year growth. The publication also verified the data from Appfigures and mentions that even though the revenue figures were different, the data suggested that Free Fire was inching closer to PUBG in terms of popularity and revenue.
A spokesperson from Sea, the parent company of Garena, told The Verge that "Krafton's claims are groundless."