The maker of the popular battle royale game “PUBG: Battlegrounds” is suing both Apple and Google for continuing to sell alleged ripoffs of the game on the App Store and Play Store.
PUBG Mobile developer sues Apple, Google for failing to remove copy-cat apps from their platforms
South Korean game developer Krafton Inc on Monday filed a suit in the District Court for the Central District of California. The firm alleges Garena Online’s “Free Fire” games copy several copyrighted features of “PUBG: Battlegrounds”
According to Reuters, Krafton claims that its “Battlegrounds” was launched in 2017 and a Singapore company named Garena allegedly began selling a ripoff of the app. The developer says the issue was settled between the companies but Garena still developed a mobile app version.
“Also in 2017, Defendants Apple and Google began selling this blatantly infringing mobile version of Battlegrounds,” says the suit. “This infringing app was originally called Free Fire: Battlegrounds and is now called Free Fire.”
Fast forward to September 2021, Garena released a second app called titled “Free Fire MAX” that “also blatantly copies Battlegrounds.” In December 2021, Krafton subsequently asked the Singaporean firm to cease sales of the games and asked that Apple and Google stop distribution of them.
Both companies did not remove the games from their respective marketplaces. Krafton now claims that Apple and Google’s failure “to address legitimate claims” means that they use “selective enforcement of copyright.”
As per Krafton, Apple and Google have distributed hundreds of millions of copies of the Free Fire games. The suit also states Garena made more than $100 million in revenue from Free Fire sales in the United States in the first quarter of 2021.
Krafton also named Google’s YouTube as a defendant in the suit for allegedly hosting videos of Free Fire gameplay in addition to a Chinese film that the maker says is a live-action dramatization of its game.
The suit asks the court to block sales of the Free Fire games in addition to requesting damages that include the defendants’ profits from the sales.