PUBG Clones causes legal trouble to tech giants as the game’s own studio Krafton wants to remove the sales earned from two cloned games.
Details Of The Lawsuit
Legal trouble knocks on the doorstep of both tech giants Google (alongside YouTube) and Apple as the game studio of Playeruknown’s Battleground (PUBG) have recently filed a lawsuit against them. Additionally, the plaintiff also added the free-to-play game company Garena in the said lawsuit. The Verge has stated that the plaintiff pointed out that the defendants have violated their previous settlement in regards to the release of Fire Fall in 2017.
Krafton also added in the details of the lawsuit that all defendants have clearly profited from the sales of the games being claimed by the plaintiff as “PUBG Clones”, namely Free Fire (originally Free Fire: Battlegrounds) and Free Fire: Max. Krafton highlighted the fact that the two games were copying most of PUBG’s gameplay mechanics and features listed below:
- Unique game-opening ‘air drop’ feature
- Game structure and play
- The combination and selection of weapons, armor, and unique objects
- The locations present in the game
- The overall choice of color schemes, materials, and texture
Krafton has allegedly stated that defendants have earned profit one way or another; for Garena, it has been pointed out that it alone earned “hundreds of millions of dollars” through both in-app game purchases and app sales. Meanwhile, Google and Apple were accused of earning profits from the PUBG clones mostly from in-app purchases with their own percentage take for each purchase made.
Additionally, YouTube was also caught in the crossfire of the lawsuit as hosting gameplay videos related to both games and for the refusal of taking those videos down when Krafton filed a takedown request for those videos. Even a Chinese feature film of the game titled “Biubiubiu” was also requested to be taken down as Krafton stated that it was “an unauthorized adaptation of Battlegrounds, depicting a live-action dramatized version of Battlegrounds gameplay”.
Defendant’s Response and PUBG’s History of “CLONES”
As of this typing, both Google and Apple haven’t given out a response in regards to the PUBG clone lawsuit. However, a spokesperson from Garena’s parent company SEA by the name of Jason Golz has simply stated that “Krafton’s claims are groundless”, to The Verge in one interview.
Interestingly, this is not the first time that a lawsuit has been filed against Google and Apple over cloned games. In 2020, Ubisoft filed a similar lawsuit pertaining to cloned games of their IP material, namely the Rainbow 6 Siege franchise. However, the third-party entity Ubisoft filed the lawsuit against was game developer Ejoy. It then stated that the clone game was infringing on the Rainbow 6 Siege brand and the defendants must remove the said material from their respective storefronts.
But in a seemingly turn of events, Ubisoft then withdrew that particular lawsuit when the cloned game was removed by the defendants themselves, after some days the lawsuit was originally filed by Ubisoft. Sales from the cloned game were also removed, which was also part of the Ubisoft lawsuit initially, just like in the case of Krafton’s PUBG clone lawsuit mentioned above.