PUBG makers bring lawsuit against copycat game, plus Apple and Google

The makers of PUBG Mobile, the mobile adjustment of PUBG Battlefields, took legal action against Apple and Google today over a fight royale impersonator, offered on their mobile shops, which presumably infringes PUBG’s copyrights. The suit likewise names the maker of the copycat app, Garena Online, along with YouTube for hosting gameplay videos the complainants discover infringing.

Krafton and PUBG Santa Monica, both of which brought the match to U.S. federal court, state they formerly brought claims versus Garena in its house nation of Singapore, for the sale of Complimentary Fire: Battlefields back in 2017. The exact same video game, now called Free Fire, is at the heart of the U.S. problem. Although Krafton stated the 2017 problem was settled, it did not consist of any license to Garena worrying aspects of Free Fire derivative of PUBG.

Garena nonetheless began selling the game on Google Play and the iOS App Store in 2017, the lawsuit alleges. Then, in September, Garena published Free Fire Max, another battle royale game that Krafton says violates PUBG’s copyrights.

Krafton’s lawsuit does not specify the damages sought, other than $150,000 in statutory damages for each infringement. But it’s holding Apple and Google (which also owns YouTube) responsible for these damages in addition to Garena. The problem notes that “Garena has earned hundreds of millions of dollars from its global sales of the infringing apps,” with a lot of that coming from the Google and Apple marketplaces.

Free Fire is available on Google Play under the title Garena Free Fire Max, where it claims more than 100 million installations. It’s available under the same name on the iOS App Store, where it’s listed at No. 48 among adventure games.

Krafton’s 100-page complaint includes several screenshots alleging Free Fire copies specific elements associated with PUBG since that game skyrocketed to popularity in 2017. These consist of a pre-video game gathering area; the parachute deployment that begins a round; a shrinking battleground; and supply drops and their aircraft. Many of these features are present or mimicked in Fortnite, Call of Duty Warzone Pacific, and other major battles royale.

But the complaint also shows that certain cosmetics and weapons associated with PUBG — like the welder-style helmet and facemask appearing on PUBG’s everyman mascot, as well as a frying pan — are also lifted directly into Free Fire.

PUBG Corp., as the main developer of PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds was known at the time (and whose parent, Bluehole, became Krafton) sued Fortnite maker Epic Games in May 2018, alleging similar infringement of its intellectual property. That suit, generated Krafton’s head office nation of South Korea, was withdrawn for inexplicable factors one month later on.

Jobber Wiki author Frank Long contributed to this report.