PUBG developer Krafton is suing Garena, the company behind two hit mobile games – Free Fire and Free Fire Max. The company has accused Garena of copying the original PUBG game for PCs and consoles (now called PUBG: Battlegrounds) in the Free Fire games.
“Free Fire and Free Fire Max extensively copy numerous aspects of Battlegrounds, both individually and in combination, including Battlegrounds’ copyrighted unique game opening “air drop” feature, the game structure and play, the combination and selection of weapons, armor, and unique objects, locations, and the overall choice of color schemes, materials, and textures,” Krafton said, as per a report by The Verge.
Garena Free Fire and Garena Free Fire max are both available on the Play Store and the Apple App Store. The games follow a similar freemium model like PUBG Mobile, offering a free gameplay experience with paid in-app purchases for skins, emotes, and other perks.
Krafton is also taking Google and Apple to court for hosting the games on the Play Store and App Store respectively. The company also reportedly asked Garena to “immediately stop its exploitation of Free Fire and Free Fire Max,” as well as asked Google to remove YouTube videos featuring Free Fire gameplay.
This also includes a feature-length film that depicts similar visuals to PUBG: Battlegrounds. This film reportedly has nothing to do with the game but continues to be found on YouTube. Check it out below.
The demands were reportedly not met. Garena refused the copying claims whereas the games continue to be available on the Play Store and App Store.
Both Free Fire games remain extremely popular in many regions including India, where the original Free Fire title was one of the most popular gaming apps in 2021, also leading the consumer spending charts.
Garena has been earning big sums from the two Free Fire games as well. As per information by AppFigures, via The Verge, Free Fire alone earned $414 million in 2021, while PUBG Mobile, PUBG Mobile Lite and PUBG Mobile’s China and India-specific versions collectively earned $639 million.