The developer of battle royale hit PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds, more commonly known as PUBG, is suing Apple and Google for refusing to remove an alleged clone from the App Store and Google Play.
Krafton Inc of South Korea and PUBG Santa Monica have filed a complaint that focuses on Free Fire, a battle royale game developed by Garena Online. They want the game pulled from Android and iOS, plus monetary damages.
PUBG dev wants Free Fire shot down
PUBG was one of the first big games in the battle royale genre. It made its debut in 2017, and quickly became a major hit, inspiring rivals like Fortnite, Call of Duty: Warzone, Apex Legends, and many more.
But Krafton and PUBG Santa Monica have issues with one rival, in particular. Free Fire, developed by Singaporean company Garena Online, has allegedly stolen a little too much from PUBG’s playbook.
A lawsuit spotted by Reuters claims Free Fire uses several copyrighted aspects of PUBG, including its game structure, in-game items, equipment, and locations. And Apple and Google are said to be turning a blind eye.
Krafton and PUBG Santa Monica say they have asked both companies to pull Free Fire and another version of the game, Free Fire MAX, from their respective app marketplaces. But neither will comply.
Apple and Google sued
The duo are now suing Apple and Google in a bid to force their hands. Their lawsuit also calls for damages, and for Free Fire gameplay videos and a live-action dramatization based on the game to be removed from YouTube.
Krafton and PUBG say hundreds of millions of copies of Free Fire have been distributed by the App Store and Google Play, earning Garena more than $100 million in revenue in the U.S. alone during the first three months of 2021.
The case is now with the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California.