Krafton, the developer of PUBG, has filed a lawsuit against Garena, Apple, and Google. Krafton alleges that PUBG: Battlegrounds was copied by Battle Royale games developer Garena, which released Free Fire and Free Fire Max on Apple and Google's app stores. Krafton also claimed that Google hosted videos showing the gameplay of Garena's Free Fire and Free Fire Max on YouTube. The company is also alleged to have taken action against certain battle royale games.
Krafton has sued Garena, according to a copyright infringement complaint shared by The Verge. Garena's battle royale title, PUBG, was allegedly copied by its developer. In the lawsuit, Krafton also claimed that Apple and Google received substantial revenue from the distribution of the Free Fire apps. Apple's App Store and Google Play store still list both apps.
According to Krafton, Free Fire and Free Fire Max have been taken into custody as of December 21. It appears that Garena refused to withdraw its apparent authorization to Apple and Google for the exploitation of Free Fire and Free Fire Max. The PUBG developer also requested Apple and Google to "cease distributing and exploiting" the games on their platforms, though the games are still listed in both app stores.
YouTube was also asked to remove numerous videos from its platforms that include "blatantly infringing elements of Battlegrounds, and an infringing feature-length film. These videos are still available on YouTube. If you're curious about the said film, here's a sneak peek.
Additionally, Garena is alleged to have sold a game in 2017 that copied PUBG: Battlegrounds in Singapore. While the claims between the two game developers have been settled, there was no licensing agreement.
Free Fire earned $1.1 billion (roughly Rs. 8,153 crore) in player spending this year, a 48 percent growth year over year, according to Sensor Tower data shared with The Verge. Even though Krafton earned $2.98 billion during the same period (roughly Rs. 22,087 crore), its growth year-over-year was only 7 percent. According to Appfigures, the data from Free Fire was actually almost as popular as PUBG despite the different revenue figures.
Garena's parent company, Sea, said in a statement that Krafton's claims are unfounded.