Krafton, PUBG developer, has filed a lawsuit against Free Fire developer Garena, Apple, Google

Deepak Gupta January 14, 2022
Updated 2022/01/14 at 1:40 PM

PUBG developer Krafton has filed a lawsuit against Garena, Apple and Google. Krafton alleged that Garena – which released the battle royale games Free Fire and Free Fire Max – copied PUBG: Battlegrounds and is suing Apple and Google for distributing the games on their respective app stores. Krafton also accused Google of hosting videos on YouTube that show the gameplay of Garena’s Free Fire and Free Fire Max. Krafton also allegedly took some actions against the battle royale games in question.

According copyright infringement claim, shared by On the edge, Krafton filed a lawsuit against Free Fire and Free Fire developer Max Garena. The PUBG developer claimed that Garena copied its popular battle royale title. Krafton also mentioned in the lawsuit that Garena earned “hundreds of millions of dollars” from the sales of two games and that Apple and Google obtained significant revenue from the distribution of the two Free Fire applications. Both apps are still listed in Apple App Store and google app store.

Krafton claims that it took action against Free Fire and Free Fire Max on December 21. The first of these included asking Garena to “immediately stop its exploration of Free Fire and Free Fire Max, including revoking its apparent authorization to Apple and Google”. Garena apparently refused to do so. Additionally, the PUBG developer also requested that Apple and Google “stop distributing and exploiting” the two games on their platforms, both of which are still listed app stores.

YouTube was also asked to remove several videos on its platforms that include “elements that blatantly infringe on the battlegrounds and, separately, the infringing film. These videos are still available on the Google video sharing platform. If you’re intrigued by the aforementioned movie, here’s a peep.

In addition, the lawsuit also mentioned that Garena sold a game in 2017 in Singapore that would have copied PUBG: Battlegrounds. Krafton mentioned that while the claims were resolved, there was no licensing agreement between the two game developers.

According to Sensor Tower data shared with The Verge, Free Fire earned $1.1 billion (approximately Rs. 8,153 crore) in player spending in 2021, which shows year-over-year growth of 48%. While the amount that Krafton earned during the same period was $2.98 billion (approximately Rs. 22,087 crore), it only showed 7% year-on-year growth. The post also checked Appfigures data and mentions that while the revenue numbers were different, the data suggested that Free Fire was catching up with PUBG in terms of popularity and revenue.

A spokesperson for Sea, Garena’s parent company, told The Verge that “Krafton’s allegations are unfounded.”


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