Krafton has recently filed a lawsuit against Garena, Apple, Google, and YouTube, accusing Garena of copyright issues. Krafton is a PuBG developer and has alleged Garena Free Fire of copyright infringement for its battle royale title.
In Krafton’s complaint report, they allege Garena Free Fire copied several of their game’s features. For the Garena Free Fire Max game, they have claimed Garena has copied several aspects of PUBG. Several of their in-game items, weapons, and maps were allegedly identical. They also alleged that the addition of a river flowing through the map and the different similarities between their coastal villages in both games were also copied from PuBG games.
The copyright infringement issued by PuBG is from April 13, 2019. Several attempts at contact were made by the PuBG Company, and they also contacted Apple and Google to stop making the application available in their playstores; however, no one responded to their requests. PuBG developer Krafton has stated that Apple and Google have failed to comply with Free Fire’s request.
According to PuBG developer Krafton’s claim, Garena has already retrieved $100 million from the game in the first quarter of 2021 and from in-app purchases and different subscription schemes.
In late December 2021, Krafton requested Garena revoke the authorization of the game from the Google and Apple appstores and stop the distribution of the game through these appstores. The proposed deadline for completing the said activity was January 5, 2022, for Garena. But they had failed to respond by then.
YouTube was also requested to stop projecting Garena’s Free Fire videos and all other elements that infringe on the Battlegrounds game’s elements. But, even these videos were not removed from the site at all.
Indian side of the story
Garena Free Fire, however, was banned from India along with 54 other Chinese apps on August 22, 2022. The ban meant the game became unavailable from the Google Play Store and Apple App Store, and no one could ever download it again. However, those who already have the game installed on their systems or devices can still play it as usual. But new enthusiasts cannot join or start playing the game in India, as downloading the game is not possible anymore.
Several features, including the airdrop feature at the start of the Free Fire game, the structuring and game play options, the choice of weapons and armours, maps, and the feel of the Free Fire game
Free Fire was launched in 2017, and Free Fire Max was launched in September 2021. The Indian versions of BGMI and Free Fire have ceased appearing in the app stores, but Free Fire Max still appears in them.
A Sea spokesperson, which is the parent company of Garena, informed the Verge that the claims were groundless by all accounts.
For Indian players of the game, this fact came as a rude shock as players and gamers woke up to this news. To date, there has been no clear-cut action or direction for the lawsuit. But the debate is still ongoing about whether gaming elements can be similar in structure, timing, and shape across different games.
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What is the copyright scene in play?
It is just not the first lawsuit where copyright is filed against companies. There have been many developers in the past and even in current times who have been accused of copying elements from one game or another.
Players of battle royale games, Garena and PUBG are made to fight against each other to be the last man standing in the game. It was noted that shrinking play zones and environmental hazards were copied from PuBG by Garena.
However, there still remain notable differences between the two games, like Garena being more about a player’s agility and active participation in the arcade patterned game. PuBG is about making calculated and prudent decisions as per the resources available and the terrain on which the player is placed.
Other games implicated in copying PuBG elements include Epic Games, Rules of Survival, and even Knives Out.
The future of this allegation, if proven right by PuBG against Garena, would lead to further lawsuits by relevant game developers against other game developers for copying their styles or game elements. If Garena can deny the copyright claims, then the copyright rules might see mass liberalization in the near future.
FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions)
Did Krafton win the lawsuit?
Several claims were settled between Krafton and Garena; however, there is no license agreement yet between them.
Did the ban on BGMI release?
On May 29, 2023, the game was supposed to reappear in playstores. However, there have been no responses received, and no confirmations have been made yet about its unbanning.
What are the laws under which the banning of BGMI was done in India?
The banning was done according to 69A of the IT Act; only if the makers obey all conditions of the Indian IT Act will it be reinforced in form.
Here is what you can find out about the BGMI and Krafton lawsuit, where the winning party has yet to be declared. Those who have been waiting for this to come to an end, understandably, are waiting too long. But there is nothing more than waiting some more time as the lawsuit claims needs to recede between the two parties, and to do so, an agreement needs to be reached.
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