PUBG parent company Krafton suing Apple, Google, and Garena over alleged copyright infringement in Free Fire

Krafton is alleging Free Fire has copied several aspects of PUBG.

Image via Krafton

Krafton, the parent company of the developer and publisher of PUBG, is suing Apple, Google, and Garena, alleging copyright infringement by the mobile battle royale title Free Fire, according to a Reuters report.

The South Korean company alleges the mobile game has copied several aspects of PUBG: Battlegrounds, which includes “game structure, in-game items, equipment, and locations.” While Garena has been sued for making the title, Google and Apple have been included for distributing Free Fire on its application stores.

According to the report, Krafton had previously asked Garena, Apple, and Google to stop distributing the game in December. With no action being taken, the company has moved to a California district court to block the game and recover “damages,” which it says includes Garena’s profits from the game’s sales.

Krafton also mentions Free Fire MAX in its lawsuit. This game, which was released last year, is an upgraded version of the original title with better graphics to attract players with higher device specifications.

A spokesperson for Sea, the parent company of Garena, told Dot Esports that “Krafton’s claims are groundless.”

PUBG: Battlegrounds was released in 2016 and quickly became one of the most popular battle royale titles at the time. The genre-defining game was later brought to Android and iOS devices in 2018 through a collaborative effort between Krafton and Tencent. Tencent owns shares of Krafton, as well as Garena’s parent company Sea group, although it reduced its holdings in the company earlier this month.

While PUBG Mobile quickly become a leading mobile game title since its release four years ago, it has faced competition from Garena’s Free Fire. Krafton’s lawsuit comes soon after the company released a new mobile game, PUBG: New State, which came out in November.

This isn’t the first time Krafton has sued companies for allegedly copying from its PUBG IP. In 2018, the company had filed a lawsuit against Epic Games for “many similarities” between PUBG and Fortnite. It had also moved against NetEase in the same year over two of its mobile games, Rules of Survival and Knives Out, for the same reasons. All three games are currently available for download.

Update Jan. 15 3:03am CT: We’ve updated the article to include a quote from a Sea spokesperson.