Popular battle royale game Garena Free Fire was banned in India among the 54 ‘Chinese’ apps that were banned on Monday, February 14. Now, while the game has been banned in India only for now, it could also potentially be banned in other markets due to an ongoing lawsuit against the makers of Garena Free Fire. Krafton, maker of PUBG Mobile and Battlegrounds Mobile India had last month sued Garena Free Fire makers for copying PUBG Mobile. Krafton had also roped in Apple in its lawsuit for listing Garena Free Fire and Free Fire Max on their respective app stores.
WHY IS PUBG MAKER KRAFTON SUING GARENA FREE FIRE
“Free Fire and Free Fire Max extensively copy numerous aspects of Battlegrounds, both individually and in combination, including Battlegrounds’ copyrighted unique game opening “air drop” feature, the game structure and play, the combination and selection of weapons, armor, and unique objects, locations, and the overall choice of color schemes, materials, and textures,” Krafton was quoted as saying.
HOW IS GOOGLE AND APPLE INVOLVED IN THE GARENA-KRAFTON LAWSUIT
In its lawsuit, Krafton alleged that Garena has earned hundreds of millions of dollars from sales on these apps and that Apple and Google have also earned a substantial amount of revenue from their distribution of Free Fire and the more recent Free Fire Max. Krafton has said that it has asked Garena to “immediately stop,” after which Krafton had attempted to ask Apple and Google to stop distributing the games. Krafton had also asked YouTube to take down videos relating to Garena Free Fire and Garena Free Fire Max.
Krafton also says that Garena sold a game in Singapore in 2017 that “copied” PUBG: Battlegrounds. Now, while claims regarding that were settled, there was no license agreement established, according to the lawsuit.
Garena has called Krafton’s claims as “groundless” in a statement to a website last month. In October 2021, Garena Free Fire was the most downloaded mobile game in the world on Google Play Store, according to a Sensor Tower report back in October 2021. It was the tenth most popular game on Apple’s App Store during the same time. Free Fire earned $1.1 billion (roughly Rs 8,149 crores) in player spending in 2021. This was a 48 percent jump from the game’s numbers in 2020.