Ubisoft Sues Apple, Google over claim of Copyright Infringement against ‘Area F2’

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Ubisoft Entertainment SA filed a legal complaint against both Apple and Google over alleged copyright infringement of a mobile game called ‘Area F2’ that is said to blatantly copied Rainbow Six Siege.

The France-based company cites the alleged game’s ‘near carbon copy’ likeness to its prized shooting IP. For Ubisoft, the ground of its complaints is something that ‘cannot be disputed.’

Areas of the ‘cloned’ game that were subject of the dispute were the ‘operator selection screen,’ ‘final scoring screen,’ and ‘everything in between.’ Highlighting Area F2’s overall lack of originality.

A Chinese-Made Game

Area F2 is a game developed by Alibaba-owned company, Ejoy, which it acquired in 2017. The developer describes its creation as a ‘Close-Quarters Battle shooting game’—a seemingly expanded translation of the genre known commonly to the internet as ‘first-person shooting.’

The mobile game only saw its release on the mobile platform last month. But advertisements about the game have been circulating the internet since last year.

As per Bloomberg, Ubisoft initially notified both Apple and Google, owners of the App Store and Google Play Store, respectively, about the issue.

The notification, as it appears, asks both platforms to have the game removed.

Both Apple and Google failed to heed Ubisoft’s call. The two companies’ failure to act on Ubisoft’s request led to the issue brought to a Federal Court in Los Angeles. That is, by way of a lawsuit.

Copyright Claim Nuances

The issue of copyright infringement is a complex and incomprehensive topic, especially in mobile gaming. Something that both the US and China have yet to see eye-to-eye.

The developer of Area F2, Ejoy, being a Chinese company only raises that as an issue.

But the trouble does not only lie on China’s rather different view of what constitutes copyright infringement. There is also an issue about the concept when put in the context of mobile gaming.

Just almost two years ago, a similar case arose between PUBG, and Rules of Survival. PUBG being a pioneer of the ‘Battle Royale’ genre and the latter being its shameless clone. Again, a case of a China-based company copying a game made from elsewhere.

Copyrighting game mechanics is a hard pass even in US courts, however. Even with the United States’ longstanding laws against copyright infringement, games are not an all-inclusive topic.

But aspects of copyrighting involving IP and visual design elements hold water in its court—something that Ubisoft’s complaint would seemingly draw strength from if settlements do not become an option.

Image used courtesy of Lauren Elisabeth/Shutterstock

Jermaine D. Delos Santos

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Jermaine D. Delos Santos

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