The American video game developer Riot Games have gone into a legal battle with NetEase, a Chinese internet technology company based in Hangzhou. Riot games have raised serious accusations against NetEase regarding their new game, Hyper Front.
According to the arguments by Riot Games, Hyper Front, a five-on-five mobile shooter game, is an exact replication of their game Valorant.
The case will be brought to court in multiple countries across the globe like Singapore, Brazil, the United Kingdom, and also Germany. The case and charges can vary according to the copyright laws of the respective country but the core argument behind the case stays the same – that Hyper Front is a copy of Valorant.
Valorant was released by Riot Games in 2020. Valorant is a free-to-play game, which allows its user to access a significant portion of their game without any additional payments. The game can be described as a subgenre of shooter games.
Valorant was developed by Riot Games for Microsoft Windows. The development of the game started as early as 2014. David Nottingham is the creative director of the game and is a product of extensive research and analysis.
The game is inspired by Counter-Strike, which is a series of tactical first-person shooter games and it is also multiplayer.
The game was first released on Windows PC. A mobile version of the dame game was announced by Riot games in 2021. The version was released and is currently being used by players all around the world.
The game was deemed to be a successful one and as per the available data, the game has reached an average of more than 14 million players per month.
The game Hyper Front was released by NetEase in 2022. NetEase is a Chinese company with its headquarters in Hangzhou, China. They are one of the largest internet technologies and video game companies in the world.
The game Hyper Front is made available for both Android and iOS players. The exact number of player downloads for the game is not available as of now.
But as it is available on Google Play Store, the data from there suggest that the game has been downloaded more than 1 million times and also that it has more than 48,000 reviews. Even though the game is available on both Android and iOS platforms, the game is currently unavailable in the United States.
Riot Games seems to have taken the matter very seriously and they also have a history of going into lawsuits against companies for creating copies of their games.
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According to the lawsuit filed by Riot Games, they agree that NetEase has made some changes, but they claim that copyright violations cannot be unseen through minor modifications. As per the claims of Riot Games, there are huge similarities between the games like their characters, weapons, maps, and even the weapon skins.
The CEO of Riot Games, Nabel Laurant in one of his statements said that changing the color of a character or slightly modifying the visual appearance does not take away the fact that the new game is an exact replica of Valorant and he stated that it was a clear case of copyright infringement.
He also added that Riot Games wanted the official shutdown of the game Hyper front. According to his statement, Riot Games wanted NetEase to realize that they were not happy about ripping off their characters and ideas. In his response to the situation, Nabel also mentioned some of the past events where companies like PUBG Corp. filed cases against NetEase for a similar issue.
The games like Knives Out and Rules of Survival by NetEase faced criticism from PUBG Corp as they claimed that those games were an infringement on Player Unknown’s Battlegrounds, which is developed by PUBG Corp. The case was settled in 2019, without disclosing the terms of the settlement.
The case is not new for Riot games as they have sued multiple companies in the past for taking copies of their hit games like League of Legends and Teamfight Tactics.