Riot Games a well-known publisher is suing mobile game developer NetEase for stealing the idea for Valorant, a free-to-play tactical hero shooter. The developer of the well-known League of Legends game series, Riot Games, claims that NetEase’s five-on-five mobile shooter, Hyper Front, is a clone of their title. The case will be submitted in the United Kingdom, Germany, Brazil, and Singapore, according to the gaming newspaper Polygon. Hyper Front, according to Riot, “copies substantial sections of Valorant.” Riot Games Sue
According to Polygon, Valorant was published in 2020 and currently has a player base of over 14 million people each month. Hyper Front by NetEase, which was made available for iOS and Android in 2022, has received over a million downloads as of this writing. According to Riot, Hyper Front has copied characters, skins, maps, weapons, weapon skins, and even weapon stats.
As stated in the lawsuit, NetEase changed Hyper Front as a response of Riot Games’ complaints, but the end result remains pretty much unchanged, with only minor visual modifications. The manufacturer of Valorant demands that NetEase shut down Hyper Front in exchange for “substantial” compensation. Riot didn’t give an exact number.
“All of our creative choices are mirrored in NetEase’s game, We don’t think that changing the colour of a character, or ability or slightly modifying the visual appearance change the fact that it’s copyright infringement. It’s like that old saying, ‘You can put lipstick on a pig, but it’s still a pig,” said Dan Nabel, the lawyer for Riot Games. Riot Games Sue
It’s not the first time that NetEase has been accused of violating a copyright. In the past, Krafton sued them in US District Court for allegedly ripping off parts of PUBG in the video games Knives Out and Rules of Survival. Over a million downloads have been made since Hyper Front’s release, and it has even served as a host for a few local competitions. The competition, which offered a $50K prize pool in total and was won by Furious Gaming, just wrapped up in the Americas zone.