American game developer and publisher Riot Games is suing Hyper Front mobile game developer NetEase over its alleged copying of Valorant. Riot Games claims several similarities between the two games, including characters, locations, weapons, weapon skins, and charms, as well as comparisons to weapon stats.
Valorant is a free to play first-person shooter developed and published by Riot Games for PC in 2020. The game has become quite popular since its debut and its esports scene is reaching new standards every day. Following the massive success of League of Legends: Wild Rift, the mobile edition of LOL, Riot Games plans to release a mobile version of Valorant. Before the release of VALORANT Mobile, a game called Hyper Front was accused of being a copy of VALORANT, and Riot Games took action against it.
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Riot Games accuses NetEase of copying Valorant content into mobile game HyperFront
In a lawsuit filed in the UK, Riot filed a lawsuit against NetEase, alleging that Netease copied Valorants characters, maps, weapons, weapon skins, charms, and even weapon stat skins. According to the lawsuit, Chinese publisher NetEase modded Hyper Front to some extent after Riot’s copy claims, but copyright infringement issues remain unresolved.
In a statement with Polygon, Riot Games lawyer Dan Nabel mentioned that they had filed lawsuits in various countries including the UK, Germany, Brazil and Singapore. Lawsuits differ significantly depending on the country’s copyright regulations. Still, according to Nabel, all have been filed on the basis that Hyper Front is a “copy of substantial parts of Valorant,” as stated by Riot’s lawyers in the UK filing.
Hyper Front is a free mobile FPS game released earlier this year for Android and iOS devices. The mobile game was titled “Project M” during its beta testing in 2021. Riot Games claimed that NetEase had copied Valorant’s features, characters, weapons, maps, and other in-game elements in Hyper Front.
Riot Games is taking legal action to get NetEase to shut down Hyper Front. The corporation also claimed “substantial” damages, but did not provide numbers.
Riot Games’ lawsuit against cloned games is not the first. In recent years, the corporation has sued over a “clone” of League of Legends and Teamfight Tactics. Riot Games won a $2.9 million lawsuit in 2018 through its parent company Tencent Holdings over a separate League of Legends clone.
If NetEase is found guilty in this lawsuit, Riot Games will receive generous compensation and the overall design of its game, Hyper Front, will be modified.
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