Riot Games has accused Chinese publisher NetEase in several lawsuits, claiming that its mobile FPS Hyper Front copies “essential parts of Valorant,” including its “characters, maps, weapons, weapon skins and mascots.”
This is according to Polygon, which reports that Riot Games has filed lawsuits in the UK, Germany, Brazil and Singapore. Although the details of the lawsuits vary in each country due to different copyright laws, they all claim that Hyper Front copies Valorant.
In the lawsuit, Riot points out a number of similarities between the two games, including their characters, maps, weapons, weapon skins, amulets, and even weapon characteristics. The company also notes that NetEase made some changes after Riot’s complaints when it pointed out the similarities between the Valorant Omen hero and the Hyper Front Nemesis.
While NetEase has responded to Riot’s complaints and redesigned the character, Riot Games claims that not only Nemesis is still infringing on their copyrights, but also many other aspects of the game.
“All our creative solutions are reflected in the NetEase game,” Riot Games lawyer Dan Nabe said in an interview with Polygon. “We don’t think that changing the color of a character’s ability or a slight change in appearance changes the fact that this is a copyright infringement. It’s like the old saying: “A pig can be made up with lips, but it will still be a pig.”
Riot asks the courts to rule on the closure of Hyper Front, and also demands compensation for “substantial” damage, although he did not name the exact amount. Nabel also noted that Riot Games sued NetEase in several countries because “copyright is territorial.”
“We don’t want to rely on one particular market to solve this problem,” Nabel told Polygon. “NetEase is a global publisher, just like us. We want them to know that we take this issue very seriously.”
As for other gaming news, the independent developer asked fans not to buy his game after a dispute with his publisher.