Riot Games he filed a lawsuit against NetEase because of Hyper Front, a mobile shooter that he believes is a shameless lookalike of Valorant. His goal is to lead to the shutdown of the game servers and get compensation for damages.
Riot Games lawyer Dan Nabel told Polygon that the lawsuit will be heard in the courts of the United Kingdom, Germany, Brazil and Singapore. The lawsuit documents change based on the country’s legislation, but basically the lowest common denominator is the fact that the Chinese company’s title “copy substantial parts of Valorant.”
Hyper Front, like Valorant, is a free-to-play first-person shooter where teams of five players battle it out across various maps and modes. Valorant has been available since 2020 on PC, with a mobile version on the way, and has over 14 million monthly active players. Hyper Front, on the other hand, was launched this year on Android and iOS, but not in the USA. There is no official data, but on the Google Play Store alone it has over a million downloads.
According to Riot Games, Hyper Front and Valorant have many elements in common, such as characters, maps, weapons, weapon skins, charms. Even NetEase is even accused of having copied the statistics of some guns. You can see some examples in the gallery below.
Apparently NetEase has changed some elements after the first complaints from Riot Games, but according to the US company this is not enough and the crime of copyright infringement. Hence the decision to initiate a large-scale legal action.
“All of our creative choices are reflected in NetEase’s game,” said Nabel, attorney at Riot Games. “We don’t think that changing the color of a character ability or changing its visual appearance slightly changes the fact that it’s copyright infringement. It’s like that old saying: ‘You can put lipstick on a pig, but it still stays put. always a pig”.
Nabel told Polygon the company is challenging the matter in multiple courts because “copyright is territorial,” with different laws in different areas of the world. As mentioned at the beginning, Riot Games aims to close the Hyper Front and obtain compensation from NetEase, although it is not specified how much.
Speaking of Valorant, it and other Riot Games games will soon be included in the Xbox Game Pass catalog.