Riot Games to sue NetEase over alleged Valorant clone

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Riot Games, the developers of popular esports title ‘Valorant’, are now suing NetEase for their game ‘Hyper Front’, claiming the game is a copy of Valorant.

A lawsuit in a UK court asserts that Hyper Front is a “copy of substantial sections of Valorant,” according to Polygon. Characters, maps, weapons, weapon skins, stats, and charms are just a few of the things Riot claims to be very similar.

Dan Nabel, lawyer for Riot Games said, “All of our creative choices are mirrored in NetEase’s game. We don’t think that changing the color of a character’s ability or slightly modifying the visual appearance changes 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’.”

According to the lawsuit, NetEase did make adjustments in the game in response to Riot’s earlier complaint, but the end product is essentially the same and the only alterations are small aesthetic ones.

Riot did not provide a specific dollar amount for the “significant” damages they are claiming, but are simply asking the courts to order NetEase to stop operating Hyper Front.

Riot has raised lawsuits in several countries like the UK, Germany, Brazil, and Singapore under the copyright law. Nabel said, “We don’t want to rely on one particular market to have this issue resolved. NetEase is a global publisher, as are we. We want them to know that we take the matter very seriously.”

NetEase has faced copyright problems in the past as well. Knives Out and Rules of Survival, which were allegedly infringing upon PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds, prompted PUBG Corp. to file a lawsuit against NetEase back in 2018. In 2019 a settlement was reached, but no specifics were made public.