[Update: App Removed] Ubisoft sues Google and Apple for hosting Alibaba’s Rainbow Six Siege clone
For every popular game out there, there’s an equally popular rip-off that eventually ends up getting sued by the original publisher. But we’ve hardly ever heard of a publisher suing the platform hosting the offending title. Well, that’s exactly what’s happening in the case of Alibaba’s Rainbow Six: Siege clone. According to a recent report from Bloomberg, Ubisoft has sued Google and Apple for hosting Alibaba’s ‘Area F2’ which is claimed to be a near-identical clone of Rainbox Six: Siege.
For the unaware, Area F2 is a game published by Alibaba Group Holdings Ltd’s Ejoy.com which was released in the U.S. late last month. Ubisoft alleges that the game is a “near carbon copy” of Rainbow Six: Siege and that can’t “seriously be disputed.” The original game has over 55 million registered players around the world, according to Ubisoft’s copyright infringement lawsuit and it’s played by over 3 million people each day. Rainbow Six: Siege (R6S) is also played as a competitive “esport” and has both professional and semi-professional teams competing for millions of dollars in prizes.
Area F2 — Screenshots from the Google Play Store
In a statement regarding the matter, Ubisoft said, “R6S is among the most popular competitive multiplayer games in the world, and is among Ubisoft’s most valuable intellectual properties…Virtually every aspect of AF2 is copied from R6S, from the operator selection screen to the final scoring screen, and everything in between.” Due to this, the company had previously notified Apple and Google that Area F2 is infringing its copyrights, but the companies refused to remove the game from the Google Play Store and Apple App Store. This eventually led to Ubisoft suing both Apple and Google, accusing the companies of selling a ripoff of R6S on their respective platforms. Keep in mind that both the stores keep a cut out of every IAP, so they are earning revenue from hosting Area F2.
Rainbow Six: Siege — Screenshots from the Steam Store
As of now, representatives from Google have offered no comment on the lawsuit. On the other hand, Alibaba and Apple didn’t respond to requests for comment made after regular business hours.
Update: App Removed
After Ubisoft sued Google (and Apple) for hosting an alleged Rainbow Six: Siege clone, the “Area 52” game has been removed from the Play Store. The developers announced the removal with a message saying “We will terminate the service of the current version at 12 PM on May 20, 2020.” Support for the game will continue until June 20, 2020 at 12 PM PDT.