Ubisoft sues Apple and Google for allowing sales of Rainbow Six Siege mobile knockoff
Ubisoft has sued both Apple and Google, accusing them of selling Area F2, a game it claims is a "near carbon copy" of their successful game, Tom Clancy's Rainbow Six: Siege that is currently being sold for iOS and Android devices. The company claims that the game is meant to "piggyback" on Ubisoft's success and it now has filed a lawsuit to remove the game from the popular mobile app marketplaces.
Bloomberg reports that in a complaint filed in a federal court in Los Angeles on Friday, Ubisoft claims that Virtually every aspect of Area F2 is copied from Rainbow Six Siege, from the operator selection screen to the final scoring screen, and everything in between.
"Area F2", created by Alibaba Group Holdings Ltd.'s Ejoy.com, is a "near carbon copy" of Rainbow Six: Siege, and that can't be "seriously be disputed
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.
It is unclear how many people play Area F2, but Rainbow Six: Siege is a particularly popular multiplayer title on console and PC. Rainbow Six: Siege has 55 million registered players around the world, with more than 3 million players every day, according to the lawsuit.
The game is based on Clancy's novel about a counter-terrorism unit and "Ubisoft's competitors are constantly looking for ways to piggyback on R6S's popularity and to capture the attention, and money, of R6S players".
Area F2, which went on sale last month, describes itself on its storefronts as "the first Close-Quarters Battle shooting game on mobile" and enables players to fight "over ultra-realistic environments as attacker and defender, playing as one of a wide selection of agents, each with [their own] special ability". It also states that "all roofs and walls can be reinforced or destroyed, challenging players' skills and tactics as every wall may become a potential entry point".
Ubisoft says they reached out to both Apple and Google about the game and their concerns, but both of them refused to remove the game. The company did not elaborate on why it is suing the app store operators for enabling distribution of the game rather than developer Qookka Games itself for the initial infringement. Qookka Games, owned by Alibaba's Ejoy, is located in China, potentially making an international copyright claim more difficult. It remains unclear whether Ubisoft plans to file a separate lawsuit against the developer, in addition to app store operators.
Area F2 has over 75,000 reviews on the Google Play Store, and more than 2,000 on Apple's App Store, and many reviews on both platforms directly note the similarities to Ubisoft's title. So far, neither Apple nor Google have publicly commented on the lawsuit.
A successful lawsuit forcing Apple and Google to take down Area F2 would deprive the game's creator of at least some revenue, even if it could still sell through third-party stores. Do not be surprised if other developers follow suit if this move proves successful.