Borrowing other people's ideas is a widespread practice in the gaming industry. However, formal accusations and litigation are extremely rare, especially in cases of minor copying.
But this is not the case with Ubisoft. The company has decided that one of the latest projects of Qookka Games is very similar to their own. In the mobile shooter Area F2, developed by the Hong Kong studio, Ubisoft saw an almost exact copy of their game, Rainbow Six: Siege.
After Google and Apple refused to delete Area F2 from Google Play and the App Store for copyright infringement, Ubisoft filed a lawsuit in federal court in Los Angeles.
The filed lawsuit says that Area F2 copies almost every aspect of the Ubisoft team’s shooter, even the interface layout. Drones, destructible walls, and the ability to descend walls are also the main elements of both games. The plaintiff emphasizes that competitors are continually trying to take advantage of Ubisoft’s Rainbow Six: Siege tactical shooter's popularity.
In a complaint filed in federal court in Los Angeles, Ubisoft said:
"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.
In 2017, the developer of Area F2 was bought by the Alibaba Group, which also owns Taobao and AliExpress online stores. At the end of 2019, the Area F2 social media advertising campaign started. On April 16, 2020, the open beta test of Area F2 was launched on iOS and Android.
When Area F2 was launched, some gamers noticed the similarity between it and the Rainbow Six: Siege.
Ubisoft did not explain why they sued Apple and Google and not the developer of Area F2. Perhaps, Ubisoft didn't sue the developer due to its region. The publisher of the game, Alibaba Ejoy, is located in China, which complicates the task of copyright protection.
But if Ubisoft succeeds through a court case to block Area F2 in Apple and Google stores, it will be able to cut off the Chinese publisher from a potentially significant revenue stream. In the future, other developers may do the same if the Ubisoft plan works.