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A Legal Battle Is Brewing Between Two Gaming Giants

Riot Games has reportedly filed multiple lawsuits against the Chinese video game company NetEase. These suits, which were filed in the UK, Brazil, Singapore, and Germany according to Polygon, allege that NetEase’s mobile game, Hyper Front, infringes on Riot’s game VALORANT.

In the U.K. lawsuit, Riot outlines numerous similarities between the two titles. This reportedly includes maps, characters, skins, weapons, charms, and, even, weapon stats. While Riot claims NetEase did modify some aspects of Hyper Front after the company’s first complaint, the game still infringes on VALORANT.

“All of our creative choices are mirrored in NetEase’s game,” Riot’s lawyer, Dan Nabel, told Polygon. “We don’t think that changing the color of a character 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.’”

At this time, Riot is asking the courts to shut down Hyper Front. Additionally, Riot is seeking “substantial” damages in this case. However, a specific figure was not mentioned in the court filings.

The Profit‘s Take:

NetEase doesn’t seem to be interested in making friends in the gaming space. First, their deal with Activision-Blizzard falls apart. Now, they’re being sued by Riot. They seem to be pushing away any potential partners on almost EVERY front. My tinfoil hat theory: NetEase is shifting its business model to knocking off Western games/companies. Maybe they already have knockoffs of Activision-Blizzard games in the works. The irony here is that Riot is basically a Chinese company. Perhaps this is a proxy war between major Chinese gaming organizations.

(All information was provided by and Polygon)

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