Sometimes developers take strong inspiration from great games in order to try to make their own game good. This is fine, if something works, you don’t always have to re-invent the wheel. Straight up copying an entire game, however, is never ok. Ubisoft claims that this has been done by a Chinese developer who copied Rainbow Six: Siege almost exactly and transferred it to mobile platforms.
Rainbow Six: Siege released in 2015, but it continues to receive support and has over 55 million registered users. Ubisoft alerted both Apple and Google that a game that they were selling on their app stores called Area F2 was nearly a carbon copy of their game.
Virtually every aspect of AF2 is copied from R6S, from the operator selection screen to the final scoring screen, and everything in between.
Area F2 is published by Alibaba Group Holdings Ltd.’s Ejoy.com, a Chinese company, which means that a direct lawsuit could be difficult to pull off. Apple and Google refused to pull the game from their stores despite blatant evidence of copyright infringement, so Ubisoft has sued both Apple and Google.
Alibaba is not exactly known for producing legitimate products, in fact, a large majority of their site is dedicated to sellers pushing counterfeit goods. Usually, customers know what they are paying for, so it doesn’t exactly hurt them, but it certainly hurts the companies being counterfeited.
The same is certainly true for a game – R6S has no mobile version, and when you search for the game in the App Store, AF2 is the first result. Players may be drawn away from Ubisoft’s game into the mobile game if they prefer it, which hurts Ubisoft and fans of Rainbow Six.
At the moment neither Apple nor Google has commented on the suit, and Area F2 still seems to be posted in the app stores.