Riot Games is suing Chinese technology company NetEase over its alleged copycat version of Valorant, Law360 reported. Riot is claiming that NetEase’s mobile title Hyper Front rips off Valorant’s game maps, weapon designs, characters, charms and other elements.
Hyper Front is a free-to-play first-person shooter that pits teams of five against one another in a variety of modes. The game debuted in 2022, roughly two years after Riot launched Valorant.
Per the report, Riot says NetEase began development of Hyper Front shortly after an early version of Valorant dubbed “Project A” was revealed in late 2019. NetEase went on to debut a beta of its own game shortly after.
Players reportedly noticed the similarities between the two games and complained about Hyper Front copying elements from Valorant. NetEase responded by making certain modifications to the game but according to Riot, is still infringing on its copyright.
“All of our creative choices are mirrored in NetEase’s game,” Riot Games 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.’”
In other gaming news, Batman was revealed in the new Suicide Squad: Kill the Justice League trailer.