Skip to main content

Riot sues NetEase for its alleged Valorant "copy", Hyper Front

"All of our creative choices are mirrored in NetEase’s game."

Riot Games is suing NetEase for "substantial" damages over the similarities between its cooperative shooter Valorant and NetEase's mobile title, Hyper Front.

Polygon reports that the lawsuit - filed in various countries right across the world, including the UK and Germany, due to varying copyright law - maintains free-to-play Hyper Front is "a copy of substantial parts of Valorant", including its "characters, maps, weapons, weapon skins, and charms".

Eurogamer Newscast: What did we think of The Game Awards 2022? The good, the bad, and the Keighley.Watch on YouTube

Whilst player data for Hyper Front is currently unknown, Polygon points out that the Google Play Store says it has over a million downloads and almost 50,000 reviews. And whilst Hyper Front is currently unavailable in the US, where Riot is based, it is playable in many other territories where a mobile version of Valorant is currently in development and expected to release.

The filing includes several screenshots that Riot alleges show how Valorant's "creative choices" are "mirrored in NetEase's game".

Image credit: Riot Games / NetEase

Riot says NetEase has modified Hyper Front when it raised its issues privately with the company, but maintains that the copyright violation persists and now wants the game shut down.

"All of our creative choices are mirrored in NetEase’s game," Riot 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'."

Image credit: Riot Games / NetEase

Riot Games vs. NetEase by Polygondotcom

ICYMI, Fortiche - the talented French animation studio behind brilliant League of Legends show Arcane - is now part-owned by Riot Games.

Riot announced the "significant investment" earlier this year. For now, the Paris-based animation company will remain an independent company, but it's clear it and Riot will be collaborating far closer in the future - for "decades" to come, apparently.

Read this next