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Riot Games is suing Valorant copycat game Hyper Front

by | Dec 13, 2022

Reading Time: 2 min.
Reading Time: 2 min.

Riot Games is suing Chinese publisher NetEase over a mobile game that looks suspiciously similar to Valorant.

According to reports by Polygon, Riot has filed lawsuits in the UK, Germany, Brazil, and Singapore, focused on pointing out all of the similarities between Valorant and Hyper Front. This includes not only the designs of characters and weapons, but the description and statistics behind them.

Riot Games suing Hyper Front over stolen characters

For example, a Hyper Front character named Nemesis has a very similar color scheme and hooded outfit to agent Omen. In the lawsuit, Riot Games pointed out that both are also “mysterious, ninja-like stealth characters” with hidden faces and glowing eyes. This is after NetEase redesigned Nemesis — he looked even more similar to Omen previously.

Riot Games went through every other agent as well, including comparing Sage to a character named Elixir that is also East Asian and has a very similar outfit. Killjoy was compared to a character named Sentinel that also happened to have a “laid-back attitude,” the same outfit, and even the same stance.

The lawsuit also claimed that NetEase had put similar abilities within Hyper Front. For example, both games have a character that use a bow and arrow to shoot a recon bolt that reveals nearby enemies wherever it lands. Both games have a healer that regain health from fallen enemies. And both games have a fire-based character that puts up a wall of flames. The similarities go on.

Valorant was originally announced in the fall of 2019 and entered its closed beta in 2020. In the summer of 2021, Riot Games also stated that it was working on a mobile version of the ability-based shooter. Hyper Front entered its open beta in August of 2021 and launched fully in summer of this year. When the game came out, Riot Games immediately noticed the similarities.

Riot Games’ lawyer, Dan Nabel, said to Polygon: “All of our creative choices are mirrored in NetEase’s game. 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.”

In the lawsuit, Riot Games is calling for Hyper Front to be shut down completely.

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