Riot Games Sues NetEase Over Valorant "Copy" Hyper Front

Riot Games is bringing another lawsuit against a Chinese gaming giant, and this time, the Valorant developer has NetEase in its crosshairs.

Published: December 9, 2022 8:49 AM /


Some of the characters in the FPS Hyper Front, which Riot Games is suing NetEase over

Riot Games is bringing a lawsuit against Chinese gaming giant NetEase over the mobile FPS Hyper Front. The lawsuit alleges that NetEase's game, which was created in conjunction with developer Battle Fun, is a "substantial" copy of Riot's FPS Valorant.

According to Polygon, Riot's case is being brought against NetEase in various countries around the world, including the UK, Germany, and Singapore. The UK filing describes Hyper Front as a "copy of substantial parts of Valorant", specifically citing the "overall type and design of the game", as well as individual elements of Hyper Front's character design.

A quick scroll through the Hyper Front Play Store page shows a game that does look pretty strikingly similar to Valorant. In fact, Riot's lawsuit acknowledges that after the studio complained to NetEase, the latter "made modifications" to Hyper Front. Despite this, however, Riot lawyer Dan Nabel told Polygon that none of those changes alter "the fact that it's copyright infringement".

A hero in Hyper Front using an ability to shield themselves with the caption "TURN THE TIDES WITH HERO ABILITIES!" beneath it
Look familiar?

According to Nabel, Riot is bringing this lawsuit against NetEase in multiple countries because it doesn't "want to rely on one particular market to have this issue resolved". The League of Legends and Valorant developer is looking for damages pertaining to intellectual property and copyright infringement, as well as shutting down Hyper Front.

If this sounds familiar, you might be remembering Riot's lawsuit against Mobile Legends: Bang Bang, a game created by the ByteDance-owned Chinese studio Moonton, with Riot alleging similarities between that game and League of Legends. Alternatively, you might be thinking of the lawsuit Riot brought against Vietnamese studio Imba Network over I Am Hero: AFK Tactical Teamfight, which Riot alleged was a copy of its own Teamfight Tactics.

It's not clear how Riot's lawsuit against Hyper Front and NetEase will be resolved, but in the meantime, you can check out the full text of the lawsuit right here via Scribd. It contains an exhaustive list of comparisons Riot's lawyers have made between Hyper Front and Valorant content, as well as a more detailed breakdown of Riot's case and what the studio wants from NetEase.

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