Area F2, a mobile first-person shooter that raised eyebrows across the gaming community with its strong similarities to Ubisoft’s Tom Clancy’s Rainbow Six Siege, has been delisted from the Apple App Store and Google Play Store following a copyright-infringement lawsuit from Ubisoft. Ejoy, the Hong Kong-based developer of Area F2, took the game’s servers offline on Wednesday — but the company made no mention of the suit in a post on the game’s website explaining the shutdown, saying only that it was “carrying out improvements to Area F2 in order to deliver a better experience to players.”
In the legal complaint, which Ubisoft filed on May 15 in the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California, Ubisoft described Area F2 as a “near carbon copy” of Rainbow Six Siege. The publisher also listed Apple and Google in the lawsuit for hosting the game on its platforms. A Ubisoft representative told Polygon it named Google and Apple in the court documents because neither company took “the necessary action to remove the game” from their stores, even “when formally requested to do so.”
“Ubisoft’s teams have poured years of creativity, resources and talent into making Rainbow Six Siege the success that it is today, and we are committed to protecting our intellectual property,” Ubisoft said in a statement to Polygon, referring to Area F2 as “a game that severely infringes upon our copyright.”
Now that Area F2’s servers are offline, players that open the app are met with the following notice: “Server is closed. See announcements for details.” Ejoy said in a separate post on Area F2’s website that players who have purchased items in the game can apply for refunds on their respective platforms, with customer service available until June 20.
Image: Ejoy/Alibaba via Polygon
Originally released in 2015 on PlayStation 4, Windows PC, and Xbox One, Rainbow Six Siege is a team-based first-person shooter where players choose from a variety of “operators” who are categorized as “attacker” and “defender.” Each team must contest an objective, with each character having a special tactical ability. Area F2 is a competitive game where players choose from over 20 “agents” who are categorized as “attacker” and “defender,” and each one has a special tactical ability.
Even while playing through the Area F2 tutorial ahead of its shutdown, Polygon noticed obvious similarities between it and Rainbow Six Siege. As an attacker, we breached a wall with explosives, and as a defender, we could apply defensive bracing. Area F2 also has characters like Mike “Hammer” Coleman, who has a hammer that he can use to knock down walls, and Yevhen “Spitfire” Voronin, who deploys a ballistic shield attached to a machine gun to provide heavy fire. Keen fans of Rainbow Six Siege may recognize these characters as having the same abilities as operators Sledge and Tachanka.
Area F2 looks and feels very much like a mobile version of Rainbow Six Siege, from the loading UI to the game itself. YouTube commentators have already remarked on the similarities. Ubisoft alleged in its lawsuit that “virtually every aspect of AF2 is copied from R6S, from the operator screen to the final scoring screen and everything in between.”
Ubisoft also said in the complaint that Area F2 had been downloaded more than a million times. In addition, the company alleged that developer Ejoy, owned by Alibaba, “generated tens of thousands of dollars in revenue” from the game.
Here’s Ubisoft’s full statement:
Ubisoft’s teams have poured years of creativity, resources and talent into making Rainbow Six Siege the success that it is today, and we are committed to protecting our intellectual property. We filed a complaint in the US this past weekend against Ejoy (also known as Qookka Games) concerning a game that severely infringes upon our copyright. Google and Apple are also named in the complaint because the product in question was made available on their mobile stores, and when formally requested to do so, they did not take the necessary action to remove the game. Both Google and Apple remain valued partners to Ubisoft. We look forward to working together with them to resolve this issue as soon as possible.
Only On PlayStation PS4 Bundle
Vox Media has affiliate partnerships. These do not influence editorial content, though Vox Media may earn commissions for products purchased via affiliate links. For more information, see our ethics policy.
Source: Read Full Article