Ubisoft Alleges Rainbow Six Siege Infringement by Ejoy.com
Ubisoft Entm’t v. Ejoy.com Ltd.
United States District Court for the Central District of California
Case No: 20-cv-4419
Filed: May 15, 2020
On May 15th, 2020, Ubisoft filed a copyright lawsuit against Alibaba Group Holdings Ltd.’s Ejoy.com, the developer of Area F2 (“AF2”), which Ubisoft considers a copycat mobile version of Rainbow Six Siege (“R6S”).
Seemingly in response to the lawsuit, five days later on May 20th, AF2 shut down its servers. AF2 announced the shutdown on its social media, but claims that the termination is for the purpose of redesigning the game (with no mention of the lawsuit) and implies that the game will be relaunched in the future.
Although AF2 shutting down may resolve Ubisoft’s prayer for injunctive relief to have the defendants cease selling, marketing, and distributing AF2, Ubisoft has not yet dropped the suit and is still seeking monetary relief including actual damages and/or the defendants’ profits, or statutory damages.
Specifically, Ubisoft claimed that AF2 copied the following from R6S:
- Plot, Storyline, and Gameplay (including the preparation and action phases as well as objectives)
- Characters and Operators (including specific combinations of skills, abilities, gadgets, attributes, and weapons assigned to each operator)
- Locations, Environments, and Surfaces (including map design and layout of destructible, partially destructible, and reinforceable surfaces)
- Weapons and Equipment (including fictional devices such as holographic decoys and invisibility equipment)
- Sound, Visual Effects, and Animations (including the same reload animation, specific timing, and accompanying sound effects)
- User Interface and Screen Displays (including very similar functionality, designs, and color schemes)
- Scoring and Point System (including nearly identical scoring and point assignments for actions such as destroying an enemy drone)
Ubisoft also named Google and Apple as defendants, claiming that they received notice and had actual and constructive knowledge that AF2 infringes Ubisoft’s rights, but had not removed it from the Google Play store and Apple App Store. Google and Apple continued to financially benefit from AF2 revenue, so Ubisoft claims that Google and Apple cannot “avail themselves of any of the safe harbors of Section 512 of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act.”
We will continue to track this case and provide updates on interesting developments over the course of the litigation.