Area F2 popped up on various app stores about two months ago. The game promises close-quarters shooting battles on mobile like no other game has offered before. To be fair to Area F2, the game does offer an experience that has never been available on mobile platforms before, but that’s only because the experience has been available on all other platforms for the last five years now in Rainbow Six Siege. Check out the game’s trailer below and you’ll see the similarities.
As a result of this game making it onto app stores, Ubisoft has chose to sue both Apple and Google over it, rather than the game’s developer. The complaint was filed last week on May 15, noting that the game infringed on the copyright of their biggest shooter on the market. However, Apple and Google have refused to remove the game from their respective app stores.
In a report from Bloomberg, Ubisoft are said to have explained that the similarities between the games are so great that there’s no way that they can be disputed. I’d be inclined to agree with Ubisoft on this one, but then I haven’t actually played Area F2. What I will say is that this mobile game looks to have copied the core concept of Rainbow Six Siege, many of the playable operators and their abilities, and even the icons associated with those operators. If you look at a few videos of the game on YouTube, you’ll easily see the copied content mounting up.
However, all of this might seem a bit stupid, since Ubisoft could just sue the developer of Area F2 right? Well that’s not totally clear. The reason that Ubisoft is suing Google and Apple, is because the game’s developer appears to be part of Alibaba, a huge Chinese company, similarly sized to Tencent. There are different copyright laws in China than there are to Europe and the US, which would make Ubisoft’s lawsuit against the developer extremely difficult. This is probably why they’ve sued the companies allowing the game to be sold on their storefronts, and I’d be remiss to say that Google and Apple aren’t aware of this.
Unfortunately for Ubisoft, I don’t think that they’ll win this one. If they want to pursue it properly then they’ll need to sue the developer, and ultimately Alibaba. That situation will come down to which company can wrap the other up in more paperwork, causing them to spend more on lawyer fees than they would ever get in financial compensation. Ubisoft needs to make a decision, whether to let this lie and take the moral high ground, or continue along this legal pathway.
I think that the best course of action would be for Ubisoft to drop the lawsuit, and go after Area F2 within Rainbow Six Siege. They could host a few in-game events that turn Rainbow Six Siege into Area F2, highlighting the similarities without being too controversial. They could even create a new game mode called Area F2 that is just a carbon copy of the mobile game, visuals and all.
We’ll keep you updated on how this situation pans out.