Riot Games Is Suing NetEase for Imitating Valorant

Abhimannu Das
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<div class="paragraphs"><p>Hyper Front</p></div>

Hyper Front

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Highlights
Hyper Front has made some changes since Riot Games' first complaint but it was not enough to let its actions go unnoticed.
A Riot Games lawyer has said, "You can put lipstick on a pig, but it’s still a pig."
Riot Games is preparing to file lawsuits in multiple countries including the United Kingdom, Germany, Brazil, and Singapore.

Riot Games is trying to expand its presence in the mobile esports space with the release of Valorant Mobile, but another publisher has been trying to beat Riot in its own game. Earlier this year, we reported Hyper Front’s similarities to Valorant which includes character designs, abilities, and more. Riot Games had told AFK Gaming at the time that it is aware of Hyper Front and that the game is not associated with them. The Valorant publisher is finally taking action against Hyper Front in the United Kingdom.

Riot has alleged that NetEase copied ‘substantial parts of Valorant’

Hyper Front is a free-to-play first-person-shooter (FPS) title that was released earlier this year with 5v5 combat similar to Valorant. The game not only looks like Valorant, but a lot of the agents and abilities look similar to Riot’s shooter. The game released worldwide but it did not release in the United States, which is coincidentally where Riot Games is headquartered.

Riot Games has filed a lawsuit in the United Kingdom claiming that characters, maps, weapons, weapon skins, charms, and even weapon stats have been copied by NetEase. Hyper Front has seen some visual changes after Riot Games first filed its complaint but the similarities still exist.

Valorant vs Hyper Front

AFK Gaming

Riot Games lawyer Dan Nabel told Polygon that the company is bringing its lawsuits to the United Kingdom, Germany, Brazil, and Singapore. He stated, “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. It’s like that old saying, ‘You can put lipstick on a pig, but it’s still a pig.’”

This is not the first time that NetEase has found itself in trouble over allegedly copying a game. The publisher was accused of copying PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds in 2018 by PUBG Corp and a US court gave the verdict in PUBG Corp’s favor in 2019. The details of the settlement between both publishers was not disclosed publicly.


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Abhimannu is a PC esports writer at AFK Gaming. With over seven years of experience in esports journalism, he has worked on a myriad of games and their ecosystems including Valorant, Overwatch and Apex Legends.