Riot Games sues NetEase for copying “substantial parts of VALORANT” through its 5v5 mobile shooter game, Hyper Front

Riot Games files a lawsuit against NetEase for the company’s five-vs-five mobile shooter Hyper Front. Riot claims that NetEase's 5v5 mobile shooter game has a “copy of substantial parts of VALORANT.”


The lawsuit is filed in a U.K. court with Riot declaring that NetEase has copied numerous parts of their 5v5 character-based tactical FPS, VALORANT, to put into the company’s new 5v5 mobile shooter game, Hyper Front. The allegations include “the overall type and design of the game,” like game modes, characteristics of agents (named “heroes” in Hyper Front), maps, the practice range, weapons, the user interface, and sound effects.

The lawsuit against NetEase is a 162-page case that goes through each comparison between the two games like their weapon, map, gameplay elements, and skins, even every character of both games. Though Riot has stated in the lawsuit that NetEase did modify several sections of the game because of an initial set of complaints, the company claims that the copyright infringement is still apparent.

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“All of our creative choices are mirrored in NetEase’s game,” Riot Games lawyer Dan Nabel said in a statement to Polygon. “We don’t think that changing the color of a character's ability or slightly modifying the visual appearance changes the fact that it’s copyright infringement.”

Riot has also included in the lawsuit that while VALORANT was released back in 2020, Hyper Front’s development started around March 2020, which is when VALORANT was officially revealed to the public as “Project A.” Hyper Front’s beta was available in 2021 then its full release was made this year.

Since the game has made its official launch in the UK, Riot has also claimed that NetEase violated sections of the country’s Copyright, Designs and Patents Act. Through this lawsuit, Riot is pursuing substantial damage in addition to a shutdown of Hyper Front. The company will also seek further lawsuits in other countries where the game has launched.