Outside of the occasional free weekend, you can’t play Tom Clancy’s Rainbow Six Siege for free – never mind trying to get it running on your phone. Unfortunately for Ubisoft, it seems that particular space has been filled by an unnervingly similar tactical FPS. This week, the French publishers filed a lawsuit against Google and Apple, demanding Area F2 – an alleged clone of Rainbow Six Siege – be removed from their respective mobile shelves.
As reported by Bloomberg (mind the paywall), Ubisoft are suing both mobile storefronts in an attempt to get the “near carbon copy” of Rainbow Six Siege delisted. By their reckoning, Ubisoft claim the aggressive similarities between their shooter and mobile FPS Area F2 cannot “seriously be disputed.”
It’s not that you can’t make a game similar to Rainbow Six for mobile. Ubisoft doesn’t own the market on high-lethality, precision team shooters (hello, Counter-Strike and Valorant). But from glancing at the Google Play listing for Area F2, the similarities are striking and immediate.
Everything from the tactical superhero character designs and map visuals to entire swathes of the UI design (scoreboards, character selection and victory screens) seem lifted wholesale out of Ubisoft’s shooter. The page itself reads like a laundry list of Siege’s key features – selling destructible multi-levelled environments and using tiny remote-controlled drones to gather intelligence.
“R6S is among the most popular competitive multiplayer games in the world, and is among Ubisoft’s most valuable intellectual properties,” Ubisoft is reported to have said. “Virtually every aspect of AF2 is copied from R6S, from the operator selection screen to the final scoring screen, and everything in between.”
So why sue the storefronts and not the developers or publishers? Engadget reckons that, with Ejoy and Alibaba being based in China, Ubi would have a harder time making a foreign copyright claim. By getting Area F2 taken off the App Store and Google Play, they would at least be able to limit the number of people playing a free clone of Rainbow Six on their phones.
At time of writing, though, neither store has responded, and both listings remain online.
Back in the realm of the real Rainbow Six, Ubisoft are gearing up to reveal Operation: Steel Wave’s new operators tomorrow afternoon. Teased last Friday, current speculation and leaks point to a hard breacher named Ace and defensive disruptor Melusi. Keep an eye out for more come Monday.