The Pokemon Company is suing the six Chinese companies operating a mobile game called Pocket Monster Reissue (or Koudaiyaoguai Fuke) for copyright infringement.
As reported by the South China Morning Post (SCMP), the mobile title features a number of similarities to the Pokemon video game franchise, prompting The Pokemon Company to file an order with the Shenzhen Intermediate People’s Court in a bid to halt the development, distribution, operation, and promotion of the title.
Pocket Monster Reissue has seemingly been available in China for seven years, which is particularly notable given some Pokemon titles currently remain unavailable in the region.
In addition to halting development, The Pokemon Company is also seeking $72.5 million in damages and wants all of the companies involved in the project to issue public apologies on popular Chinese websites and social media platforms.
It’s reported that the title, which is currently available on app stores operated by Apple, Google, Tencent, Xiaomi, and Huawei in mainland China, earned an estimated $43.4 million in its first year alone.
It seems like The Pokemon Company isn’t the only one to clock the alleged similarities between Pocket Monster Reissue and its own titles, with the SCMP reporting that players in the country have also been talking about the situation in online forums.
The case has yet to head to court, and one of the defendants — a company called Jiangyin Zhongnan Heavy Industries Co. — said it will be “impossible to judge the impact [the game had] on the current or future profits of the company” until the case proceeds.