Korean game developer PUBG, is taking Fortnite developer Epic Games to court. PUBG is the studio behind PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds and they are a subsidiary of Bluehole. They have filed a copyright claim, and have asked the court to decide if Fortnite is a copy of PUBG. According to the Korea times, the suit was already filed in January and was confirmed by a PUBG official, stating that the company is concerned with protecting their intellectual property.
PUBG released last year, in March 2017 to great success, and it quickly took the world by storm. It became the most popular game on Twitch, YouTube and Steam in rapid fashion. Since it’s release the game has sold over 30 million copies, although player counts have been decreasing. When the game first came out it’s concept was quite unique and although it had been done before, never this successfully. Since September however, PUBG has had to deal with a hefty amount of competition from Fortnite.
When Fortnite was first released it was not the popular battle royale shooter that it is nowadays. When the game first came out it was purely about their game mode ‘Save the World’, a survivor game in which players would team up to scavenge for food, craft weapons, construct buildings and fight of waves of monsters. However, since September, Epic Games added a Battle Royale mode to Fortnite which caused the game’s huge leap in popularity.
The addition of the Battle Royale mode apparently doesn’t sit right with PUBG, as they claimed that Epic Games is blatantly copying from PUBG. When the free-to-play mode was added in September it caused a plagiarism controversy and Bluehole had said that they would look into ways to respond to Epic Games’ new game mode, stating that Epic Games had copied the items and UI.
Taking Epic Games to court is a very risky move for PUBG to make as the game uses the Unreal engine, which is a game engine that is designed and licensed by Epic Games. There is no doubt that Epic Games’ lawyers are looking into ways to not only win the lawsuit but probably revoke the license that they gave to PUBG. Epic Games has already shown in the past that they are relentless in lawsuits when Silicon Knights lost a lawsuit to them and had to destroy all unsold copies of their game.