PUBG Corp. and Epic Games are Going to Court

PUBG Corp. and Epic Games are Going to Court

The rivalry between South Korea’s Bluehole/PUBG Corp. and North Carolina-based Epic Games is highly evident. Fortnite’s arrival onto the battle royale scene took a good bit of market share from PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds. Now, PUBG Corp is taking Epic Games to court over the similarities between the two battle royale games.

Court: The newest battleground

 PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds last year as a 100-man deathmatch game styled after the book Battle Royale. The game’s wild success, naturally, led to imitators, copycats, and other games inspired by PUBG’s mechanics. One of those games is Fortnite, which has become more well-known for its Battle Royale mode than its original offerings. This newly-added Battle Royale mode took a huge chunk of PUBG’s player base. It also prompted PUBG Corp. to consider legal action against Epic Games back in September last year. Now, eight months later, PUBG Corp. has filed a copyright infringement lawsuit in South Korea against the South Korean branch of Epic Games.

Why did PUBG Corp. wait so long to go after Epic Games? Imran Khan from Game Informer has an idea:

The movement now is likely because Epic is expanding Fortnite’s Battle Royale mode into East Asia, with publisher Neowiz, developers and publishers of MMORPG Bless Online, partnering to bring it to net cafe-style businesses in South Korea. The suit was filed in Seoul Central District Court against Epic Games Korea specifically.

This isn’t the first time PUBG Corp. has moved to defend its copyright. Earlier this Spring, they sued China’s Netease over their mobile games Rules of Survival and Knives Out over copyright concerns.

It’s also worth noting the interesting relationship between the two Battle Royale titans, as noted by Yuji Nakamura and Sam Kim in this Bloomberg article:

Epic Games provides PUBG with its Unreal Engine technology, which was used to create PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds. The software is instrumental in building games and is the industry-standard for professional games developers. Both companies are also partly owned by Tencent Holdings Ltd., China’s internet giant.

Epic Games has yet to comment, but PUBG Corp.has simply said “This is a measure to protect our copyrights.”

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