PUBG Corp has dropped its lawsuit against Epic Games, the creators of Battle Royale sensation Fortnite. The lawsuit was originally filed back in January before becoming public in May, although the legal battle will now no longer be pursued.
PlayerUnknown's Battlegrounds developer PUBG Corp sent a letter of withdrawal to Epic on Monday, and the case is now officially closed. They haven't offered any explanation as to why the sudden change of heart has taken place.
The case itself seemed speculative at best, so it doesn't come as a huge surprise to see PUBG drop the allegations of copyright infringement. While both PUBG and Fortnite are 100-player Battle Royale games, the similarities pretty much begin and end there.
Something tells me that PUBG has just accepted that second place is good enough, and its game undoubtedly offers a very different, more combat-focused experience.
Original Story: 29-May-2018 - PUBG Corp is Suing Epic Games Over Fortnite's Alleged Similarities to PUBG
Korean game developer PUBG Corp, a subsidiary of Bluehole, has officially filed a copyright violation lawsuit against Epic Games. PUBG Corp alleges that Epic Games’ Fortnite has infringed on their copyright for PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds.
"We filed the suit to protect our copyright in January," said a PUBG Corp representative to The Korea Times this week. PUBG Corp filed an injunction with the Seoul Central District Court against Epic Games Korea, claiming copyright infringement.
Bluehole has long been displeased with Fortnite’s similarities to PUBG, claiming at the time of Fortnite: Battle Royale’s announcement that it was “a carbon copy” of PUBG. They were “concerned that Fortnite may be replicating the experience for which PUBG is known” and were contemplating “further action”.
"We've had an ongoing relationship with Epic Games throughout PUBG's development as they are the creators of UE4, the engine we licensed for the game," said Bluehole VP and executive producer Chang Han Kim at the time. "After listening to the growing feedback from our community and reviewing the gameplay for ourselves, we are concerned that Fortnite may be replicating the experience for which PUBG is known.
The lawsuit comes at the same time as Epic Games Korea is looking to launch an East Asia-specific version of Fortnite, so this looks like a rather desperate attempt to dampen Fortnite’s rise in Asia.
Personally, I think any claim of copyright infringement is ludicrous. Anyone who’s spent any time with these two games knows how fundamentally different they are. While they share the last-man-standing, 100-player ruleset, the similarities begin and end there from a gameplay perspective. In terms of the battle royale game mode, it would be a dark day indeed if a precedent were set and game modes could be copyrighted. That’s incredibly unlikely though, particularly considering game ideas and modes cannot be protected by copyright, it is merely the expression (art, audio, etc) of these ideas that can.
Do you think PUBG Corp is right to feel aggrieved about Fortnite adopting the battle royale ruleset? Should any one developer hold sway over a single game mode? Let us know!