Korean newspaper Korea Times is reporting that PUBG Corporation filed a copyright violation lawsuit in January against Epic Games to litigate whether Fortnite is infringing on PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds’ design. The suit has been filed with the Seoul Central District Court against Epic Games Korea, but the result will have global ramifications.
It’s clear that the two games have strong similarities so it will be fascinating to see whether the courts decide that Fortnite is infringing on PUBG’s copyright. Especially since this will have industry-wide implications, especially for all those devs releasing (or planning to release) a battle royale game or game mode. Which includes Call of Duty Black Ops 4.
Speaking to PC Gamer, a Bluehole (PUBG Corp’s parent company) representative stated that the main issue is with the fact that Epic Games provides the engine for PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds and therefore profits from both games’ success.
"We just want to emphasize this is only a problem because Epic Games is the company that makes the engine we use and we pay a large amount of royalties to them,” they said. “And we had this business relationship and we had trust that we would be getting continued support, and we were looking forward to working more closely with them to get technical support, maybe develop new features.
"But our name was used to officially promote their game without our knowledge. There was no discussion. It was just a bit surprising and disappointing to see our business partner using our name officially to promote the game mode that is pretty similar to us and there was misunderstanding in the community that we’re officially involved in the project."