It has come to light over the weekend that South Korea’s PUBG Corp is suing Epic Games for copyright infringement. The smoking gun, it seems, is Epic’s Fortnite. PUBG Corp is laying claim that Fortnite’s Battle Royale mode copies PUBG’s interface and in-game items. An interesting twist in this ordeal is that PUBG uses the Unreal game engine, which is owned and maintained by Epic. According to The Korea Times this lawsuit was filed in January, though it wasn’t made public till this weekend.
PUBG launched in March of 2017 and received massive success garnering millions of players. The success sparked massive interest in the Battle Royale game mode and several copies followed; though none so popular as Fortnite which released its own Battle Royale mode in September of 2017. An edge the Fortnite seemed to have is that while PUBG initially only released on PC (an Xbox version would come later) and cost money, Fortnite released on PC, Xbox, and PlayStation simultaneously as a free-to-play addition to its already established core game. Fortnite since has become a mainstream success and now is the top competitor for PUBG.
This isn’t the first time PUBG Corp has sued a company, having sued Chinese gaming company NetEase on the grounds of copyright claims in mobile games Rules of Survival and Knives Out.