When Epic Games announced the addition of a free to play battle-royal mode to their then burgeoning title Fortnite, comparisons to Player Unknown's Battlegrounds quickly began to emerge. Since then, the shooter builder survival hybrid has become Battleground's biggest competitor and now it seems the rivalry has gone to new heights, with PUBG Corp. taking Epic Games to court over the two games similarities.
According to a report from the Korean Times on Friday, PUBG Corp., a Korean based developer, filed a lawsuit against Epic Games, specifically their Korean arm, asking the court to determine whether similarities between Fortnite and PUBG constitutes copyright infringement. Per the report, PUBG Corp. filed the injunction with the Seoul Central District Court back in January, though no other information around the filling has be revealed to the public.
This is hardly the first time tensions have been raised between the two companies over Fortnite's battle-royal mode. When the new mode became available last year, vice-president of PUBG Corp. parent company Bluehole Chang Han Kim expressed concern over the new game mode copying PUBG, saying "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."
In the same discussion of the similarities between the two titles, Chang Han Kim, had also implied possible legal action against Epic Games, especially following reference to Player Unknown's Battlegrounds in the marketing for Fortnite's battle-royal mode. Now it seems that the company decided to follow through on these warnings.
"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."
Of course, it isn't hard to see why PUBG Corp. and Bluehole are concerned about Fortnite. In the time since its battle-royal mode launched, the game has seen a surge in popularity among both content creators and casual games. The game has seen such success that not only has it beaten the record for most concurrent players previously held by PUBG but it is also now reported to make more money than it too.
It's important to remember now that regardless of how successful PUBG Corp. and Bluehole are, new battle-royal titles are appearing at a faster and faster rate. The main example of this is coming later this year with Call of Duty: Black Ops 4, which is set to feature a battle-royal mode called Blackout and is sure to also cut into other games player bases. The point is that there is no stopping the tide and most fans just want all these games to live together in harmony. Is that too much to ask?
Fortnite is available now in early access for iOS devices, PC, PlayStation 4, and Xbox One. PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds is available on PC and on Xbox One through the Game Preview program.
Source: Korea Times