A bad look for Playerunknown’s Battlegrounds (PUBG) as PUBG Corporation takes Fortnite creator Epic Games to court in South Korea based on allegations of copyright infringement. This could get messy.
Epic Games’ Fortnite Battle Royale has been widely speculated as being based on PUBG along with several other popular battle royale style games, and the widely held belief that Battle Royale was most likely created as a direct result of the success of the free-for-all shooter doesn’t help matters either. Yet while the two have undeniably similar premises, the execution of both titles varies vastly, as the rabid fans of either will attest.
Both running on Epic’s own Unreal 4 engine, each game pits a hundred players against each other in a shrinking sandbox filled to the gills with an array of firearms. The main difference among many between the two is the encouragement and necessity to build structures in Fortnite, a mechanic which hasn’t been implemented in PUBG at all. This along with Battle Royale’s vibrant art style, pop culture based skins, and permanent third-person view set the two games apart even further.
The gap turns into an absolute valley when popularity comes into consideration though, and this is where we see why PUBG Corp is probably not the happiest as of late. PUBG amassed major popularity for several months and was featured across the internet in memes and videos alike, dominating YouTube and Twitch, and establishing itself as a prominent force in the online shooter genre. The king was quickly dethroned though as merely six months later the tower defense game Fortnite released its own Battle Royale game mode.
This is where the figures go completely lopsided. Since its release, Fortnite went from a competitor to the undisputed winner of this free-for-all genre brawl. The free to play model definitely helped in this effort as Battle Royale still sits comfortably at the number one spot on Twitch, raking in hundreds of millions of dollars a month for Epic Games. PUBG, on the other hand, has sold a lifetime forty-million copies so far, which would be nothing to sneeze at were it not for its main competition making over one-million dollars daily. As the player base for Fortnite continues to skyrocket and PUBG’s keeps shrinking it’s not hard to see that there’s a direct correlation between the two and that the once proud champion of the genre has been utterly dwarfed by its meme-ridden counterpart.
The Seoul Central District Court will ultimately decide the future of the lawsuit and in turn the fate of both companies. The root of said lawsuit apparently stems from alleged copyright violations in regards to the user interface and some items in Battle Royale. Time will tell what will come of this lawsuit, but what do you think? Could PUBG Corp have a valid point, or are they simply throwing a corporate fit?