The creators of PubG are finally following through with their threats of suing Epic Games for copyright infringement.
Since the release of Fortnite in July 2017, the game has been compared to another battle royal game Playerunknown’s Battleground aka PubG, which was released just a few months before in March 2017. Both games feature similar mechanics such as the 100 player scope, an always shrinking safe zone, and parachuting into the game. While players feel there are similarities, they say the details in the game are what set them apart.
Playunknown’s Battleground, or PubG for short, has been indoctrinated in realism, set on an abandoned island, it looks rough and all weapons and vehicles are based on their real-life counterparts.
Fortnite is on the other side of the spectrum featuring a very cartoony style of art in the character and maps and features bright colors and a whimsical feel. Vehicles are shopping carts and outfits for players are comical. Fornite also features a building aspect to the game that PubG does not.
So why is PubG is suing Fornite?
PubG Corp claims that Fornite Battle Royal violates their copyright and they’ve “filed to protect it“. While the official court reports have yet to be released we know that a big part of the problem is that Epic Games provides the engine for PubG.
A spokesperson for Bluehole, PubG Corp’s Parent Company, said “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.” He also stated “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.”
The spokesperson went on to say “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 a misunderstanding in the community that we’re officially involved in the project.”
Whether PubG’s feelings of entitlement over the copyright of the engine will be for a judge and jury to decide.
Something To Consider
There are various outcomes to this case and one of the more negative outcomes could affect the entire gaming industry. Setting the legal precedent that companies can now own copyrights of game mechanics is a terrifying thought. As a game enthusiast myself the idea that a company can cancel out anyone else’s ability to not make a game that has similar mechanics is mind-numbing. I don’t think this is a line we should be messing with and I will be very interested to see how this case turns out. Epic Games has not released a statement yet.