‘PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds’ developer is suing Epic Games over ‘Fortnite’

Following the huge success of PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds in 2017, Epic Games managed to cash in on the battle royale craze with its own game, Fortnite, which was updated with its own free-to-play multiplayer mode. The mode has made Fortnite the biggest game in the world, but the PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds studio has now filed a lawsuit against its developer, claiming copyright infringement.

According to The Korea Times, PUBG Corp. filed an injunction against Epic Games Korea with the Seoul Central District Court back in January. It’s not stated which particular elements of Fortnite the company takes issue with, but the basic structures of the two games — and most battle royale games — is the same. 100 players are dropped onto a large piece of land, and the playable area is continuously shrunk, killing those who stay outside. As players fight each other, one is left standing and declared the victor.

This type of game certainly gained a large boost in popularity with the success of PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds, but the game didn’t originate the ideas. Similar games such as The Culling have been released in the past, and “PlayerUnknown” developer Brendan Greene built the basic framework for his game through mods in Arma 3 and DayZ. This hasn’t stopped PUBG Corp. from filing other suits against battle royale developers, including Chinese mobile company NetEase. A lawsuit, filed in Northern California’s U.S. District Court, mentions the similar structure between Battlegrounds and NetEase’s own games, as well as “the use of cookware as a weapon or armor.”

Fortnite and games like Gears of War have been massive successes for Epic Games, but the company is also known for creating the Unreal game engine. This happens to be the engine PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds uses on PC, Xbox, and mobile platforms. Fortnite has managed to pull in significantly more cash through microtransactions than PUBG Mobile, and this might not just be limited to the former game’s popularity — Fortnite on iOS is cross-platform compatible with PC, Mac, and consoles, while PUBG Mobile can only be played with other mobile players. The game’s player-base has also dropped on PC, however, with about half of the players it had at the beginning of 2018.