PUBG Corp. to sue Epic Games for copying PUBG with Fortnite
There were rumors of this going on late last year and it now seems to actually be happening. PUBG Corp. has set out to sue Epic Games for cloning PUBG with their battle royale game Fortnite.
According to a representative for PUBG Corp, Epic Games is infringing on PUBG Corps’ property by creating and releasing Fortnite. According to PUBG Corp, this move is to “protect their copyrights”. Both games share similar gameplay concepts, including 1 vs 100 gameplay, looting, and a down-but-not-out revival system when playing in squads or duos.
There are certainly many similar gameplay concepts between both games, but is it fair to say that Epic Games is infringing on PUBG Corps’ copyright by working on Fortnite Battle Royale?
We don’t think so, and we’re not sure how it’ll stand up in court. The video game industry is notorious when it comes to developers copying or taking heavy inspiration from other games.
However, in the past, there has never been a lawsuit like this. Battle Royale is a unique game mode, sure, but can it be copyrighted? Can a game mode like capture the flag or search and destroy be copyrighted? These are both game modes that have been present in shooters for decades, now.
It’s not just game modes, either. There are so many examples in the gaming industry of games being heavily inspired by others. In fact, some games go as far as to base almost all of the groundwork of a game on another successful title.
Take a look at Paladins, for example, it’s a free to play hero shooter by HiRez that not only shares similar game mechanics to Blizzard’s Overwatch but even has many similar characters. Neither company has taken a legal approach on one another, and it’d be shocking to see it happen.
PUBG Has No Grounds To Sue Epic Games
As you can imagine, it’s just as shocking to see that PUBG Corp. is looking to sue Epic Games. In fact, it gets even worse. PUBG Corp. uses the Epic Games Unreal Engine to develop, code, and base their game. Getting on Epic Game’s bad side is not something you’d want to do when you’re in a situation like PUBG Corp is.
If you’re wondering why PUBG Corp. hasn’t tried to sue other games companies for using the battle royale formula before, there are two main reasons that come up.
Firstly, the only other battle royale games to see much success previously were created by PLAYERUNKNOWN, the same man behind PUBG. This includes H1Z1 and the Arma 3 Battle Royale mod.
Secondly, no battle royale game has yet to be as successful as Fortnite has. We won’t jump to conclusions, but it seems strange that this lawsuit is coming out now that PUBG Corp. are losing players to Fortnite.
And even if PUBG Corp. somehow strike a deal that goes in their favor, what are they going to do about the wave of battle royale modes expected to make their way into shooters like Call of Duty Black Ops 4 over the next few years?
Ultimately, this could end up being a big potential roadblock for PUBG Corp. We’ll have to see how things roll out as the lawsuit progresses.