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This article was published on May 29, 2018

PUBG and Fortnite set to battle (royale) over alleged copyright infringement

PUBG and Fortnite set to battle (royale) over alleged copyright infringement
Rachel Kaser
Story by

Rachel Kaser

Internet Culture Writer

Rachel is a writer and former game critic from Central Texas. She enjoys gaming, writing mystery stories, streaming on Twitch, and horseback Rachel is a writer and former game critic from Central Texas. She enjoys gaming, writing mystery stories, streaming on Twitch, and horseback riding. Check her Twitter for curmudgeonly criticisms.

Well this is awkward. The two battle royale games who have owned the world for the past year — PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds and Fortnite — have long existed in peace (if not exactly harmony). Now, with no greater prey to tackle, one’s apparently turned on the other: PUBG Corp is suing Fortnite developer Epic Games in South Korea.

The details: According to Korea Times, PUBG Corp filed the suit for copyright infringement earlier this year. It remains to be seen how the case itself will unfold — how does one allege copying of a game mode?

Sure, both games have a “battle royale” mode in which 100 players duke it out to the last man standing. But Fortnite also has a construction mechanic which PUBG lacks, not to mention completely different art and visual flair.

The dirty laundry: This isn’t the first time PUBG Corp has taken another game to court over similarities between its game and apparent copycats. The company sued Netease, which published two battle royale mobile games very similar to PUBG, earlier this year for copyright infringement.

That said, evidence suggests the main source of conflict between the two game-makers isn’t the actual battle royale mode itself. An executive producer with Bluehole told VG247 last year the company was concerned Epic Games — which owns Unreal Engine 4, the engine both games run on — would withhold engine upgrades to benefit its game.