PUBG Corp. Sues Epic Games Over 'PlayerUnknown's Battlegrounds' And 'Fortnite' Similarities: Why Just Now?


PUBG Corp. has filed a copyright infringement lawsuit against Epic Games in its home country of South Korea, alleging that Fortnite copied certain elements of PlayerUnknown's Battlegrounds.

Fortnite, which has been winning in the video game industry and in the Battle Royale genre over PUBG, will now be taking the fight to the courts. Gamers, however, are questioning the timing and validity of PUBG Corp.'s lawsuit against Epic Games.

'PUBG' vs 'Fortnite' In Copyright Infringement Lawsuit

In April, PUBG Corp. filed a lawsuit against NetEase, the company behind two blatant PUBG Mobile clones. The developer and publisher of PlayerUnknown's Battlegrounds has now set its target for legal action on a much bigger enemy, namely Epic Games and Fortnite.

PUBG Corp. filed a copyright infringement lawsuit against Epic Games with the Seoul Central District Court. The legal action follows the Battle Royale feud that started in September 2017 between Bluehole Studio, the parent company of PUBG Corp., and Epic Games.

Fortnite initially had the Save the World mode when it launched, which tasked gamers with building and defending structures. However, in September 2017, Epic Games added a free-to-play Battle Royale mode to Fortnite, raising issues of plagiarism and copyright infringement because of is similarities with PlayerUnknown's Battlegrounds.

Will The 'PUBG' Lawsuit Against 'Fortnite' Succeed?

Amid the allegations that Fortnite copied PUBG, gamers are skeptical that PUBG Corp. will succeed in its lawsuit against Epic Games.

The timing of the lawsuit raises questions, as there was a significant delay from the launch of Fortnite's Battle Royale mode. PUBG Corp.'s legal action may have something to do with Epic Games' plans to enter the South Korean market through a partnership with Neowiz Games, as the company looks to defend its home turf. It could also be because Fortnite is now seeing massive growth and revenue, with Epic Games making $296 million in April alone.

The validity of the lawsuit is also suspect, because the allegations of copyright infringement revolve around a game mode, and not on actual video game assets. With the Battle Royale genre now opening up with many more games joining the trend, it is hard to imagine how PUBG. Corp holds any control over the game mode.

PUBG Corp. recently admitted that it has "fallen short" in addressing the long-running performance issues of PlayerUnknown's Battlegrounds. It remains to be seen whether the lawsuit against Epic Games will have any effect, but the company needs to put in extra effort if it wants PUBG to catch up to Fortnite.

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