Bluehole Games Sues Fortnite Maker Epic Alleging Copyright Violation

PUBG, or PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds was the smash video game hit of 2017. The game was so popular in fact that a number of clones were almost immediately released. These clones roughly copied the game’s style where players fight ala Battle Royale. None of these clones are more popular than Epic Game’s Fortnite. In many ways, Fortnite has already surpassed PUBG culturally.

Fortnite occupies a space where people of all ages can access the game. It is offered for free on PC and many consoles. PUBG is a much more insular community made up of “hardcore” gamers. Some consider PUBG to be more violent since the game is more realistic compared to the cartoonish violence present in Fortnite. Many in the gaming community have likened Fortnite to the “kids meal” version of Battle Royale shooters. That being said, there is a healthy pro gaming interest in both titles.

The lawsuit was originally reported on by The Korea Times. They claim that a lawsuit was filed by PUBG versus Epic Games in Seoul Central District Court. The claim is a basic copyright infringement suit- essentially PUBG is stepping up to claim their trademark. This could also possibly lead to damages if Fortnite is found to have profited on PUBG’s copyright.

There has been talk in US media circles that a lawsuit would be filed- many find that the only surprise is that this suit was filed in Korea and not the United States. Fortnite and other PUBG clones likely have a serious fight on their hands- while some parts of the PUBG engine were licensed to Fornite originally that did not give them carte blanche to copy the game. Apparently, PUBG believes that Fortnite did not change the game enough from the original inspiration.

The court in Seoul has not made a ruling yet, but when that decision comes down it will likely effect lawsuits between the two companies here in the United States. Both appear to be gearing up for a fight in US court, Korea, and likely other places where they hold the PUBG copyright.

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