Korea-based PUBG Corp, a subsidiary of Bluehole, has filed a lawsuit against Fortnite developer Epic Games for copyright violation, claiming that Epic’s Fortnite has copied PUBG Corp’s PlayerUnknown’s Battleground, reports The Korea Times.
According to the website, a spokesperson from PUBG Corp has stated that the firm registered an injunction with the Seoul Central District Court against Epic Games Korea, alleging copyright infringement.
“We filed the suit to protect our copyright in January,” said the representative.
Fortnite was first launched in July last year where it initially only had the “Save the World” mode. However, in September, Epic Games added a free-to-play “Battle Royale” mode to the game that, according to PUBG Corp, “may be replicating the experience for which PUBG is known”. It has also been accused of copying PUBG items and UI.
Incidentally, Epic Games happened to be a business partner of Bluehole during the development of PlayerUnknown’s Battleground.
In September, Bluehole VP and executive producer Chang Han Kim said, “We’ve had an ongoing relationship with Epic Games throughout PUBG’s development as they are the creators of UE4, the engine we licensed for the game”. He further added that Epic Games had referenced PUBG in communications with the press and in the promotion of their game. “This was never discussed with us and we don’t feel that it’s right.. […] ..PUBG community has and continues to provide evidence of the many similarities as we contemplate further action”, he said.
PlayerUnknown’s Battleground has proved to be a huge success with more than 40 million units sold on Steam as of April. But the concurrent players count has decreased dramatically over the past few months, with a decrease of more than 50% since January. Although, it still is the most-played game on Steam currently by player count.
Whereas Epic Games’ Fortnite has also gathered tremendous sales amount surpassing PUBG in monthly revenue with over $126 million in sales (as of February). Since Fortnite is a free-to-play game, all of the money it’s been making is due to its concurrent in-game purchases.
Coming to the point, it is still not clear when the court proceedings will begin, but we’ll update more on the story whenever we hear more details.