PUBG Corp., the developer behind PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds, has filed a copyright violation lawsuit against Epic Games, the maker of Fortnite, in its home country of South Korea. It wants the court to decide whether Fortnite copied its battle royale basics from PUBG.
Speaking to The Korea Times on Friday, an unnamed PUBG official told the paper that it had filed an injunction for reasons of copyright infringement in the Seoul Central District Court back in January, after noticing the similarities between Fortnite’s free-to-play battle royale mode and PUBG.
The South Korean developer, a subsidiary of publisher Bluehole, had first brought up the issue in September last year, soon after the release of Fortnite Battle Royale, the spin-off to its main survival game in order to capitalise on the growing popularity of the battle royale genre.
Though PUBG is far from the first battle royale game, it helped propel the genre into mainstream recognition after its early access release on Steam in March 2017. Fortnite launched as a co-op survival game with construction elements in early access in July 2017, but after seeing PUBG’s success, Epic created a free-to-play mode in September 2017.
PUBG had a full stable release in December 2017, and was also released on the Xbox One in the same month. Versions for Android and iOS were released worldwide in March this year, while Fortnite released on iOS a month later.
Both games are massively popular; PUBG has sold over 40 million copies, and Fortnite is estimated to have over 45 million players. The latter grossed nearly $300 million across platforms in April alone through micro-transactions.
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