PUBG Corp is suing NetEase over Battle Royale games and frying pans

Playerunknown's Battlegrounds versus Fortnite's Battle Royale

There's a new trend emerging from the Battle Royale games: the Battle Royale lawsuits! Probably not as fun and involving a lot less killing – well, I guess you can bore your rival to death with paperwork -, this has started thanks to PUBG Corporation (previously Bluehole Ginno), owner of PlayerUnknown's Battlegrounds.

While you might think that their target would be Epic Games and Fortnite Battle Royale, it's not. What made you think that anyway? PUBG Corp are in fact after Chinese giant NetEase (of Revelation Online and tons of other games), more specifically because of Battle Royale games Knives Out and Rules of Survival. The lawsuit was placed in California, since both companies also operate in the United States.

So, PUBG Corp is alleging copyright infringement and other charges over things seen in PlayerUnknown's Battlegrounds. It's over 100 pages of detailed descriptions that cover concepts that probably exist in several other games. For example, the pre-game lobby on the play map, the Air Jump, character attributes, equipment acquisition (no, really: “BATTLEGROUNDS’ unique expression of Equipment Acquisition is a copyrightable audio-visual work”), and so many other things, including the frying pan used as armor. Alright, this one sounds like it could be unique, but most of the rest seems like stuff that already exists in many other games besides PUBG.

Of course, Knives Out and Rules of Survival may look a bit too much like PUBG for comfort, unlike Fortnite Battle Royale, so this is definitely something that needs to be checked. PUBG Corp is asking for an amount of $150,000.00 per game, and that Knives Out and Rules of Survival are removed from distribution and support ceases for those games.

It's Battle Royale open season, so if like the rest of the world you're developing one of these games, make sure to add something original to them. At least, keep off the frying pans.

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