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Earlier this year, PUBG Corp. sued Epic Games for copyright infringement, saying too many aspects of Fortnite were too similar to their own battle royale game, PlayerUnknown's Battlegrounds. According to a recent report a cease fire has been issued, with Team PUBG announcing it has decided to drop its claim. While details are currently scarce, this sounds like a chicken dinner situation for Epic.
As Bloomberg is reporting, the lawsuit filed by PUBG Corp just a little while back has been dropped, though the South Korean court system where the lawsuit was filed has not offered additional information at this time. In other words, we don't know if the accusers realized they didn't have a solid argument for their case, or a settlement could have even been reached between the parties. We figure they're hammering out all of the final legal details at the moment and hope to have an update soon.
For now, though, this certainly sounds like a win for Epic Games and Fortnite. The copyright infringement case already had a lot of moving parts, further complicated by the relationship the two companies share on a couple different fronts. Don't worry, we're going to break that down for you.
First off, yes, we hear you loud and clear that it's a bit odd for the makers of PUBG to sue anyone over copyright infringement, especially considering how the game was developed and the fact that it was not even the first battle royale game. That would have been akin to a Call of Duty lawsuit against Battlefield due to it being a first-person shooter, pretending games like the original Wolfenstein and Doom didn't exist before either of them.
But the added wrinkle in all of this is that the original developers of PUBG were licensing the Unreal game engine from Epic and, as of now, both teams are at least partially owned by the same company, Tencent Holding Ltd. So, yeah, it's clear this isn't a super cut and dry situation.
To be clear, the PUBG team also sued a couple other battle royale games with similar claims, including Knives Out and Rules of Survival. No word on the status of those lawsuits, but both of those games seem to cut much more closely to the PUBG bone than Fortnite, which looks totally different, boasts plenty of its own systems and even has a building mechanic that no other battle royale game offers.
Given the fact that Fortnite has only grown in popularity as PUBG's momentum has started moving in the opposite direction, it's understandable that many would learn of this lawsuit and think it was just sour grapes coming from the former king of the hill. But it's actually really important for game developers to protect their original content and, yes, sometimes those measures seem a little extreme. Remember when Bethesda sued over a game called "Scrolls" because they thought the name was too similar to "Elder Scrolls?" It just comes with the territory of game development.