The companies behind the two biggest battle royale video games are about to see who’s the last man standing in court.
PUBG Corp., developer of “PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds” and subsidiary of Bluehole Inc., is suing the Korean unit of “Fortnite” developer Epic Games, Bloomberg reports. In a lawsuit filed in South Korea, PUBG accuses Epic of copyright infringement.
“This is a measure to protect our copyrights,” PUBG Corp. told Bloomberg.
“PUBG,” which launched in March 2017, is a competitive online game where 100 players are dropped onto a map and forced to scavenge weapons and equipment while fighting each other. The last person standing wins the match. Epic Games launched a battle royale mode for its co-op sandbox shooter “Fortnite” about six months later. It has a similar concept, but adds a building mechanic to the mix. After it launched, “PUBG” publisher Bluehole said it was contemplating “further action” against Epic for “replicating the experience for which ‘PUBG’ is known.”
While “PUBG” popularized the current battle royale genre first, it now finds itself in “Fortnite’s” considerably larger shadow. “PUBG” has reportedly sold over 30 million copies since launch, but its player base on PC is dropping, according to IGN. Meanwhile, “Fortnite” is currently the largest free-to-play console game of all time, and it’s dominating PC and mobile as well. It made five times “PUBG Mobile’s” first week revenue on iOS, according to market intelligence firm Sensor Tower. It’s also currently the most-watched game on Twitch and YouTube.
This is not the first time PUBG Corp. has sued over copyright infringement. It filed a suit back in April against mobile developer NetEase, claiming two of its titles — “Rules of Survival” and “Knives Out” — copied ‘PUBG’s’ gameplay.
This new suit is unusual because both companies are partly owned by technology giant Tencent. “PUBG” is also built on Unreal Engine technology, which is owned by Epic Games.
Neither Epic Games nor PUBG Corp. have responded to Variety‘s request for comment.