Epic Games, the makers of the hugely popular Battle Royale game Fortnite have been indicted in South Korea for plagiarism by the maker of PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds, PUBG Coroporation. The latter says in a statement that it is a measure to protect their copyrights. According to an employee of the parent company of the PUBG Corporation, they initially worked with Epic Games on Battlegrounds. This is because Epic also makes the Unreal Engine, the technical framework that both games run on.
The latter fact could be important, because that would have given Epic Games a head start on copying the idea. That they have done that is beyond dispute: the games industry is notorious for ‘borrowing’ successful concepts, but normally a developer can do little about it as long as only the spirit of the game is taken over and there is no directly Plagiarism is committed on the models and names used in games. Each game builds on all previous games that exist and has been around for almost 70 years. If all aspects of a game could be protected no one would be able to make anything because of the patent for ‘character moves to the left when the player sends to the left’ or ‘gun shoots bullet when the button is pressed’ or even ‘the last player that remains wins’ already assigned.
Everyone has stolen everything
Both games do the same thing: you are dropped on an island with 100 people and there are weapons and equipment. Make each other’s side and the last one that has won has won. Does that sound familiar? Certainly know, because PUBG Corporation did not make up the idea either, but picked it up from smaller games with the same kind of design, which picked up the idea of the movie Battle Royale again. If someone should file a lawsuit, they are the scriptwriters of that movie, but that is not how it works. It must be said that Fortnite at least added an original idea to the format because you can build barriers and even half buildings next to shooting.
Then the question remains which base PUBG Corp. to sue that lawsuit. Indeed, it seems that they can not tolerate that the first spectacular success of the game is now eclipsed by Epic with Fortnite. PUBG was a success, but Fortnite is a phenomenon. This is partly because the game is completely free to play and you have to pay for Battlegrounds, so the number of Fortnite players has grown much faster. The less serious, cartoon-like style of Fortnite also helps, because it seems less violent to the mostly younger players who are fans and to finish it Fortnite is now available on almost every platform in the world .
The lawsuit is only filed in South Korea, so perhaps that there is a hitch in the rules that has this chance of success, but for now, it seems a weird action that can only have negative consequences for PUBG corporation.