You only have to take a glance at gaming news media today to catch wind that PUBG Corp (a subsidiary of Bluehole) has filed a lawsuit against Epic Games Korea in the Seoul Central District Court system, sighting copyright infringement. But this is old news. The lawsuit was filed in January of this year. Social media posts and articles are popping up all over today to rehash what we already know. Why?
"...the two firms signed an agreement in January to release “Fortnite”."
An article written by Jun Ji-hye published in the Biz & Tech section of The Korea Times today is the source of all the rehashed hype of the lawsuit. While the article itself mostly reiterates what we already know, she does throw us a hint as to why coverage of the lawsuit is being pushed again now.
A New Fortnite?
At the very end of her article she writes that “Epic Games is currently preparing to make a foray into the Korean market in cooperation with Neowiz Games as the two firms signed an agreement in January to release “Fortnite” in so called PC rooms here within the second quarter.” Why no one is talking about that little detail 2 months into the 2nd fiscal quarter of the year is beyond me.
Relationship with Epic Games
Instead, articles are focusing on a September 2017 press release where Bluehole VP, PUBG Corp CEO, and Playerunknown’s Battlegrounds executive producer Chang Han Kim said “We’ve had an ongoing relationship with Epic Games throughout PUBG’s development as they are the creators of UE4, the engine we licensed for that game. After listening to the growing feedback from our community and reviewing the gameplay for ourselves, we are concerned that Fortnite may be replicating the experience for which PUBG is known.”
Even in today’s legal world, where people sue each other over the some of the most unsubstantial things, someone who has made something that isn’t even the first of it’s kind suing over copyright infringement is a gross misuse of funds and a great waste of time for the courts.
Should only one battle royale game exist?
There are countless obvious similarities between Playerunknown’s Battlegrounds and Fortnite: Battle Royale, as there always are when you compare any two titles in the same genre. It’s these shared characteristics that make the titles fit within genres to begin with. Can you imagine if there could only be one title per genre?
In the end it is more likely that PUBG Corp is grasping at straws in an attempt to stall the popularity of Fortnite: Battle Royale from spreading into their home turf, and this seems like a case that should be dismissed very quickly. But things are rarely done quickly in the courts, no matter where you are in the world. I'm curious to see if this lawsuit catches any real traction.