Update, June 27 2018: PUBG Corp has dropped its lawsuit against Fortnite developer Epic Games.
PUBG Corp dropped the case through a letter of withdrawal sent to Epic’s attorneys on Monday. According to the website of the South Korean court system – where the case was being tried – it has been closed. PUBG Corp has offered no public explanation for the sudden decision to abandon the suit.
It’s worth noting that both PUBG Corp and Epic are part-owned by Chinese media giant Tencent, and that PUBG uses Epic’s Unreal Engine under licence.
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The news comes to us via Bloomberg, which says in its report “PUBG and its law firm confirmed the action but wouldn’t say why, nor whether a settlement had been reached. Representatives for Epic in Korea had no immediate comment.” We’ve reached out to both parties ourselves in case they feel like talking now.
PUBG Corp – an affiliate of Korean developer Bluehole – first filed suit against Epic Games Korea back in January. PUBG Corp had asked the Seoul Central District Court to determine whether Fortnite Battle Royale was infringing on PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds “to protect [Bluehole’s] copyright.”
PUBG rose to prominence over the summer of 2017, amassing a concurrent player count of more than 3.2 million at its peak. Fortnite was first released last July, but was limited to its PvE mode, Save the World. Fortnite: Battle Royale was released in September, and it was only then that the game conquered the industry.
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While Brendan ‘PlayerUnknown’ Greene acknowledged that he didn’t invent the battle royale genre, he has previously addressed the issue ofPUBG clones. In a press release issued in September last year, Chang Han Kim, vice president of Bluehole, said that the company was worried that Fortnite was copying PUBG. Kim had said Bluehole was “concerned that Fortnite may be replicating the experience for which PUBG is known.”
Kim also stated that Bluehole “had an ongoing relationship with Epic Games throughout PUBG’s development as they are the creators of UE4, the engine we licensed for the game.”