Bluehole subsidiary PUBG has filed for an injunction against Epic Games' Korean arm, claiming that the latter's Fortnite Battle Royale is in breach of copyright held on PUBG's rival PlayerUnknown's Battlegrounds title - even as PUBG itself admits it has failed to address performance issues in its title.
Launched in March last year as a Steam Early Access title for Windows PCs and since launched on the Xbox One console along with the Android and iOS mobile platforms, PlayerUnknown's Battlegrounds has become one of the most popular multiplayer games around. Based on the battle royale model, the game sees up to a hundred players fight to the last standing in an ever-shrinking and otherwise unpopulated map - and it's this model, based loosely on the book, manga, and live-action film franchise Battle Royale, of which PUBG seems to be claiming ownership.
Local news outlet Korea Times reported this weekend that PUBG, a dedicated subsidiary of original developer Bluehole spun out back in October last year following the game's success, is seeking an injunction against Epic Games Korea on grounds of copyright infringement. The allegedly infringing material: Fortnite Battle Royale, a standalone title borrowing the core concepts - and, allegedly, more detailed gameplay and user interface elements - from PlayerUnknown's Battlegrounds and shoehorning them into what was originally a cooperative sandbox title dubbed Fortnite Save the World.
The suit, which if successful could see Epic Games banned from selling the game in Korea and forced to pay royalties to PUBG, comes at the same time as PUBG admits that performance improvements for the game haven't been forthcoming. 'Although we’ve made some meaningful improvements to PUBG, we’ve fallen short in other ways,' the development team admit in a note to gamers outlining planned improvements. 'Players have rightfully called us out for failing to address complaints about performance, and recently we haven’t done the best job of communicating about the changes we’re making to the game.'
Epic Games has not publicly commented on the suit, nor on the fact that PlayerUnknown's Battlegrounds is based on Epic's Unreal game engine.