Back in September, Bluehole Studios issued a statement about Fortnite: Battle Royale, saying there was “community concern” about the title and its similarities to its own PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds. Bluehole also took issue with Epic saying its dev team “love Battle Royale games like PUBG” and called out Epic for being the creators of Unreal Engine 4 — which PUBG also uses — as another concern.
While the language in Bluehole’s statement sounded harsh and a little petulant, it seemed that whatever animosity there might have been between the two companies had passed, especially after PlayerUnkown himself, Brendan Greene, said some complimentary things about Fortnite.
Well, scratch all that.
The PUBG Corporation, the Bluehole subsidiary that manages PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds, has filed a lawsuit against Epic Games. According to The Korea Times, the suit was filed in January — two months before Greene’s statements — alleging copyright infringement. There’s no word yet on exactly what kind of damages PUBG/Bluehole are seeking, or when the case will be tried in court, if it gets to that stage.
It’s not the first time PUBG has sued to protect its copyrights, as it did against a pair of mobile battle royale games published by Netease in April. While courts can be fickle, this case will probably play out differently, not only with how different PUBG and FNBR are, but also with how the case will go down in the court of public opinion, given Fortnite’s phenomenal popularity.