Legal battle royale: PlayerUnknown's Battlegrounds maker sues Fortnite maker

Originally published at:


I’m having a lot of trouble understanding the basis of this suit. I’ve heard many times you can’t copyright games, so unless Fortnite is using PUBG’s art assets, I don’t get what this is about.

Then again, in a world where the heirs of Marvin Gaye can sue someone for having a Marvin-Gaye-like vibe in their song, who knows. Might as well just surrender all intellectual property to Disney and be done with it.


As I said elsewhere: Always a great idea to be suing the people you’re licensing your game engine from.


Yeah, I don’t understand what they plan on gaining from this.

There are couple wrinkles in this: Player Unknown worked on Arma, made a mod for it which turned into H1Z1. He then used that knowledge and made PUBG. The other wrinkle - both PUBG and Fortnite use the same game engine, I believe Unreal, which is owned by Epic, who made Fortnite.

It’s going to be interesting.

1 Like

As someone who follows the kind of people who bang on about this kinda thing; it’s all sour grapes as far as I can tell. PUBG didn’t invent the Battle Royale genre and a lot of their art assets were bought on the Unreal Asset Store. Not that the last point should matter, considering that art-wise Fortnite is completely distinct.

I didn’t know they were going after Unreal now; they’ve been threatening various Battle Royale games as of late.

1 Like

As I understood it, PUBG was claiming that Fortnite copied their interface and the graphics for the in-game HUD. But it sounds like they were just using common assets, so I think it’s more simply punishing them for stealing their user base.

1 Like

They’re upset that Fortnite added battle royale gameplay which has become far more popular than their own, eating into their business. It’s a bullshit lawsuit.

Yeah, the lawsuit is supposedly over UI and “game items”, but PUBG started complaining immediately after Fortnite added “battle royale” multiplayer, just like them (even though they didn’t exactly invent the idea and even openly point to the movie Battle Royale as the inspiration for the game). They’re really pissed now that Fortnite has become the hot game with the kids and PUBG not so much. I assume the UI/game item focus is because the gameplay similarities would (and should) be impossible to use as the basis for a lawsuit. Although it seems to me that trying to make a case over UI would be just as bad.

1 Like

I think to make a case over UI you’d really have to be saying they were identical rather than just similar. Since Fortnite has a construction mechanic and PUBG doesn’t, I don’t see how identical they could be.


So they’re hitting Fortnite with a frying pan?

1 Like

The allegation that I heard months ago was something like this:
PUBG licensed the Unreal Engine and paid for development support, part of this is that engineers at Epic Games will review the games source code under NDA and point out ways you could better use the engine. Like get better performance or add some cool effect. The core of the allegation is that Epic either used some of the PUBG code to create their game mode, or that they withheld the contracted support to prevent PUBG from becoming as good as it could have been.

Given that poor performance has long been a problem in PUBG but not in Fortnight to a lay person that last part could certainly sound reasonable, but without seeing the actual support offered it can be hard to tell.

1 Like

Hell, given how many games out there have not just very similar but identical UIs (to the point where some genres of games basically have been defined by having the same UI), the only way I can see this being beyond the pale is if they were literally using the same, stolen, graphics assets for the UI, which isn’t exactly going to happen with a game made by a major publisher (especially since the UI was already in place before the “battle royale” mode was added). Also, with PUBG using very generic store-bought assets and weapons modeled on real guns and Fortnite very much not doing that, it’s not a great approach. PUBG’s extreme genericness would make it pretty hard to defend against someone actually trying to directly rip it off; this is just delusional.

Weirdly, that doesn’t seem to have anything to do with the lawsuit, though. They might have a case with that, but it’s a copyright lawsuit, and according to some reporting, it’s about UI and game item similarities, which is absurd on the face of it. Public statements by Bluehole have objected to gameplay similarities (which doesn’t seem to have any role in the lawsuit itself), and also supposedly Epic referencing PUBG to advertise either the Unreal engine or Fortnite (it’s unclear which they’re referring to, or what the context was). I don’t see how that would be part of a copyright lawsuit either, though - that would be a trademark issue. So the copyright lawsuit seems unrelated to any of the actual beefs they have with Fortnite/Epic.

This topic was automatically closed after 5 days. New replies are no longer allowed.