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PUBG corp sues two smartphone game developers over copyright infringements

Published: 20:47, 06 April 2018
A pan with a logo of Playerunknown's Battlegrounds on it
PUBG: The Pan of Frying

Well, it was bound to happen sooner or later - PUBG is suing Chinese game publisher NetEase over what they see as PUBG copyright and trademark violations by their two mobile games Rules of Survival and Knives out. They took their pans!

The suit in the US District Court of Northern California, with PUBG Corp claiming as much as 25 copyright and trademark infringements by NetEase's games.

While some arguments seem to indeed hold water, others make us wonder how big does Brendan Greene's yacht have to be. Namely, PUBG's suit goes as far as mentioning the frying pans, citing one of the infringements to be "the use of cookware as a weapon or armor in a shooter game". Seriously PUBG, cookware?

PUBG Corp Comparison of mobile games PUBG and Rules of Survival PUBG

In PUBG's defence, other elements such as the shrinking circle, 100 players dropping from the sky and the in-game island are very much PUBG's invention. Moreover, much of the architecture in both Rules of Survival and Knives Out seems to not only resemble PUBG - it's bordering on carbon copies.

The games have apparently been referring to "Winner Winner Chicken Dinner" in their promotional campaigns, which naturally didn't bode well with PUBG and it's Chinese big brother Tencent.

PUBG Corp Comparison of two mobile games, PUBG and Rules of Survival Rules of Survival next to PUBG

Furthermore, one ad campaign for Rules of Survival even went as far as using PUBG's two seated buggy to advertise the game, even though it isn't actually in it. According to the lawsuit, PUBG Corp is seeking damages and for NetEase to shut down both Rules of Survival and Knives Out.

Of course, first thing that came to everyone's mind is why didn't PUBG sue Fortnite: Battle Royale. However, Epic is too big of a fish to fry. In fact, the last time Brendan Greene and Co thought about suing them was probably their only window of opportunity - Fortnite: Battle Royale is so popular that a lawsuit would bring too much flak.

Ultimately though, it'll probably take quite a few court appearances to handle NetEase, let alone go for Fortnite, which seriously differentiated itself in the meantime.

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