Last month, PUBG Corp filed a lawsuit against Epic Games in which it claimed that their video game, Fortnite, replicated similar characteristics from their own video game, PlayerUnknown Battlegrounds. The news sent shock waves throughout the video gaming world, setting up an unprecedented match up of titans that would make history, and that was the case, until this morning.
Earlier today, PUBG Corp sent a letter of withdraw to Epic Games, officially dropping the lawsuit and ending the legal battle before it even began. PUBG Corp confirmed this with Bloomberg.com, but did not give a reason why, nor did they state that a settlement had been reached with Epic Games. The spark that ignited this situation began back in September 2017 when Epic Games announced that their game, Fortnite, would have a brand new mode, Battle Royale, which was free to play. PUBG Corp, which is a subsidiary of Bluehole Inc, paid attention to this news with great interest, as their own game, PlayerUnknown Battlegrounds, was at the time the definitive Battle Royale game on the market.
However, things began to change once 2018 began. Suddenly, Fortnite was outselling PlayerUnknown Battlegrounds, and because Fortnite is a free to play game, that meant all of the purchases were in-game microtransactions. In addition, the player base in PlayerUnknown Battlegrounds dropped more than 50% since the beginning of the year, and Fortnite’s player count continued to increase.
Everything came to a head when PUBG Corp filed the suit against Epic Games back in May, citing that it was a “measure to protect our copyrights.” The fact that the two companies have worked together, use the Unreal Engine for their games, which is licensed by Epic Games themselves, and are co-owned by the same company, Tencent Holdings Ltd, turned this into a very tense and awkward situation. Hopefully things have begun to cool down now that the suit has been dropped and officially closed.