PUBG Corp Is Suing The Maker Of Knives Out And Rules Of Survival
PUBG Corp. developer of PUBG, is taking one maker of what it says are clones of the game to court.
NetEase, the Chinese company behind mobile games Knives Out, and Rules of Survival is being sued by PUBG Corp. for copyright and trademark violations.
Two fairly popular mobile games, Knives Out and Rules of Survival, have caught PUBG Corp’s attention in particular though. Both of these games are from Chinese company NetEase, and the lawsuit alleges these games are too similar to PUBG, infringing on several copyright and trademark violations.
PUBG Corp has outlined a total of 25 copyrightable elements which it believes makes PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds unique. This includes 100 people parachuting in from a plane, a shrinking circle of play, a pre-match lobby where players can run around, the use of cooking utensils as melee weapons, and even the inclusion of “winner winner chicken dinner.” The copyright covers just about every gameplay and cosmetic element that makes PUBG what it is, and also what countless other battle royale games attempt to emulate.
Furthermore, PUBG Corp claims that Rules of Survival in particular offers an almost identical “rural aqueduct” structure on its map, mimics the specific use of a frying pan as both a melee weapon and a piece of armor, and copies sniper rifle cheek pads — that PUBG Corp says is proved by Google image search.
PUBG Corp has asked the court to award damages and stop NetEase from operating either game any longer.
This isn’t the first time PUBG Corp has voiced concerns over the number of games copying its formula. The game’s creator, Brendan Greene takes offence to this, insisting on stronger copyright protection.
This isn’t the first time we’ve seen PUBG Corp flex its legal muscles though, and it probably won’t be the last. Back when Fortnite: Battle Royale came out there were faint murmurings of legal action that eventually came to nothing. It all comes down to posturing, more than anything, and it would be a tragic day indeed should PUBG Corp score an unprecedented victory in court. Imagine a world where mechanics and systems in games could actually be copyrighted, such as reloading, a triple jump, or a leveling system. It’s antithetical to game development, even if preventing it does allow these copycat games to spring up.