PUBG Corp, the developer of wildly popular battle royale shooter game PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds, have filed a PUBG lawsuit against a pair of Chinese mobile games that appear to be ripping off the game wholesale. While this is nothing new for China, PUBG Corp isn’t having any copycats of its game.
Chinese copycats are nothing new for the gaming industry, especially in the mobile market. You’ve likely seen more than a few of them yourself, various games that try and act like epic fantasy adventures (often using stolen assets from other, better games in their promotional material) but are often just Clash of Clans knock-offs.
The two games that are the object of the PUBG lawsuit are called Rules of Survival and Knives Out, two different battle royale games that including PUBG’s hallmarks of a shrinking gameplay area, a frying pan as a weapon, and the phrase “Winner winner chicken dinner” when a player wins a match.
PUBG Corp’s reasoning is that there are a number of qualities that allow PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds to feel a certain way, such as dropping into the map, reviving fallen teammates, a pre-match lobby to run around in, and more. However, that may not be enough for a court.
Epic Games nearly ran into this problem when it first unveiled its Fortnite Battle Royale mode, with PUBG Corp not being very amused at all at what they saw as wholesale copying of their idea. While nothing came of that (And Fortnite has become just as popular if not more so than PUBG), the Chinese games that are clear rip-offs (rather than an existing game adding in a Battle Royale mode) might not have it so easy.
Either way, we’ll have to see where the PUBG lawsuit goes before we can make any other comments about it.