It took nearly five months of unparalleled growth for the Korean game developer to file a lawsuit against Epic Games over their hit Battle Royale title Fortnite.
In their filed case, the developer of PLAYERUNKNOWN’S BATTLEGROUNDS is asking a court to decide whether Epic Games violated their copyright and copied parts of their game with Fortnite.
Even though the lawsuit by PUBG Corp was filed back in January, the announcement came just days after Epic Games proclaimed they will be investing $100 million in Fortnite esports tournaments.
Bluehole’s PUBG first made waves back in March last year as it took the world by storm. Since then, the game has sold over 40 million copies and became the most actively played game on Steam. Earlier in December, the developers branched out and released a console version of the game, as well as several spinoffs for the mobile devices.
Fortnite, made by the U.S. based developer Epic Games, which was first released in July last year, only had a PvE game mode called “Save the World” at first, and only added a free-to-play Battle Royale mode a few months later. The fact that Epic’s new game shared similarities with PUBG attracted the attention of many fans as well as Bluehole themselves, who were considering their options for a lawsuit since September last year.
Fortnite flaunts a significant active player base of 45 million players and more than three million concurrent users during peak hours, conversely, PUBG’s player count has halved since January.
The two companies had a common link even before Fortnite was ever released, as PLAYERUNKNOWN’S BATTLEGROUNDS was made on the Unreal Engine — the free and open-access engine made and owned by Epic Games.
Interestingly enough, multinational conglomerate giant Tencent holds a significant ownership stake in both Bluehole (parent company of PUBG Corp) and Epic Games, as well as the publishing rights for both games in China — world’s single largest gaming market.
European, South American, and Japanese teams join the list of attendance for PUBG’s $2 million tournament later this month in Berlin.
Twenty of the best teams from the online portion of the qualifier are gathered in Leicester, UK, to decide who will be moving onwards to the $2 million tournament.
Could the medieval battle royale have what it takes to compete with PUBG and Fortnite for its place under the esports sun?