Sometimes it’s funny how quickly a company can go from being known for making a great product to being known for being an intellectual property bully. And if that doesn’t accurately describe the heel turn accomplished by the folks behind PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds, then I don’t know what does. To be clear, PUBG, as it’s affectionately called, was a revolutionary video game. While the game didn’t invent the concept of battle royale, it definitely ushered that genre into an era. And just like all groundbreaking genres that are suddenly successful, that means that others will start trying their hands with the genre. While many other participants have entered the battle royale game, PUBG has fought battles with many of them, especially Epic’s Fortnite title.
Now, while PUBG managed to get some settlements from other lawsuits against battle royale game developers, it’s worth noting that it ended up dropping the lawsuit against Epic. because? Good, because unlike some of its other targets, Epic has a massive legal warfare coffer to fight back. And, as tends to be the case with PUBG lawsuits, all of its complaints were about unprotectable elements of those games. Much of what these suits PUBG files are for alleged copyright infringement of what ends up being ideas, rather than a specific expression. The concept of battle royale, for example, or the way in which part of the gameplay is conducted, are not protectable expressions, but simple ideas for a game genre.
PUBG’s controversial history
PUBG was originally released in 2016 and has had a great impact on gaming culture. The mobile version of the game was just as impressive for the company. In later years Krafton also sued both Epic Games and NetEase for releasing similar games. Their allegations in these cases were largely that they were obviously inspired by battle royale gameplay. This despite not being an original concept in PUBG.
The former (Epic Games) was dropped, while the NetEase battle escalated into a series of mutual lawsuits in different jurisdictions.
Role of Sea Ltd
Sea Ltd is the parent company of Garena. Free Fire by Garena was released in August 2017, just a few months after the release of PUBG. Krafton claims that Free Fire copied the game structure, map, game items and equipment of PUBG.
They also mentioned how Free Fire also used a frying pan which is a weapon in the game. It is an indestructible item used as armor. They stated that Pan became an emblem of the game and Free Fire copied not only Pan but also indestructible nature.