PUBG Vs. Fortnite: Is Epic's Free Battle Royale Mode In Legal Trouble?

Legal royale.

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Now Playing: PUBG Vs. Fortnite: A Legal Royale? - The Dive


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PlayerUnknown's Battlegrounds is the most popular game on Steam right now, so it will undoubtedly face copycats. However, when Epic Games released a Battle Royale mode for its survival shooter Fortnite, PUBG developer Bluehole responded negatively, saying it was "considering further action" against Epic--which also happens to be the company that licenses PUBG's engine.

"We've had an ongoing relationship with Epic Games throughout PUBG's development as they are the creators of UE4, the engine we licensed for the game," said Bluehole VP Chang Han Kim. "After listening to the growing feedback from our community and reviewing the gameplay for ourselves, we are concerned that Fortnite may be replicating the experience for which PUBG is known."

There are certainly some questionable things at play here, especially in regards to business ethics, but did Epic Games do something illegal? In the video above, we explore the legal side of this developer spat and talk to video game attorney Ryan Morrison. He delves into the meat of what's at play here and explains exactly what "considering further action" means. While he doesn't think it's likely that this situation will go to court, he explains how Bluehole could build a case against Epic Games.

Fortnite: Battle Royale launched for free on PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC last week and was played by one million people on launch day across all three platforms. PUBG, on the other hand, is only available on PC, though it is slated for an Xbox One release later this year. However, even when it launches on Xbox One, it may be quite a while before it comes to the PS4--a recent report says Bluehole is interested in extending its Xbox One console exclusivity.

The Dive is a show that digs deeper into current events and original stories from the world of video games. Last week's episode jumped headfirst into PewDiePie, DMCA, and the legality of Let's Plays. In addition to Morrison's help in explaining the legal side of Campo Santo removing PewDiePie's Firewatch content, we heard from professional Let's Player Ryan "Northernlion" Letourneau about "Copyright School" and the threat that the DMCA poses on YouTubers.

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