When a game becomes an instant megahit, there will inevitably be cheap clones trying to cash in on its profit margins because those are, like, the rules. And so, with the recent launch of PUBG on mobile, so also are the launches of games almost exactly like it, and now it’s up to the courts to decide who goes home with the chicken dinner.
According to TorrentFreak, PUBG Corp has filed a lawsuit against Chinese mobile publisher NetEase, citing copyright infringement, unfair competition, and trade dress infringement over two of its games, Rules of Survival and Knives Out. The 155-page complaint alleges that both games copy fundamental aspects of PUBG – including the use of frying pans, the “winner, winner, chicken dinner” phrase, and a lot of maybe not totally coincidental similarities between design and game mechanics – and feature marketing that’s deliberately intended to mislead consumers.
While frying pans have been in games for some time already, it’s harder to argue that the other things aren’t, awkwardly, more or less the same. Like PUBG isn’t, awkwardly, more or less the same as H1Z1. But this isn’t about that, and besides, H1Z1 was kind of like DayZ, anyway, and nothing is even original anymore.
PUBG Corp wants $150,000 damages paid per game, and both games removed from sale permanently, explaining that “PUBG has suffered irreparable harm as a result of Defendants’ infringing activities and will continue to suffer irreparable harm in the future unless Defendants are enjoined from their infringing conduct”.