Playerunknown’s Battlegrounds creators sue mobile games for copyright infringement and frying pan use

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The makers of Playerunknown’s Battlegrounds are suing a mobile game developer for copyright infringement, targeting two games with a plane load of similarities. Rules of Survival and Knives Out were both released in November last year by Chinese developer NetEase and contain features that the Plunkbatters claim “constitute copyrightable subject matter”. PUBG Corp list several of these features in their lawsuit, including the shrinking play area, a frying pan, and the playground phrase “winner winner, chicken dinner”.

The lawsuit, as spotted by Ars Technica, contains a long and detailed rundown of all the elements that make up Playerunknown’s Battlegrounds. But it includes the air jump, parachuting into the play area, the map of Erangel, reviving fallen team mates, the “boost” meter, and players’ ability to run around like an eejit in the pre-game lobby, among other features. According to the lawsuit, filed in the Northern District of California, “The total look and feel of Battlegrounds constitutes copyrightable subject matter.”

Among the claims of copying, the most notable is PUBG’s assertion that their frying pan has been nicked.

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“One very beloved aspect of creative expression in Battlegrounds is the game’s iconic frying pan,” reads the claim. “Previous shooter games did not include the use of a frying pan… the imaginative treatment of a frying pan as a melee weapon is made even more remarkable by its further treatment as armor against shots to the butt of a character.”

Always good to see the word “butt” used in a legal document. Rules of Survival includes a frying pan and a crowbar as melee weapons, as pictured. But it also includes a rubber chicken as a melee weapon, the lawsuit notes, to which PUBG Corp argues: “[Their] decision to include a rubber chicken as a melee weapon in ROS was made for the sole purpose of evoking the iconic ‘Winner Winner Chicken Dinner’ emblem of Battlegrounds.”

And on the subject of poultry-based foods, that phrase itself is also used in the defendant’s mobile game. When you win a game of the 120-person Rules of Survival on mobile, you are awarded the phrase “Winner winner, chicken dinner”. There are also allusions to it in NetEase’s advertisements for both Rules of Survival and Knives Out.

“The juxtaposition of this lighthearted expression of victory with the survival narrative of the game adds elements of surprise and humor to the work, and the artistic inclusion of this emphatic expression has become particularly beloved by the gaming community… it has become nearly synonymous with Battlegrounds to players.”

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Among the other things they claim Rules of Survival copies are the locations. A rural aqueduct, a farm with haystacks, a dockyard with shipping containers, and a shooting range are all used as examples of Plunkbat locales that have been reproduced in the mobile game. The lawsuit also points out similarities in the layout of buildings around the map, and argues that the same types of weapons and equipment are used, for instance Thompson guns, the ghillie suit, and different armours that range from “level 1” to “level 3” protection.

PUBG Corp also says that Rules of Survival has copied their energy drink. Which, um.

copied

Putting aside the fact they don’t even use this energy drink anymore this image demonstrates the lengths PUBG Corp are willing to go to assert their claims. They have previously growled at Fortnite developer Epic Games for starting a popular battle royale mode. But now it seems they’re willing to take real legal action against a more straightforward target.

The list of comparisons goes on. Rules of Survival also has “bombardment zones” and a shrinking area of play, and the lawsuit document demonstrates this with images of how each game’s map looks when these areas are highlighted. All these comparisons run alongside features that are perhaps less convincingly original. The full list of features that PUBG Corp claims to contribute to the copyrightable “look and feel” of their battle royale game includes things like clothing, armour, character movement, “sounds and noise”, and reviving your fallen team mates. These are all “copyrightable in combination with other elements of Battlegrounds,” according to the suit.

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Many of the same complaints are repeated for the other NetEase game, Knives Out, which follows the same battle royale formula.

PUBG Corp has tried to get the developers of these games to stop selling in January this year, they say, by directly getting in touch with them and sending legal warnings. They “sought removal of Rules of Survival and Knives Out from the Apple App Store” and made a complaint to Apple but the accused developer simply said they were doing nothing wrong.

“A representative of NetEase Games responded to Apple and PUBG Corporation, denying that Rules of Survival and Knives Out infringe PUBG Corporation’s rights. The parties exchanged emails but made no progress toward resolving the dispute.”

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The selling of these two mobile games has been particularly bad for Playerunknown’s Battlegrounds, say the lawyers, because the developer had been planning to release their own mobile version. PUBG Mobile has since been released but its creators are arguing that the presence of NetEase’s games on the App Store created confusion among players, essentially tricking unaware phone users into buying what they thought was an official PUBG port.

“This act was intended to injure PUBG and has injured PUBG by unfairly using PUBG’s own development efforts and consumer goodwill to capture mobile gaming market share before PUBG launched its own mobile version of Battlegrounds.”

As a result of the failed takedown notices, they’re now suing outright, asking for damages and requesting that the court orders NetEase to remove both games from any store and “cease developing and supporting these games”. PUBG Corp are requesting a trial by jury.

Meanwhile, the world of legal documents within the game industry continues to be a strange place. Here, for example, the lawyers keep linking to parody skits like this one to prove their point that the aforementioned mechanics and features are inseparable from PUBG and have become so widely known as “theirs” that another developer mimicking them constitutes a breach of copyright. There’s also a meme provided.

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Anyway, there’s the deal. Another case of cloners gonna clone, and a large corporate entity puffing its chest out and overstating its ownership of various game mechanics. The assertion that a playground phrase has become so synonymous with their game that it warrants copyright protection seems particularly cheeky. But I’m not a lawyer. I’ve never even won a chicken dinner, on-brand or off.

93 Comments

  1. Dewal says:

    If they win the lawsuit with the “shrinking area” and “parachute dropping” arguments in it, doesn’t it mean that they could go after Fortnite too ?

    • JillCrungus says:

      Going up against the people who made the engine your game runs on is generally a terrible idea.

      • Creeping Death says:

        Except that using another company’s tech should hold absolutely no weight in an argument like this at all. Especially when the company makes that tech freely available to all.

        • kattmat says:

          Makes that tech freely to everyone is just why PUBG should sue Fortnite. EPIC Games behind Unreal Engine 4 even takes a fee out of sales of PUBG. Even now that Epic made fortnite br f2p, they make huge amounts of money from small kids buying thousands of V-Bucks from their mom’s credit card. In-game purchases for f2p games is so disgusting in general.

    • ResonanceCascade says:

      They claimed they were contemplating “further action” against Fortnite, at which point I reckon Tim Sweeney had them dissolved in acid and replaced with real-time rendered CGI models created exclusively with Unreal Engine 4™.

    • Lasogna says:

      more like valve should go after pubg because they copied tf2’s frying pan

    • Arcticcz says:

      PUBG is actually Ripoff of another game anyway … it just got good marketing so many newcomers to battle royal think it is the original stuff which was part of H1Z1 as a “mod” of sort.

      link to h1z1.com
      This tells original story :)

      • nikkelode says:

        h1z1 arma 2 mods and pubg all made by the same guy :)

      • kattmat says:

        Take a hard time googling facts before you post next time and it’ll be right.

      • Arcticcz says:

        So what if it’s same creator?
        It’s about who owns right to the game, learn something about laws and ownership before you go posting s**t :)

        If guy working for company A goes to company B, he can’t use same stuff unless company A allows him to. Example, DotA 2 and it’s lawsuits :)

        • zv_odd says:

          So the story of the creator of PUBG is pretty interesting, he originally made a Battle Royal mod for one of the ARMA games (2?). The H1Z1 devs liked it and asked him to come on board and take the lead creating a Battle Royal mode for their game, whilst acknowledging that it was his concept. Then Blue Hole did pretty much the same thing but getting him to take the lead on the full game known as PUBG.

    • Log Boi says:

      Well if PUBG Corp. is trying to sue NetEase for the “iconic” pan argument then cant NetEase sue PUBG Corp. for using almost the same hud from ROS in Pubg Mobile???

    • fish99 says:

      Honestly I wouldn’t be surprised if they still did go after Fortnite. They’re probably waiting until it’s made a (even more) huge amount of money.

    • Bronxlldo says:

      I can understand some of the suits but to use the frying pan is dumb, i can name so manh games that used the frying pan as first person shooter games, left for dead 2, postal and o god so much more. Pubg big fan but give it a rest on the pan thing.

  2. MrLoque says:

    The “iconic” frying pan argument seems a bit weak.

  3. Yega says:

    I’m sorry but Left 4 Dead 2 had the Frying Pan (or Skillet) as a weapon way before PUBG. They have a point about “Winner Winner, Chicken Dinner” but things like a shrinkable area and parachuting in…I mean, have they played ANY games in the past before they made PUBG? These are not original ideas.

    • Taintslapper says:

      I think the grandfather of all first person shooters to utilize kitchen utensils as weaponry was a god-awful game from the 90’s called “PO’ed”.

      link to en.m.wikipedia.org

      • MajorLag says:

        PO’ed actually has a really interesting history and even though it may seem like it was ripping off Doom, the engine was actually fully 3D, which was very impressive at the time.

    • sosolidshoe says:

      It doesn’t even matter if they’re original ideas, you can’t copyright bloody game mechanics. Unless these mobile devs have been literally ripping code and art assets from Plunkbat(curse you, RPS) this whole case is pretty much entirely without merit.

      Claiming to own the idea of using a f***ing frying pan to hit people with – and folk wonder why loads of people don’t take copyright law seriously?

      • Sirius1 says:

        ^
        |_ This. None of the things the Plunkbat devs are talking about are infringing unless they are direct copies of Plunkbat property. They are trying to make a trademark argument via copyright, and it simply won’t fly.

        It doesn’t matter how similar another game looks to your game, you cannot sue them for that, unless they are clearly attempting to make themselves be confused by customers AS BEING your game. And that is a trademark issue, not copyright. I have severe doubts that anyone would be confusing these mobile games with plunkbat. As for them wanting to release a mobile game of their own, sorry, but it’s too bad. Someone beat you to it. Suck it up and compete with them, rather than trying to litigate them away.

    • Nelyeth says:

      To me, the problem isn’t that none of these ideas are original by themselves (and I agree, they aren’t). It’s that ALL of them are in Plunkbat, and ALL of them are in these mobile games. Each one of those claim, individually, is ridiculous. But they are taking every single feature of their game, and showing they have all been copied without so much as a change.

      • Sandepande says:

        Say hello to every fps ever.

      • sosolidshoe says:

        Congratulations, you’ve just outlawed the entire process by which every genre of game and all the games within them that we presently enjoy were created. Including Plunkbat’s genre, and Plunkbat itself.

        This is a textbook case of selfish arses who’ve made it to the top turning around and trying to haul the ladder they used up behind them so nobody else can climb it. I sincerely hope they end up bankrupting themselves with legal fees.

  4. Premium User Badge

    Harlander says:

    Complaining about infringement on their energy drink design seems a bit cheeky.

    “You ripped off our ripoff of something!”

    • Chaz says:

      Yeah, pretty much what I was thinking too. If anything Red Bull should be suing them for copyright infringement as their “Hot Bull” can is a very obvious copy of the “iconic” Red Bull artwork and brand name.

      As for the “iconic” frying pan, don’t get me started. Does their game not also have “iconic” looking guns in it that also have featured previously in other games before it? And has been stated above, it’s not the first game to use a frying pan as a weapon anyway.

      Lawsuits like this just make them look desperate. They should just concentrate on being the better game and trend setter, and then they wouldn’t have to worry about the cheap knock off clones.

  5. Premium User Badge

    johannsebastianbach says:

    The only thing I can see being a legit complaint is the “chicken dinner” phrase, but everything else?
    All the BR mechanics were there in other games before Plunkbat. It’s not their intellectual property to defend. Frying pan was used in L4D2 and TF2, the rubber chicken is an old Monkey Island running gag and has nothing to do with Plunkbat etc.
    I don’t know what to think about the presence of containers in a port – doesn’t strike me as a thing Plunkbat invented, I kinda saw these in real life ports as well. And the energy drink argument has to be a joke, right? Blatantly stealing a product design and accusing others of stealing that same design is definitely weird.

    I also don’t get why they bother in the first place – I’m sure their generous income doesn’t take a significant hit caused by a mobile game I’ve never heard of before.

    • Someoldguy says:

      They may have been the first to use the chicken dinner phrase in the computer game medium, but it’s not original or theirs to assert rights to, any more than being the first game to quote a line of Shakespeare would give them rights over it.

      I can only assume that, legally, listing dozens of things that they don’t have exclusive rights to and saying “and look, they’re also in those games too” has some merit. These sorts of branding arguments do get upheld elsewhere, e.g. Coca Cola preventing other companies using anything too similar to their iconic design on their cola bottles.

      • beleester says:

        The fact that they’re the first to use it in a battle royale game matters a lot. Copyright applies to a particular context, not every use of that word everywhere. For instance, “Nike” is the name of the Greek goddess of victory, but if you put the word “Nike” on your shoes, then you’re clearly referencing the shoemaker, not the ancient Greeks, and they’ll sue you for that.

        (This is different from patent law, where you do have to be the first person to invent something. Copyright, by contrast, is about protecting your company’s brand.)

        Someone putting “Winner Winner Chicken Dinner” in a battle royale game is clearly trying to play off of PUBG’s use of the term, and they deserve to get sued for that.

        I don’t think that the rubber chicken is also referencing the same thing, you could plausibly argue that they just thought it would be a funny weapon to add, but copying the phrase itself is pretty hard to justify.

        • Kolbex says:

          Someone putting “Winner Winner Chicken Dinner” in a battle royale game is clearly trying to play off of PUBG’s use of the term

          Yes.

          and they deserve to get sued for that.

          No.

          • LessThanNothing says:

            Agreed.

            That’s as dumb as a game having “You Won!” and sue any other company that has that.

        • mitrovarr says:

          I think you might be confusing or mixing copyright and trademark law.

        • Raoul Duke says:

          “Copyright applies to a particular context, not every use of that word everywhere. For instance, “Nike” is the name of the Greek goddess of victory, but if you put the word “Nike” on your shoes, then you’re clearly referencing the shoemaker, not the ancient Greeks, and they’ll sue you for that.”

          It sounds like you’re talking about trade marks, not copyright.

  6. Ryppez says:

    “Previous shooter games did not include the use of a frying pan…”

    Valve: “hold my pan”

    If they really intend to use this as their argument then i’m sorry this is too idiotic for me to understand then and don’t get me started on the energy drink bullshit

  7. Ur-Quan says:

    That point about their Energy Drink design is the most insanely idiotic thing I’ve ever seen. It’s Red Bull! Are they actually trying to sue someone for stealing from the same popular product that they stole from?

    Would be really funny if this backfires and Red Bull sues them for stealing their design.

  8. maximus says:

    I first heard the phrase ‘winner winner chicken dinner’ from a friend at uni over 8 years ago…. i fail to see how it is now copy writable just because people used the phrase in conjuction with a game. bluehole really are the pits.

    • aepervius says:

      You (and other) are missing the point , it isnt one single element which they assert copyright but all elements together being an identical game as what they have. Their complaint about fortnite is not actionable but here it is quite clearly a design and visual copy. Not the same thing as their beef with fortnite and probably actionable in this case.

    • klops says:

      It’s even been used in Las Vegas for a much longer time.

      But like aepervius above said, it’s all of these chickens and pans together. Still, I find the lawsuit very silly.

  9. Nelyeth says:

    I see everyone here attacking Plunkcorp or whatever their name is, but to be fair, the sheer number of chinese mobile rip-offs is so mind-boggingly high that I am glad to see something happening, at last. No matter where you go (even here, on RPS), you’ll see adds for games that are blatant copies of popular games (it used to be mostly League of Legends, but now we’ve got Overwatch and PUBG-likes by the dozen).

    And while, yes, some of these claims are individually ridiculous (they didn’t invent the frying pan or the energy drink), the fact is that the two games they are cracking on DID copy all of that from Plunkbat. Nobody can tell me with a straight face that those aren’t obvious copies. They’re not putting a frying pan in their game as a weapon because it’s funny to kill someone with it (it is), they do it because Plunkbat did it first, the exact same way they put energy drinks in it because they couldn’t be arsed to change a single damn thing.

    So, yeah, I’m kinda with them on this. The problem isn’t that another game has a few similarities with theirs, it’s that there’s literally nothing different.

    • MrEvilGuy says:

      Sounds like you’re drawing the line only when it comes to “Chinese rip-offs.” What about PUBG clone copying H1Z1, oh wait they’re not Chinese so it’s okay.

      My point is where do you draw the line of what constitutes a rip-off or not?

    • Inkano says:

      Literally everything is different though. Yea, assets look similar and there’s no doubt they made them to look similar to PUBG, but they are obviously aren’t copies, and yea, gameplay elements are similar, but again, if code hasn’t been ripped straight from PUBG – it shouldn’t be an issue.

      Also, i hope you don’t think DotA 2 is chinese copy of LoL. :P

  10. Kefren says:

    For fuck’s sake. Plunkbat stole the whole concept of the island and increasing death zones and random weapons from Battle Royale. If the Battle Royale author and publisher let it go, then that doesn’t give the Plunkbat devs the right to claim ownership of any of that.

  11. BaronKreight says:

    this game deserves this developer

  12. MadmanEpic says:

    The important thing to take note of here is that PUBG Corp. isn’t suing them over any individual element, like people seem to be saying with the frying pan. They’re suing them because they stole all of these things.

    • wykydtronik says:

      Misinformed readers click baited and outraged for not understanding the concept of copyright. Not like schools teach this in NA.

      • Moraven says:

        Yup!

        They are not saying they are infringing because they have a frying pan (and frying pan armor). They copied basically everything, even 90% of the map.

        Fortnite has their own unique map, which is smaller. Gunplay is different. Building aspects, no vehicles, etc.

        • sosolidshoe says:

          No, we understand all of that. What you guys need to understand is that none of that is copyright infringement. Not even if you add all of it up, because adding up lots of nothing gets you still nothing.

          Are these games *intentionally* trying to create brand confusion? No, so there’s no trademark infringement(they can’t be doing it unintentionally because as Plunkbatcorp themselves admit, there’s no mobile version of their game at present). Are these games making use of actual assets and/or code created by Plunkbatcorp? No, it doesn’t appear so, therefore no copyright infringement either.

          The fact is Plunkbatcorp made a game with a generic aesthetic using a collection of preexisting mechanics from other games, some of which Plunkbat was just as similar to as these “knockoffs” are to it, and now they’re angry that someone else managed to use a similar collection of generic appropriated ideas to create a mobile game before they could. They don’t have a leg to stand on.

  13. Gardiad says:

    I’d rather they take the fight to games that advertise themselves using their games footage, if only to make a precedent.

    Each bloody time I see a youtube ad for Ark of war or whatever other ones it’s rather irksome, I saw a historical game using a tooth and tail trailer.

  14. Devan says:

    As much as I dislike straight-up “clones” of other games, I dislike abuses of IP law even more. The items listed should not be considered copyright infringement because they are either not a form of creative expression or they are not original and should not be considered the property of PUBG.
    I’m glad to see most commenters here calling BS on this as well. Hopefully any legal proceedings come to the same conclusion.

  15. Artist says:

    God, I love such articles! Suddenly lots of armchair lawyers pop up that try to sell their opinion as knowledge without even minimal clues about the legal aspects.

    Popcorn anybody? =)

  16. level12boss says:

    I don’t practice in that area, but i did do well enough in a law school course on copyright law to warn that almost every comment i just read above is dead wrong on fundamental levels alone, much less the nuances of this particular matter.

  17. WHS says:

    Every time these lawsuits happen the internet commentary is just total nonsense. I’m a real-life lawyer. Here is what’s actually happening.

    The essential point everyone always misses: copyright and trademark law are not the same thing. Owning a trademark does not mean you “own” a phrase or symbol or whatever. Instead, it means that the trademarked thing is strongly identified with your product and you as a producer of that product, and, as a result, other people using it in a similar context would create confusion as to whether they were associated with the original product’s producer. For instance, the name “Ford” isn’t claimed for all time in all industries- I could probably open up a Ford’s Ice Cream Company, for instance. But if I made automotive parts and called them Ford, it would be very problematic, because the name is already strongly associated with a particular automobile brand. This idea also applies to particular pieces of design that identify brands – you’d get sued if you made your burger joint look exactly like a McDonald’s and just changed the name, for instance.

    Copyrights are completely different. They, by contrast, do indicate a ownership over an expressive work. But copyright doesn’t apply to narrow parts of a work, like a single phrase in a book. It’s therefore unlikely that a single element of a game (e.g., a frying pan as a weapon) is copyrightable. But take a bunch of elements and put them together (e.g., make a game that includes a frying pan and a shrinking circle and bombardment zones and PUBG’s basic mechanics and a similar map) and you can argue that the new game is essentially a ripoff of the old game, infringing copyright. It’s like if you wrote a non-parody book called “Larry Potter and the Chamber of the Phoenix,” with characters Larry and Don and Ermione.

    (There are also patents, which are something else entirely and not relevant at all here.)

    The PUBG claims in this case are both trademark and copyright claims, because no lawyer worth his or her salt would leave a potentially viable claim unargued.

    And frankly, both types of claims make a lot of sense in this context: a ripoff game does create confusion about source of origin (trust me – a substantial fraction of people really do think “Is this from the PUBG guys?”), and since they are just directly poaching most of PUBG’s design, it’s pretty much copying their entire expressive work.

    I am in general in favor of cautious application of copyright laws (and to a lesser extent, trademark laws) because overly aggressive claims can squelch creativity and undermine cross-pollination in creative industries. Fortnite is similar to PUBG but shouldn’t raise any intellectual property concerns. But it would be pretty nuts if you could build a successful game, and then someone could effectively recreate it for profit, leaving you with no legal recourse whatsoever.

    • WHS says:

      Incidentally, this is why it doesn’t matter that phrase “Winner winner chicken dinner” was in common usage prior to PUBG, or that the frying pan has been a weapon before, or that most of its mechanics were lifted from a variety of other games. Lawsuits like this will only protect their use in this narrow context, alongside each other, not their use generally.

    • Skabooga says:

      I am certainly no lawyer, so I would not even know where to start to research such things. But perhaps you can help! Do you know of any cases involving copyright and trademark for artistic works, both ones in which the copyright holder won and those in which it lost? I would be very interested in reading more, if you have a few cases in mind.

    • sosolidshoe says:

      I mean, have you never had a look at the video and boardgame markets before? Half the products for sale either are, or started out as outright, shameless, overt, wholesale ripoffs of other things. I mean, that’s literally what Plunkbat is, they took a significant chunk of another game’s concept, they changed the shape of the shrinking zone to a circle, and they released their version of it.

      So, Legal Eagle, why is it OK for Plunkbatcorp to do it, but it’s wrong when someone does it to them?

    • airmikee99 says:

      You may be a lawyer, but you’re not staying up to date on video game mechanic copyright law.

      link to gamasutra.com

      “DaVinci had sued Ziko games over the game Legend of the Three Kingdoms, which both companies acknowledge is mechanically identical to DaVinici’s board game Bang! The art and aesthetics of the two games differ, with Bang! taking on the iconography of the wild west and Legend of the Three Kingdoms borrowing from Chinese history.

      The court’s ruling, which Strebeck has hosted on his own site, states that nothing about the mechanics of Bang! can not be considered “expressive,” as they are rooted in widely familiar game concepts like health bars, punches, and kicks, while that the expressive elements of the game (its art and aesthetics) aren’t substantially similar to Legend of the Three Kingdoms.

      This isn’t the first ruling on game copyright law, and according to the court mechanics can’t be protected in general based on statuatory limitation. “In no case does copyright protection for an original work of authorship extend to any idea, procedure, process, system, method of operation, concept, principle, or discovery, regardless of the form in which it is described, explained, illustrated, or embodied in such work.”

      • Disillusion3D says:

        Perhaps even more evident is the fact that EA sued Zynga for a blatant copy of The Sims and that got settled without much apparent loss for Zynga.

        And if evil EA can’t win an obvious case in court then nobody can…

    • Disillusion3D says:

      Copyright for games is very weak. As the Copyright Office writes:

      Copyright does not protect the idea for a game, its name or title, or the method or methods for playing it. Nor does copyright protect any idea, system, method, device, or trademark material involved in developing, merchandising, or playing a game. Once a game has been made public, nothing in the copyright law prevents others from developing another game based on similar principles. Copyright protects only the particular manner of an author’s expression in literary, artistic, or musical form.

      Material prepared in connection with a game may be subject to copyright if it contains a sufficient amount of literary or pictorial expression. For example, the text matter describing the rules of the game or the pictorial matter appearing on the gameboard or container may be registerable.

      So, as sad as it may be, just keep ripping off successful games – it’s apparently very legal (and very profitable). Just ask Zynga

  18. velade says:

    NOT!
    PUBG is not the first game that includes the frying pan!
    And The PUBG is not first game that includes reviving fallen team mates function too!
    Your don’t hear about “Left 4 Dead 2”?
    This tow functions be include in L4D2
    What’s your mean,blue hole?

    • Artist says:

      Wow, thats the one comment that changed the whole perspective of the ongoing, pointless discussion… Youre really smart!
      Did you google that?

  19. CloneWarrior85 says:

    Ok, let me see if i understand this:
    – PUBG is trying to sue games that follow the Last Man Standing formula, which is as old as gamea like the Unreal Tournament from 99, which came out, you guessed it 19 years ago. So no, they didn’t create this gamemode.

    -PUBG is trying to sue a frying pan weapon, seen in dozens of games, dozens… including Dead Island, that came out 7 years ago.

    – Revival of team mates..s-seriously? Are you serious?

    These guys are really something…

    Perhaps someone should sue them just so they learn not being little pieces of crap.

    • mitrovarr says:

      No, you don’t understand it. Read WHS’s rundown of the situation above. That gives a good description of the situation.

      • JoeD2nd says:

        No, CloneWarrior has it about right.

        • April March says:

          No, it is WHS who has it right.

          Every court case looks completely bananas, because that’s how law works. If you have a tight case by proving to the court A and B, you make your case by demonstrating A, B, C, D, E, F, X, Z and ß. It’s stupid and wastes everyone’s time, but that’s how it works, and that’s how lawyers make sure you need lawyers to do stuff.

          In this case, stuff like ‘reviving teammates’ isn’t exclusive to Plunkbat, but by naming it they’ll force an eventual defense by NetEase to acknowledge it and waste their resources explaining why that’s not actionable, which will lead to there being less resources defending the stuff that actually matters for the case.

          Plus – as WHS explained – if you don’t know the difference between copyright and trademark, you can’t even begin to understand what they’re arguing.

          • airmikee99 says:

            WHS is wrong.

            American courts have repeatedly ruled that video game mechanics can not be protected by copyright law.

  20. darkorcadian says:

    good luck china has no copyright laws lmao

    • Nolenthar says:

      It hardly matters, iPhone and Google are both US companies so a California tribunal can easily decide they remove those games from their store, and that would affect all users using those stores

    • JoeD2nd says:

      And they’re still managing to survive… how do they DO it?!

  21. rickenbacker says:

    Frying pan use? Goddamn it, now I need to rethink my breakfast plans.

  22. JoeD2nd says:

    This is such BS. First, if they’re going to sue over shrinking battle area won’t they also need to sue H1Z1? Cargo containers? Really? How many lawsuits can we manage with that! Good grief, IP law is a cancer on the world.

  23. April March says:

    This will probably be settled out of court, so I’m sad we likely won’t be seeing a response from NetEase three times as long, detailing every time one of those features was used elsewhere. I’d be hoping they’d use a clip from that Woody Woodpecker cartoon in which he confronts a voodoo-using alligator as a prior for pans as butt defense.

  24. edwardoka says:

    Reading this, at first I thought: surely this is a mis-scheduled April Fool’s article. Shipping containers, Red Bull? These are the basis for your lawsuit?

    On reflection, the commenters have really good points: Blatant clones should be shut down (or forced to change), and breaking individual aspects down and presenting them is necessary to prove that an overall direct ripoff has occurred.

    I sincerely hope that Plunkcorp don’t try to use this to claim ownership of any of these individual aspects. I’d hate to think that my 27 Plunkpounds were given to grasping, litigious ladder-pullers.

  25. PancreaticDefect says:

    And pretty soon Disney will sue PUBG because of the frying pan weapon in the movie “Tangled” from 2010.

  26. pfm says:

    Even if you discount the book “Battle Royale”, there is “prior art” in videogames as well.
    As far as I know the earliest video-game adaptation of Battle Royale to a game mode I’m aware of is the Royal mode on French FPS Shootmania Storm. (of course not counting every single simple last man standing games that came before.)

    **From an open Beta annoncment published on July 2012:**
    >”Royal : A survival Free for All, where the aim is to be the last man standing at the end of the round. It’s possible to activate a sphere which will shrink the playing field via a pole which is generally located at the center of the map.”

    link to blog.maniaplanet.com

    And you can find even earlier videos from the Alpha version of the game.
    Here is one from 14th June 2012,shot from a spectator birds eye view where you can see the shrinking play area in a very simple alpha map.
    link to youtube.com

    I think all of this pre-dates PlayerUnknow’s Arma2 mod.

  27. CleverMetaphor says:

    oh man i started reading this, then i got to the word “plunkbatters” and threw up a little. thanks guys :D

  28. Bob TheBaconator says:

    Im just here waiting for disney to join this fight! We have them to thank for raising awarness of frying pans as melee weapons… “Frying pans, who knew?” link to rebloggy.com

    Or we could even go so far as to say it belongs to Xena princess warrior… link to imgur.com

  29. Assirra says:

    Oh boy. just imagine if id software did the same back when they created DOOM. The landscape would look totally different.
    You cannot copyright or trademark game mechanics. This is like trying to trademark a certain type of genre in books/movies.

  30. Evan_ says:

    Let’s wait until 100 Plunkbat clones appear. Than the lead devs could do trial by combat.

  31. Calarand says:

    Well, they should also sue Disney’s Tangled for use of a frying pan as a weapon, then. Good luck with that, especially that I’m fairly sure the movie was first.

  32. zaldar says:

    I wish them luck as video game copying is very much a problem and they are being taken advantage of daily. I expect given the everything should be free socialist/communist gaming culture though they will be laughed at by the community. Sigh. Gamers still need to grow up and understand that if people don’t get paid for making the things we love – hardly anyone will make them. It is and always will (and should be) about the money.

  33. mistery says:

    They forgot to add the following:
    -multiplayer game
    -action game
    -sniper rifles in a game
    -driving vehicles in a game
    -voice chat in a game
    PUBG has invented all these and should be copyrightable.

  34. Ham Solo says:

    Oh boy let’s hope Valve doesn’t sue them for using shipping containers, a crowbar as weapon (Half-Life 1/2) or a frying pan as weapon (Left 4 Dead).

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