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PUBG Corp. files lawsuit against NetEase for alleged copyright infringement

Look and feel of both mobile games "closely mimic" PUBG, says developer

Chinese tech NetEase is facing a lawsuit from PUBG Corp. over trade dress infringement and unfair business competition under the United States Copyright Act.

The PlayerUnknown's Battlegrounds developer is suing Netease for alleged copyright infringements found in its two mobile battle royale titles, Knives Out and Rules of Survival.

PUBG Corp argues that the "overall look, feel, and audiovisual style of [both games] closely mimic the stylised realism of Battlegrounds."

According to the filing - obtained by TorrentFreak - NetEase brought the two free-to-play mobile games to iOS and Android before the launch of PUBG mobile in an attempt to poach its audience.

"Defendants have committed unlawful, unfair, and/or fraudulent business acts by copying PUBG's Battlegrounds game in each version of their ROS and KO games and introducing the ROS and KO games to the marketplace at or below cost," reads the filing.

"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."

Market intelligence firm Sensor Tower recently estimated Knives Out to have reached global sales of around $24 million for the month of February.

Additionally, NetEase noted in its annual financial report that Knives Out attracted over 100 million registered users since its launch in November.

Late last year PUBG Corp parent company Bluehole Studio called out Epic Games for "replicating the experience for which Battlegrounds is known" with Fortnite Battle Royale, however it did not go so far as to file legal action.

GamesIndustry.biz has reached out to both NetEase and Bluehole for comment and is awaiting a response.

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