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NetEase moves to dismiss PUBG Corp lawsuit

Knives Out developer calls complaint a "shameless attempt" to monopolize a genre

Chinese mobile developer and publisher Netease has moved to dismiss a pending lawsuit from PUBG Corp in which PUBG accuses Netease of copyright infringement. The suit argues that Netease's recent battle royale games, Knives Out and Rules of Survival, infringe the copyright of PUBG by being too similar.

The filing was brought about last April and accused Netease of attempting to poach PUBG's audience before the game could make it to mobile.

Netease counters PUBG's complaint by attesting, essentially, that a single company cannot monopolize an entire genre under the Copyright Act or other laws. Copyright, the summary reads, only protects original expression. It goes on to call PUBG's suit a "shameless attempt" to monopolize a genre and block real competition.

The dismissal continues by offering arguments as to why PUBG is unable to copyright elements such as health bars, players wearing everyday clothing, lobbies, and the phrase 'winner winner chicken dinner.'" It then points out elements that are different between Netease's games and PUBG, such as mood, themes, settings, art, weapons, and more. Finally, it concludes that "PUBG's complaint should be dismissed in its entirety. Because leave to amend would be futile, the dismissal should be with prejudice."

Knives Out has already been an enormous success for Netease, bringing in over 100 million registered users in the first few months of its launch and reporting global sales of around $24 million for February this year.

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Rebekah Valentine

Senior Staff Writer

Rebekah arrived at GamesIndustry in 2018 after four years of freelance writing and editing across multiple gaming and tech sites. When she's not recreating video game foods in a real life kitchen, she's happily imagining herself as an Animal Crossing character.