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PUBG Corp, NetEase settle copyright lawsuit

After suit alleging Knives Out, Rules of Survival copied PUBG and countersuit against "shameless attempt" at genre monopoly, companies now dismissing cases

PUBG Corp and NetEase have both moved to settle a suit and countersuit between the two companies relating to NetEase's alleged copyright infringement of PlayerUnknown's Battlegrounds with its games Knives Out and Rules of Survival.

Last April, PUBG Corp filed a suit accusing NetEase of creating the two mobile games very similar to PUBG on PC in an attempt to poach PUBG's audience ahead of its mobile launch. The initial suit aimed to demonstrate that the two games had numerous visual, audio, and gameplay similarities.

In response, NetEase filed a counter-complaint that called PUBG's lawsuit a "shameless attempt" at monopolizing the battle royale genre and blocking fair competition. It called out PUBG Corp for effectively trying to copyright elements such as health bars, the idea of lobbies, and the phrase "winner winner chicken dinner."

McArthur Law Firm has reported that the two companies have now filed a settlement for both complaints, though the terms of said settlement and whether or not it will involve changes to NetEase's games are unknown.

Regardless of legal precedent, PUBG Corp seems to have had cause for concern over the popularity of Knives Out. In its 2018 earnings report, NetEase cited Sensor Tower data showing the game as the top-grossing Chinese game in overseas markets for five months in a row that year, helping the company see 11% year-over-year revenue growth despite the Chinese game license freeze.

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Rebekah Valentine avatar
Rebekah Valentine: 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.
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