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Old 04-09-2018, 08:16 AM   #1
Emabulator
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PlayerUnknown's Battlegrounds files lawsuit against mobile clones


PUBG Corp invented the frying pan, or something like that. Eurogamer has the story.

Quote:
PlayerUnknown's Battlegrounds developer PUBG Corp has filed a lawsuit against publisher NetEase, accusing the company of copyright infringement, trade dress infringement and unfair business competition in regard to two of its mobile titles - Rules of Survival and Knives Out.

The claims are made in a 155-page court document, obtained by Torrent Freak, which argues that NetEase deliberately copied Battlegrounds' gameplay and aesthetic.

This, says PUBG Corp, was done in order to mislead consumers, making them believe that Rules of Survival and Knives Out are officially affiliated with Battlegrounds, and to profit from the deception by releasing both games into the marketplace "at or below cost for the purpose of gaining market share" before Battlegrounds was launched on mobile.

In its suit, PUBG Corp highlights numerous "substantially similar elements" found in Rules of Survival and Knives Out that it believes infringe on its Battlegrounds' copyright. The list is extensive, but includes Battlegrounds' pre-game lobby and waiting area, its opening air jump system, the shrinking play space, bombardment zones, its "down but not out" mechanic, and, more generally, its "total look and feel" and "overall gameplay".

The lawsuit also lists, with ample pictorial examples, specific aesthetic elements found in NetEase's titles that, it says, are intentionally designed to further confuse consumers into believing that Rules of Survival and Knives Out are official Battlegrounds products.

These include the use of certain environments, buildings, and landscapes seen in Battlegrounds (the suit specifically highlights the shooting range, rural aqueduct, port, and farm, among other locations) as well as vehicles, clothing, and weapons.

In the latter case, the court document draws considerable attention to the inclusion of a frying pan in NetEase's games, making the claim that, prior to Battlegrounds, "shooter games did not include the use of a frying pan". It also makes a similar argument regarding Battlegrounds' "Winner Winner Chicken Dinner" victory phrase which either features directly in NetEase's titles, or is invoked within their marketing material. This phrase, argues PUBG Corp, "has become nearly synonymous with Battlegrounds to gamers".
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Old 04-09-2018, 08:02 PM   #2
vallor
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You have got to be kidding me. It seems like if this is allowed to go through PUBG will be able to put a stranglehold on any "realistic" looking BR game they feel veers too far into their territory.

Some of these claims are just too outrageous; The shrinking gamespace? A hallmark of the genre, "Winner Winner Chicken Dinner" was used in H1Z1 (they even had an in-game t-shirt with it), environments being similar?

I'd say it is a foolish suit but this is the legal system that lets companies trademark words in common use, like "Cyberpunk", so who knows what will happen.

Interesting note from the suit: 28 MILLION copies of the game have been sold on the PC and 4 million on the console. They've never had a sale of the game on the PC so that's 28 million sales at $30 a pop

They also claim equipment acquisition is a key and unique creative element of PUBG. That you land with a belt and pants only and have to get all your gear is unique. I suppose the fact the player has those two SPECIFIC items is true but they are really, really stretching the idea of unique creative elements here.

They call out the amount of damage armor can absorb as a key creative and unique element... movement, clothing, airdrops, vehicles, down but not out (which has been around as a gameplay mechanic FOREVER) blah blah blah. Almost all of these they follow with:

Quote:
Originally Posted by The Lawsuit
in Battleground are copyrightable audio, visual and/or audiovisual works, individually and/or in combination with each other or with other elements of BATTLEGROUNDS
Their argument is that Rules of Survival, the NetEase game has been reviewed as a PUBG "Clone" or "Knock-off" and when you do a Google Search for Rules of Survival or PUBG on Mobile you can "The Best PUBG Clone on Mobile (Rules of Survival)" in the search results.

Note: PUBG does NOT have a mobile presence as of yet.

Here are some of the specifics from the complaint:

Quote:
Originally Posted by The Lawsuit
The BATTLEGROUNDS map and ROS map each comprises a large island in a square-ish shape with a canal leading to a large city, along with a smaller unconnected island. Both maps feature towns, farms, buildings, fields, trees, roads, bridges and feature mountainous topography
Quote:
Originally Posted by The Lawsuit
each game contains a two story home with a garage, garage roof deck, front door, windows, rooflines, and masses of the same shapes, proportions, and layouts
Quote:
Originally Posted by The Lawsuit
The firearms in ROS are substantially similar to those in BATTLEGROUNDS, having the same or similar type, appearance, and, on information and belief, performance statistics (e.g., load capacity and damage inflicted per discharge). For example, the “Tommy Gun” submachine gun in BATTLEGROUNDS and the “Thompson” submachine gun in ROS have substantially similar appearances and performance statistics.

Although weapons have been used in prior games, on information and belief, Defendants have copied PUBG’s graphical, statistical and audio expressions of the weapons identified below where other graphical, statistical and audio expressions could have been used. For example, note the similarity of the grip, magazine and the stock of both the BATTLEGROUNDS “M416” and the ROS “MA14” assault rifle.
It goes on and on. It seems like they are basically just throwing any and all flecks of shit against the wall to see what sticks.
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Old 04-10-2018, 02:27 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by vallor View Post
Quote:
Originally Posted by The Lawsuit
The firearms in ROS are substantially similar to those in BATTLEGROUNDS, having the same or similar type, appearance, and, on information and belief, performance statistics (e.g., load capacity and damage inflicted per discharge). For example, the “Tommy Gun” submachine gun in BATTLEGROUNDS and the “Thompson” submachine gun in ROS have substantially similar appearances and performance statistics.

Although weapons have been used in prior games, on information and belief, Defendants have copied PUBG’s graphical, statistical and audio expressions of the weapons identified below where other graphical, statistical and audio expressions could have been used. For example, note the similarity of the grip, magazine and the stock of both the BATTLEGROUNDS “M416” and the ROS “MA14” assault rifle.
It goes on and on. It seems like they are basically just throwing any and all flecks of shit against the wall to see what sticks.
I've played neither game, but am I seeing this right that PUBG uses unbranded copies of real-life guns and now tries to sue another game for using the original designs???
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Old 04-10-2018, 05:26 AM   #4
Fubl
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and do not forget that pubg invented the frying pan weapon.......OH wait Team fortress 2
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Old 04-10-2018, 06:07 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fubl View Post
and do not forget that pubg invented the frying pan weapon.......OH wait Team fortress 2
And Left 4 Dead 2.

In fact, frying pans as weapons has been around for quite a while. I've seen it at least a dozen or more games, including plenty of shooters.

You can go back ALL the way to 1995 to find a shooter that had a frying pan as a weapon. A PS1 game called "PO'ed" - a shooter where one of the protagonist's main weapons was a frying pan.

The frying pan in shooters has been around for at least 20 years.
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Old 04-10-2018, 08:26 AM   #6
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Originally Posted by PatrickRes9 View Post
And Left 4 Dead 2.

In fact, frying pans as weapons has been around for quite a while. I've seen it at least a dozen or more games, including plenty of shooters.

You can go back ALL the way to 1995 to find a shooter that had a frying pan as a weapon. A PS1 game called "PO'ed" - a shooter where one of the protagonist's main weapons was a frying pan.

The frying pan in shooters has been around for at least 20 years.
And let's not forget "Dead Rising"! The pan was a great melee weapon, especially if you let it heat up first!
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Old 04-10-2018, 12:03 PM   #7
timmyd
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I think the real point of contention is the mobile version you jab your finger on the enemy repeatly without effect. Then they turn around slowly and kill you with a single shot. This is an obvious direct copy.
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Old 04-10-2018, 05:37 PM   #8
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Reading their lawsuit made me realize how truly generic and derivative PUBG really is. I hope they lose, and lose big.
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