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PUBG developer sues NetEase over mobile 'clones' Rules of Survival and Knives Out

PUBG developer sues NetEase over mobile 'clones' Rules of Survival and Knives Out

PUBG Corp has filed a lawsuit against NetEase demanding it removes each version of Rules of Survival, Knives Out and other battle royale games it believes are clones of Playerunknown’s Battlegrounds.

The mobile titles were released last year ahead of PUBG Mobile, and have proven particularly lucrative for NetEase. Knives Out was said to have made as much as $24 million in February.

As unearthed by Torrent Freak, PUBG Corp has filed a copyright infringement complaint in the US North District court of California. This is notable given PUBG Corp is based in South Korea and NetEase in China.

PUBG Corp claims to have previously submitted a complaint to Apple on January 24th 2018 about NetEase’s games, but following a denial of the copyright infringement allegations and refusal to remove ROS and Knives Out, the South Korean developer has now taken legal action.

Copyright claims

The developer claims NetEase intended to “create consumer confusion as to the source of Rules of Survival”, such as that it had been developed by PUBG Corp.

Specifically the lawsuit notes how YouTube videos have likened ROS to its own battle royale title, as well as various websites referring to the titles as “clones” and “knock-offs”.

It’s also been claimed that ROS’ look, feel and audiovisual style "closely mimics" PUBG’s.

This allegedly includes aspects such as similar gameplay, how character’s regenerate health - specifically by energy drinks acting as boosts, for example - as well as similar weapons, weapon modifications, items and vehicles.

As well as removal of all versions of Knives Out and Rules of Survival, the latter now also out on PC, PUBG Corp is demanding NetEase also pay for damages to its business.

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Senior Editor

Craig Chapple is Senior Editor of PocketGamer.biz and InfluencerUpdate.biz. He was previously Deputy Editor at Develop and Online Editor at Nintendo of Europe.

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