PUBG & NetEase settle “battle royale” copyright lawsuit – McArthur Law Firm blog

What happened: NetEase and PUBG Corp recently settled a copyright infringement dispute over NetEase’s mobile titles “Knives Out” and “Rules of Survival.” PUBG Corp, the developer of “PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds” (PUBG), sued NetEase in April for copyright infringement, unfair competition, and trade dress infringement, claiming that the two NetEase games closely resemble PUBG. The two companies went through several motions, with NetEase calling the lawsuit a “shameless attempt” at monopolizing the battle royale genre and PUBG Corp claiming NetEase made strategic changes to the game after the lawsuit was filed. The terms of the settlement agreement are confidential.

Why it’s important: While the settlement details are unknown, it could potentially change the future of NetEase’s highly popular “Knives Out” title. With game approvals in China harder to come by and slower to process in 2019 due to regulatory changes, it is increasingly important for NetEase to ensure its revenues from overseas markets. The settlement could have a major impact on this key revenue stream. “Knives Out” was the top-grossing Chinese game in overseas markets for five consecutive months beginning in August, according to the company’s 2018 earnings report.

Tony Xu is Shanghai-based tech reporter. Connect with him via e-mail:

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