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Krafton and NetEase settle over PUBG Mobile copyright dispute

Settlement after five years!

Krafton and NetEase Games have resolved their long-standing copyright dispute over allegations by the former on their popular battle royale PUBG Mobile concerning NetEase’s mobile game launches of the same genre.

Krafton had filed lawsuits against both Garena and Epic Games in the past

The San Mateo Superior Court judge ruled in favor of Krafton, finding that NetEase breached their contract by not adhering to settlement terms, including failure to change certain game elements as agreed upon, GI Biz reports. However, the court concluded that Krafton did not succeed in proving the $65 million in damages it had requested.

knives out and rules of survival cover
Image via NetEase Games

This copyright dispute case dates back five years, when in May 2018, Krafton filed a lawsuit against NetEase, saying the Chinese game maker copied its ideas. The games in question were Knives Out and Rules of Survival, which were accused of closely imitating the realistic style of Krafton’s battle royale.

Krafton argued that NetEase launched these free-to-play titles to gain an advantage over the upcoming release of PUBG Mobile that same year. They settled with a private contract in March 2019. A year later in 2019, Krafton said NetEase broke the deal, leading to another trial starting on May 1, 2023, in a US court. While Krafton’s demand for $65 million in damages was not justified, the court awarded an undisclosed sum in liquidated damages to Krafton.

Fortnite LEGO Fall Guys collaboration leaks
Image via Epic Games

This wasn’t the first time Krafton got familiar with lawsuits as they filed one in January last year against Garena, the developer behind Free Fire and Free Fire Max. The lawsuit claimed that Garena copied parts of PUBG, profiting at Krafton’s expense. Krafton sued Epic Games in 2018 for the same reason for the latter’s game Fortnite but dropped the lawsuit later that year.

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