The developer of PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds laments the lack of video game IP protection

Did you know that there’s no real IP protection for video games? We didn’t know that either; we seem to recall a lot of lawsuits filed over copyright infringement for IPs. According to Brendan Greene of PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds, however, there’s a big issue wherein games do not offer sufficient protection for an IP to avoid having a larger studio come in and steal your idea, thus making it more difficult to develop new games.

At first glance, one would think that Greene is talking less about IP copyright (which covers things such as characters and storyline) and more about mechanics, which would apply his statements to games like Fortnite and H1Z1. However, he also states that he’s happy to see other takes on the same battle royale structure and that he hopes it advances the genre as a whole. It’s a bit ambiguous, in other words.

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50 Comments on "The developer of PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds laments the lack of video game IP protection"

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Aaron Biegalski

To translate: “Someone else made my own game better than I did, and I am upset.”

Dear Mr. Greene: You did not invent the ‘Battle Royale’ genre. This is blatantly apparent, as the trope itself is named after a novel, which in turn borrowed a term that is centuries old.

Get over yourself, grow a pair, and make your game BETTER than your competitors. That’s how business works.

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Jeremy Barnes

Anyone that concerned over IP isn’t making a good game.

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Ben Stone

By his logic, he owes a lot of money to the developers of ‘Maze’ the first FPS game (and multiplayer one at that).

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Johnnyt305

H1Z1 was made by the same guy and before PUBG. PUBG got his ideas from all these old games like DayZ and even crappy WarZ and so on that all came before his game. So if he wants all genres of games protected then his game wouldnt exist if you can say a whole GENRE is protected from any other company making a game in it lol

hurbster
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hurbster

I guess he can go to his MP and start the ball rolling, going to take longer than a fortnight though.

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John Kiser

They created nothing new or unique with PUBG so I don’t see why particularly when they basically stole the idea from The Culling, H1Z1 and rips off IP of shit from books and movies in the first place.

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Mark Jacobs

As one of the earliest MUD developers, and later, as part of Mythic Entertainment which made larger-scale graphically based online games than almost anyone else at the time (1995) and then MMORPGs, I can state, without any fear of contradiction:

LOL.

That’s it, nothing to see here. :)

P.S. Nothing but love for his work on PUBG (AWESOME!), but man oh man if you are going to make statements about the law, at least make sure that you understand the difference between copyright, trademark and patent law, use a better analogy than film vs. games and understand the history of the legal process and the games industry. Why? Cuz as Raph mentions below, you can actually patent mechanics, copyright the art/story, and get trademark protection. And, FYI, there have been plenty of lawsuits protecting a game and its IP.

what-4
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what-4

Guy doesnt sound like he knows what he is talking about. PUBG is hardly an IP IMO. Its a game mode. A game mode that could be recreated, likely quite fast, in lots of existing shooters.

Mewmew
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Mewmew

He’s just pissy and upset that games like Fortnite came along and did the same basic thing for free. He wishes that they weren’t able to do that, but the thing is PUBG was hardly it’s own new idea anyway.

Fortnite does have it’s own unique stratagies and gameplay due to the building aspects in the game, while they seem similar at first they’re actually quite different in the end because of that.

Xijit
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Kickstarter Donor
Xijit

I get the combination of crafting a FFA battle royal was slightly novel, but both have existed for decades …

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Michael

Yep. Battle Royale is effectively a massive version of Quake 1 Deathmatch, but with 1 life. In that game you spawned in random places in a map (only slight difference is that you can choose where you can start in Battle Royales usually) then you ran around trying to survive by collecting things to kill other people with.

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socontrariwise

How can you not IP games? You can patent processes and board games. http://www.ipwatchdog.com/2011/12/22/patenting-board-games-101/id=21356/
You can have copyright on art and text and trademarks on names. So I’m confused about this claim.

solardragon4114
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solardragon4114

I am thinking that either the PUBG dev doesn’t understand what protection exist for video games. Or he is wanting everything in a game to be protected. If that were to ever happen then no one would ever be able to make a new game. No more new games would be released. Even he couldn’t make anymore new games.

What is protected under the copyright and trademark laws are what you are saying. But things like mechanics, abilities of the characters, types of gear, types of weapons, etc…

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Michael

I think he is trying to say that mechanics should be possible to have protection by copyright law, while simultaneously saying that he doesn’t want that. He really is just full of incoherent nonsense, similar to when he got all angry that Fortnite came out in a couple of months and hit the ground running super quickly with an experience that was not only improved, but better then his game for free.

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O Ra

Like.. f* this guy, if there was better protection he would have been in violation of it anyway. Not like he didn’t rip a ton of stuff off.

Mewmew
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Mewmew

Yeah that’s pretty funny and true. If the “protections” were to the level he’d like, he never would have been able to make his game to begin with. There isn’t an original idea in the entire thing.