Owning Genres


I find the idea that a developer could own the rights to a video game genre to be ridiculous. It goes back to Boyden. There are so many ways in which a battle royale video game could be “expressed” that to allow the developers of PUBG to retain exclusive rights to all battle royale games would be a huge overreach. There’s no argument as to whether a specific developer owns the rights to first-person shooters, MMORPGs, zombie survival games, sandbox games, etc. Why should battle royale be any different?

The developers of PUBG created a novel and exciting game in the current landscape of the gaming industry, and the market has handsomely rewarded them for it. If they want to continue their success, then they should focus on continuing to provide what players have deemed to be a superior product, not on figuring out legal methods of stifling competition.

Somewhat unrelated, but continuing from last week’s discussion about ads in video games, this is my vote for worst product placement of all time in any media form: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oQYwFND7rHE

One response to “Owning Genres”

  1. colomban young-smith

    Building on this, how close would a game to that genre for enforcement to take place? What if I parachuted into a Battle Royale genre game, as an alien, and were fighting zombies instead of other players? Would Battle Royale be able to enforce their rights against this new game? There are too many variables in game design and creation to allow for genres to be protected.