Earlier this month, Epic Games unveiled a new mode for its game Fortnite, entitled “Battle Royale” which will be released as a free-to-play standalone game. This new mode will see 100 players battle it out until only one remains with players parachuting in at the start of each game however, like the base game, Fortnite‘s Battle Royale will have players building in order to survive. The new mode goes live for everyone on September 26th, but Bluehole the developers of PlayerUnknown Battlegrounds, are not thrilled about it at all.
This past Friday, Bluehole Vice President Chang Han Kim issued a statement on the new mode, stating that,
“We’ve had an ongoing relationship with Epic Games throughout PUBG’s development as they are the creators of [Unreal Engine 4], the engine we licensed for the game. After listening to the growing feedback from our community and reviewing the gameplay for ourselves, we are concerned that Fortnite may be replicating the experience for which PUBG is known.”
Chang Han Kim continues, mentioning that Epic Games also goes so far as to name-drop PUBG in promotional materials. He also states bluntly that the promotional considerations were “never discussed with us and we don’t feel that it’s right.” Most ominously, however, is the end of the statement where Chang Han Kim concludes that Bluehole is ready to “contemplate further action“.
PUBG is hardly the first game to fall into a Battle Royale category, though it is the most successful game to do so. In fact, the game is born from a mod to another game in DayZ: Battle Royale. Games copying or re-tooling ideas in other games is nothing new, and for any true action to take place, Bluehole will need to find evidence that Epic Games took something from PUBG itself, like code.
Chang Han Kim did take to PCGamer.com to clarify his statements. He said that the issue for Bluehole isn’t that a new mode has released in a rival game, but that the mode was using the PUBG name in promotions which gave some players the impression that PUBG was officially involved. Additionally, Bluehole is taking issue with Epic Games having the new mode when they had licensed the game engine to Bluehole.
It is anyone’s guess how this will end, but we will have more for you as this story develops.