When Fortnite isn’t too busy accidentally uniting Playstation 4 and Xbox One players, the co-op survival game from Epic Games is also apparently lifting features from another popular game. The team behind Fortnite announced a “Battle Royale” mode that will airdrop 100 players into a large map for some PvP free-for-all murdering. Sound familiar? Well, Bluehole of PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds fame seems to think so, sending out a press release to outlets such as Polygon calling out the Fortnite game mode.
Bluehole vice president Chang Han Kim says in the release:
“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.
In both Epic’s announcement video for the Battle Royale mode (embedded below) and their blog post announcement, the developer directly mentions PUBG as an inspiration for the mode, and this namedrop doesn’t sit well with Bluehole, with Kim continuing:
“We have also noticed that Epic Games references PUBG in the promotion of Fortnite to their community and in communications with the press. This was never discussed with us and we don’t feel that it’s right.”
The press release also cites a Reddit “Ask Me Anything” with PlayerUnknown himself, Brendan Greene, who said about the potential of competing battle royale games: “Other companies will, of course, enter the marketplace, but I would just hope they put their own spin on the game mode and not just make a carbon copy!” Kim ominously ends the press release by stating that PlayerUnknown and the rest of the PlayersUnknown will “contemplate further action.”
Seeing how Fortnite has its unique fort-building and weapon-crafting features to take advantage of in its own take on the battle royale genre, one must wonder how different a new game of PUBG’s ilk must be before it’s considered to be an imposter rather than a competitor. If PlayerUnknown’s posse is laying claim to the entire battle royale genre, where does that end? Perhaps the developers of ARMA 2 or DayZ should cry foul, or even the people behind the original Battle Royale story in the first place.
Our suggestion is to drop them all onto an island, hand them weapons and let them settle the dispute themselves. Fortnite’s free-to-play Battle Royale mode will publicly hit Playstation 4, Xbox One, Mac and PC. Perhaps Bluehole is just bitter that Epic is beating them to consoles.