Yes, you did read the title of this article correctly. Bluehole, the developer of the immensely popular Playerunknown’s Battlegrounds A.K.A PUBG, has a few issues with the release of the new free to play Battle Royale mode in EPIC’s game Fortnite.
Now, I’m not going to bore you by explaining the definition of the word ‘irony’ but if you ever need reminding, refer to this article.
With the rampant success of PUBG, it’s no surprise that other game developers would want to jump on the bandwagon and create a similar experience. Now it seems that one of the giants of the gaming industry, EPIC Games, has jumped on board and has created its own take on the battle royale game mode. Now, it’s not as if EPIC don’t see the similarities between Fortnite’s new game mode and PUBG, they even mentioned that PUBG has been an inspiration for the development of their new free game mode. “We love battle royale games like PUBG and though Fortnite would make a great foundation for our own version,” EPIC said.
Although it seems like EPIC is happy to award PUBG a lot of praise and even cite them as an inspiration, Bluehole, the developer of PUBG, seem to be less than thrilled about the idea of someone copying their idea. In a statement released earlier this week, Bluehole’s Vice President Chang Han Kim said, “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.” If my previous comments about the irony of this situation didn’t make sense, they will when after this next paragraph.
PUBG may be the biggest game of its kind, but it certainly wasn’t the first. I am of course referring to games like The Culling and H1Z1: King of the Kill. Now, settle down, because I know that Brendan Greene, Playerunknown himself, although not so unknown now, was the creator of the King of the Kill mod for H1Z1. The point still stands that PUBG borrows many of the key gameplay mechanics from H1Z1. Even the game manager at H1Z1, Anthony Castro has said “there wouldn’t be a Playerunknown’s Battlegrounds if there wasn’t an H1Z1.” Sounds salty, right? Maybe, but he goes on to say, “There’s room for this genre to expand” and that PUBG is “creating an opportunity” for H1Z1 to reach an audience that it may not have reached without the popularity of PUBG.
You may have noticed that I’m poking fun at Bluehole a little bit, but in all seriousness, Bluehole should expect a few copycats in the market. The success of PUBG is remarkable, selling over 10 million copies to date, breaking concurrent player records with 1.3 million, it even has a release coming on Xbox One. It should be obvious that people are going to try and get a piece of this success. Even the record breaking GTA V has gotten in on the action creating their own battle royale mode.
Bluehole stated “The PUBG community has and continues to provide evidence of the many similarities as we contemplate further action.” We don’t know just yet what “further action” means, but I doubt it means legal action. If this situation does go further, whoever loses, the consumer wins. Gamers now have plenty of battle royale games to choose from. Now, go and get all the chicken dinners you want, or get second place and slam your fists on the desk multiple times in frustration, that’s how it usually goes for me.