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On the heels of Bluehole (makes of PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds) making some accusatory remarks at Fortnite, Epic Games has announced that Fortnite Battle Royale is free for everyone starting today. But only the Battle Royale mode – the main co-op game (called “Save the World”) remains in paid Early Access with a 2018 release date.
Fortnite launched earlier this Summer via Early Access on PC, Mac, PlayStation 4, and Xbox One. The final game will be free-to-play with microtransactions. It combines tower defense with third-person action and up to four player co-op (read our preview of Fortnite).
The PvP Battle Royale mode was a free update to Fortnite earlier this month. It’s designed exactly the same way as PUBG. Up to 100 players begin with nothing but a pickaxe and drop out of a plane over a large island. You have one life to run around, find loot, and kill (or avoid) other players while a shrinking circular zone keeps you moving. Building walls and forts is available, though you find weapons and traps instead of crafting them.
Recently Bluehole Inc made a firm statement noting the similarities between Fortnite and their runaway success, PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds. PUBG has reached a level of indie fame previously seen only in titans like Minecraft. The latest numbers show it has sold over 10 million copies. It is firmly entrenched as the number one played game on Steam, with over a million players online at any one time.
PUBG is currently only available on PC, whereas Fortnite is available on consoles. PUBG is coming to Xbox One later this year. Both titles are still in Early Access.
Opening up Battle Royale to everyone also comes with a new update to Fortnite. Most importantly this update will add Squads, letting friends form allied teams of up to four players. Other updates include new weapons and UI enhancements.
Fortnite is due to launch in 2018.
Shots fired by Bluehole, Inc, developers of the incredibly popular online Battle Royale game, PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds. Today the VP for Bluehole, Chang Han Kim, released a firm statement regarding Fortnite’s newly introduced game mode, Fortnite Battle Royale.
“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,” said Kim. “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.”
Seems that PUBG fans were miffed at seeing another game use the exact same concept so quickly, and the company is inclined to agree.
“We have also noticed that Epic Games references PUBG in the promotion of Fortnite to their community and in communications with the press,” Kim continues. “This was never discussed with us and we don’t feel that it’s right.”
Fortnite launched in July under the Early Access banner, with plans to launch as a free-to-play title with microtransactions next year. The main game features cooperative base-building, exploration, crafting, and tower defense. You can read our Early Access preview here.
Fortnite Battle Royale was recently added as a free update earlier this month. It indeed cribs all of its structure and gameplay from PUBG’s, including parachuting over a large island, gathering weapons and items, and surviving while a shrinking circular zone dictates where you can go.
During the Fortnite Battle Royale announcement trailer, Epic Games Creative Director Donald Mustard specifically referenced PUBG: “We’re huge fans of the Battle Royale genre, and games like PUBG and H1Z1. We thought Fortnite was the perfect world to build one in.”
It was recently announced that Fortnite Battle Royale will be opening up to everyone for free starting September 26.
Conversely PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds released on Steam Early Access in March. Up to 100 players drop onto an island full of weapons and vehicles, and survive to the last person standing. To date it has sold an astonishing 10 million copies, and is firmly entrenched at the top of the Steam sales and player charts. It’s still in Early Access and coming to Xbox One later this year.
Chang Han Kim closed with the following statement, teasing possible legal action: “The PUBG community has and continues to provide evidence of the many similarities as we contemplate further action.”
Every year brings another runaway indie success story. Last year was Stardew Valley, but this year it’s unquestionably PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds. The online multiplayer Battle Royale may be a mouthful to say but it has resonated with gamers. It has sold over 10 million units since it first launched via Steam Early Access in March.
That’s right, it’s still not technically released yet.
“It is amazing and gratifying to see the love and support the passionate fans have shown to PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds,” stated Chang Han Kim, Vice President and Executive Producer for Bluehole. “Watching the thrilling moments during the PUBG Invitational with the great feedback from viewers is a realization of the continuing popularity of PUBG. Our team is working diligently to bring a solid gameplay experience for full launch on the PC and Xbox One Game Preview versions later this year.”
Recently PUBG hit a peak for concurrent users at over 970,000 during the PUBG Invitational event at Gamescom. The Invitational featured 92 players from 19 different countries. Players competed in four different game modes including solo and duo. Viewership on Twitch.tv reached over 500,000.
PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds drops up to 100 players onto an 8 x 8 km island where they must scavenge for supplies, weapons, and vehicles. The only goal is to be the last person standing. Circled zones force people to move into tighter areas and promote conflict. The online game has been especially popular for live streamers.
Currently PUBG is only available via Steam Early Access. It’s coming later this year to Xbox One as part of their Game Preview program. PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds is set to officially launch in early 2018 on Xbox One, and later this year on PC.
PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds has been rated M for Mature for Intense Violence, Blood, and Gore.
Playerunknown’s Battlegrounds (also known as PUBG) is making a special appearance at Gamescom in August.