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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.”
Available On: PC, Xbox One, PlayStation 4
Fortnite exists in that odd space between a public beta test and a full release. Epic Games’ online tower-defense, third-person action hybrid can be purchased right now; but it’s actually launching as a free-to-play title next year. The closest equivalent is a Steam Early Access game. An Early Access purchase grants access to the live game right now, as well as some extra loot.
Fortnite’s laborious focus on grinding and digging through random loot mars an otherwise fun experience of scavenging, leveling, shooting, building, and defending with friends.