PlayerUnknown's Battlegrounds

PUBG on Fortnite’s Battle Royale: “We Don’t Feel That It’s Right”

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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 Battle Royale

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.”

 

battleborn

Gearbox Officially Ceasing Updates on Battleborn

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Poor Battleborn. Gearbox’s hopeful MOBA-Hero Shooter had high hopes but was a complete non-starter when it launched a week before Overwatch in May of last year.

After a year and a half of updates developer Gearbox Software has officially pulled the plug. Battleborn’s servers will continue to stay up, but the game will essentially remain in maintenance mode, with no new updates forthcoming after the final planned Fall Update.

Battleborn’s Creative Director Randy Varnell took to the official forums to deliver news: “As of this week, there will be no more Battleplans and there is currently no planned content after the Fall Update. Details of any future changes or news will be made on our forums or through social media, so keep your radars on.”

“I want to personally thank you for giving Battleborn a chance, and dipping down into a new universe with us,” Varnell continued. “We make games for you. And many of you have shared with us how much Battleborn has meant to you personally.”

Varnell mentioned that he and “many folks at Gearbox are working on a highly anticipated project,” confirming what Gearbox CEO Randy Pitchford teased during their PAX West 2017 panel. Clearly they’re busy working on Borderlands 3, though it’s yet to be formally announced or revealed.

As a final gift, there’s a free SHiFT code to unlock a skin for Deande. You can enter the following code in the ShiFT Menu under Extras. You have to redeem it by October 2.

ZKK33-FT59R-KCK3S-XCR33-B56HB

Since launch Battleborn added 5 new DLC characters to bring the total number of heroes to 30. Two more multiplayer modes were also added as well as five story missions.

After failing to garner a healthy multiplayer audience, Battleborn transitioned to a free-to-play model earlier this summer. The Free Trial offered a rotation of heroes. In-game currency could be earned to purchase more, like most free-to-play MOBAs, or to unlock the full game, including the co-op story missions.

My own thoughts on the game were mixed; you can read my review here.

 

end of summer sale

Humble Store End of Summer Sale Features Free Walking Dead

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The Humble Store is featuring an End of Summer Sale for their library of PC games. Until 10 am Pacific/1 pm Eastern on September 9 you can also grab The Walking Dead Season 1 for free. The End of Summer Sale ends September 21.

All of the Telltale episodic adventure games are on sale up to 80% off (aside from The Walking Dead’s 100% off). The Walking Dead Season 2 is $4.99 (80% off) and Season 3, A New Frontier, is $9.99 (60% off). My personal favorite Telltale game, Tales from the Borderlands, is $4.99 (80% off). You can also find Game of Thrones ($5.99), Batman ($6.24), and the currently ongoing Guardians of the Galaxy ($12.49) on sale.

Here are some more highlighted deals. Note that every game purchase results in a Steam key except The Witcher 3, which must be redeemed through GOG. A few games provide both Steam and GOG keys as indicated.

  • XCOM 2 $23.99 (60% off)
  • The Witcher 3 $24.99 (50% off)
  • Slime Rancher $13.39 (33% off, Steam + GOG)
  • Borderlands 2: Game of the Year $9.99 (75% off)
  • Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel $11.99 (70% off)
  • Hyper Light Drifter $9.99 (50% off)
  • Darkest Dungeon $9.99 (75% off)
  • Prison Architect $7.49 (75% off)
  • Valkyria Chronicles $4.99 (75% off)
  • Starbound $9.89 (34% off, Steam + GOG)
  • Rocket League $11.99 (40% off)
  • Sid Meier’s Civilization VI $38.99 (35% off)

Humble’s sale fits snugly in between the various summer and fall sales that Steam and GOG run. Obviously getting The Walking Dead for free is a great deal. The Telltale games seem to have the best sale prices. The Walking Dead Season 2, A New Frontier, and Guardians of the Galaxy sale prices are historic lows compared to the most recent Steam sales.

The End of Summer Sale ends September 21. Free Walking Dead ends September 9.

 

life is strange

Square Enix Announces Life Is Strange Mental Health Campaign

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The first prequel episode to adventure series Life is Strange, Before the Storm, launches tomorrow on August 31. Square Enix is timing its arrival with a fund-raising campaign on social media called “Your Friend, Me.” The campaign celebrates the importance and strength of teenage friendship, which is the focus of the Life Is Strange episodes.

Life Is Strange fans are encouraged to post supportive video messages about friendship, as if sending that message directly to a friend who has impacted them. Shared videos should use the hashtags #LifeisStrange and #YourFriendMe. For every video done in this way, Square Enix has pledged to donate $5 (up to $25,000) to The Jed Foundation.

“We are grateful to Square Enix for helping to raise awareness for mental health and JED’s work,” said John MacPhee, CEO at JED. “We all encounter life’s challenges and support from friends can help us get through those difficult times. ‘Your Friend, Me’ is a wonderful way for people to share their story and express their genuine appreciation for a friend, all while spreading a positive message and helping to make a charitable contribution to JED.”

The Jed Foundation is a non-profit that works to prevent teenage suicide and protect and foster the mental health of teens and young adults.

The Your Friend, Me campaign kicked off at the GameStop 2017 Expo in Las Vegas on Sunday, August 27. Square Enix provided video booths where attendees could create and submit their videos.

Life Is Strange: Before the Storm is a three-episode prequel to 2015’s Life Is Strange, starring 16-year old Chloe. The first episode launches August 31 for PC, PlayStation 4, and Xbox One. No release date has yet been announced for episodes two and three. The episodes are rated M for Mature.

 

destiny 2

Play The Destiny 2 Beta on PC Right Now

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The Open Beta for Destiny 2 starts today, August 29. It’s open to everyone though this beta test is PC only. You’ll have to download Blizzard’s Battle.net launcher if you don’t already have it. The brief open beta period is only available this week, ending August 31.

The Destiny 2 Beta includes the intro solo campaign mission, Homecoming, which introduces the explosive events seen in the trailer. There’s one cooperative strike mission, The Inverted Spire, and two competitive 4v4 crucible maps: Javelin-4 and Midtown. Javelin-4 is a Control map with zones, while Midtown features timed bombs.

Destiny 2 is the sequel to the 2014 multiplayer shooter by Halo developers Bungie. Destiny was a popular though divisive loot-based cooperative shooter. It steadily evolved over the years thanks to content patches and expansion packs. Destiny 2 marks the series first foray onto the PC.

A Digital Deluxe Edition is available for pre-order that includes the Expansion Pass and Legendary Sword and Player Emote. The Expansion Pass will provide access to two future content packs. The first arrives later this year while the second is scheduled for Spring 2018.

Destiny 2 arrives next week on September 6 for PlayStation 4 and Xbox One. PC owners will have to wait a bit longer, on October 24.