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PUBG Publisher Officially Sues Epic Games over Fortnite

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The cold war standoff between two of the most popular online games in the world just got heated. PUBG Corp, the creators of PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds, have filed a lawsuit against Epic Games, developers of Fortnite, for copyright infringement. As PUBG Corp is based in South Korea, the suit was filed in the Seoul Central District Court.

As is the case with ongoing litigation, neither side is offering commentary beyond PUBG Corp telling Bloomberg News: “This is a measure to protect our copyrights.”

The two companies have previous ties via the Unreal Engine. Epic licensed the engine to PUBG Corp to produce PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds.

PUBG originally launched in Spring 2017 via Steam Early Access, officially releasing in December of last year. It’s 100-person free-for-all deathmatch (“Battle Royale”) was an instant hit, selling tens of millions of copies and becoming a primary destination for Twitch streamers and YouTube personalities.

Then came Fortnite. Fortnite initially launched as a co-op tower defense game, also in Early Access, last summer. It was mostly middling, until Epic Games released a free-to-play Battle Royale spin-off last fall. Fortnite Battle Royale uses the exact same Battle Royale gameplay hook as PUBG – dropping 100 players onto an island in a one-person-standing deathmatch.

In the months since, Fortnite Battle Royale (oft shorted to Fortnite) has become a gaming phenomenon, rivaling the likes of Minecraft and Pokémon GO.

Fortnite Battle Royale had three distinct advantages over PUBG – it’s free-to-play, available on consoles (PUBG has since released on Xbox One via Xbox Game Preview), and it’s rated T for Teen with a more palpable cartoony art style. Fortnite Battle Royale also features the free-form base-building featured in the Fortnite tower defense game, providing a unique twist on the genre.

The lawsuit doesn’t make PUBG look very good. PUBG’s huge numbers have been steadily declining in the months since Fortnite’s release, though it still boasts over a million concurrent players on Steam at any one time.

These days an online game’s success is often measured by the amount of viewers on Twitch. In this case Fortnite is the clear winner as the most watched game on Twitch. One of the most popular streamers, Ninja, infamously switched from PUBG to Fortnite earlier this year.

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PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds Mobile Celebrates 10 Million Daily Players

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One of the most popular games to play online is celebrating a big milestone. Tencent and PUBG Corp are officially confirming that PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds Mobile has reached over 10 million daily active users around the world.

The mobile version, also known as PUBG Mobile, was released on iOS and Android on March 19. In less than a week it reached the top downloaded spot in more than 100 countries. It’s available to download for free with in-app purchases.

Recently PUBG Mobile added the new second map, Miramar. Miramar features a desert setting with several large cities. The mobile game has been nominated for Best Breakthrough Hit and Best Community Building Game at the 2018 Google Play Awards.

PUBG Mobile is the successful mobile version of the incredibly popular Battle Royale survival-shooter, PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds. PUBG drops 100 players on an island in a massive free-for-all deathmatch. Everyone has only a single life, and must scrounge the area for supplies, weapons, and vehicles.

A fun selection of stats has been released. Apparently the average survival time is only about 14 minutes.

playerunknown's battlegrounds

PUBG originally released via Steam Early Access last year. It’s also available via Xbox Games Preview on Xbox One.

Despite stiff competition from Fortnite’s equally popular Battle Royale mode, PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds remains the most played game on Steam, with around 1-1.5 million players at any given time.

PUBG Mobile is available on iOS and Android. It’s rated T for Teen with Violence and Blood.

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PUBG’s Brendan “PlayerUnkown” Greene Is Keynote Speaker at PAX East

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Penny Arcade and ReedPoP have announced the keynote speaker for PAX East 2018. Brendan Greene, aka PlayerUnknown, aka the director of PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds, will give the opening keynote at PAX East. PAX East 2018 takes place April 5-8 in Boston, MA.

Greene’s meteoric rise began with developing an Arma 2 mod, DayZ, before moving to work on H1Z1. He continued to be inspired by the 2000 film Battle Royale, joining South Korean studio Bluehole in 2016 and releasing PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds last year via Steam Early Access. It officially launched on PC last December, as well as in Early Access on Xbox One via Xbox Games Preview.

To date PUBG has sold over 35 million copies, and is the third highest-grossing game of all time on Steam.

“Brendan Greene’s story is a fascinating one, and PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds is only the latest chapter,” said Jerry Holkins, co-founder, Penny Arcade. “At four full days, this year’s PAX East 2018 is shaping up to be the biggest one yet, and we couldn’t be more thrilled to have the founder of the Battle Royale phenomenon kick off the festivities.”

Greene’s “Storytime” keynote speech will kick off the eighth annual PAX East convention. PAX events include panels from developers, publishers, streamers, and community members, an expo hall with game exhibitors, as well as concerts, free play areas, and tournaments. Read up on the full PAX East schedule.

This year marks the first time that PAX East will be expanded from three days to four, running Thursday to Sunday. PAX West in Seattle was expanded out for four days back in 2013.

PAX East 2018 will run April 5-8. Many panels and events will be livestreamed via the official PAX Twitch channel.

Fortnite Battle Royale

Fortnite’s Battle Royale Mode Now Free for Everyone

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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.

 

PlayerUnknown's Battlegrounds

PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds Reaches 10 Million Sold

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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.