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.”