The folks behind Playerunknown's Battlegrounds aren't too happy with Epic these days. In short, they feel that a new mode coming to Fortnite, called "Battle Royale," chomps their own game's flavor a bit too much. They're even considering further action, though that's a pretty nebulous threat at this point.
In a press release from Reverb, Inc., the PUBG team made it clear that they have some concerns when it comes to the new Battle Royale mode in the free-to-play Epic survival shooter, Fortnite. (Yes, we realize Fortnite currently costs money to get into the early access, but it will eventually move to free-to-play when it's ready for a full launch.)
In the statement, Bluehole, Inc. Vice President and Executive Producer Chang Han Kim says he feels that the latest mode coming to Epic's Fortnite is cause for concern.
The statement goes on to claim that the user interface, gameplay and structural replication present in Fortnite's Battle Royale mode are the main causes for contention. They also claim that PUBG has been referenced in the promotion of this new mode both online and to the press.
When asked about the similarities, Brendan Greene, better known as Playerunknown, said that the team knew that other similar games would surface, but that they had hoped the developers of those games would do something unique with the formula instead of making "a carbon copy." Bluepoint seems to feel this new mode is too close to its own game, according to Han Kim.
We appreciate developers/publishers need to defend their properties, but we have to wonder if there is any actual ground here to stand on. This kind of thing happens in the world of gaming all of the time. Something gets popular and dozens of "clones" hit the market. We're not arguing its right; just that nobody should be surprised by it. In recent years, MOBAs and arena shooters are the prime examples. League of Legends caught fire, so now we've got an untold number of similar games on the market. Overwatch became a mega-hit, so now we've got several hero shooters fighting for a piece of that pie.
If nothing else, maybe the PUBG team is doing this to set a standard before the flood of similar games really starts rolling. Sort of a, "we know it's going to happen, just please be respectful and try to be creative." I mean, PUBG itself is derivative of other games and mods that came before it. And this Battle Royale mode certainly isn't the first game to follow in PUBG's footsteps.
The thing that really confuses us is the idea that Battle Royale doesn't offer anything new while aping PUBG. We'd argue that the destruction and construction elements absolutely achieve that goal, but we'll just have to wait and see what the parties involved decide.