PUBG contemplating action against Epic Games’ Fortnite: Battle Royale

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“The PUBG community has and continues to provide evidence of the many similarities as we contemplate further action.”

Almost every gamer has picked up a game at some point or another and noticed similarities with another game. Whether it’s borrowed ideas, concept, or even similar graphics, it’s something that inevitably happens with the vast number of developers and games out there. Take the Call of Duty and Battlefield series for example — not to mention the similar gameplay and style of many first-person shooters. Sometimes it’s an homage, other times it’s unintentional, but not every developer takes replicated experiences lightly.

Bluehole, Inc., developers of PLAYERUNKNOWN’S BATTLEGROUNDS (PUBG), aren’t taking kindly to the newly announced Fortnite: Battle Royale and is considering taking further action against Epic Games.

For those of you unfamiliar with either game, PUBG is a “multiplayer online battle royale” video game currently on Steam’s early access and coming to the Xbox One by the end of this year. Up to 100 players duke it out in a large-scale last man standing deathmatch on an 8 x 8km island. As the game progresses, players scavenge for weapons and equipment while the size of the map decreases over time.

A few days ago, Epic Games announced that Fortnite Battle Royale would be free to play for everyone on PC, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and Mac starting on September 26th. Fortnite was first released in July of this year and is a “co-op sandbox survival game” in which teams of four must survive and defend control points from waves of enemies. The standalone Fortnite Battle Royale, on the other hand, is described as:

It’s a 100-player PvP mode in Fortnite that will be free for everybody on Sept. 26. One giant map. A battle bus. Fortnite building skills and destructible environments combined with intense PvP combat. The last one standing wins.

I personally haven’t played either, but it sounds an awful lot like PUBG. I will note that PUBG isn’t the first battle royale game either, as games like H1Z1: King of the Hill featured 150 player PvP “fight-to-the-death” matches. Chang Han Kim, VP and Executive Producer for Bluehole, Inc. isn’t happy at all with the announcement from Epic Games and the impending release of Fortnite Battle Royale.

“We’ve had an ongoing relationship with Epic Games throughout PUBG’s development as they are the creators of UE4, 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.”

In an emailed statement, Kim goes on to claim that Epic Games is even referencing PUBG in marketing Fortnite in both press releases and to the Fortnite community and hasn’t ruled out taking action.

“The PUBG community has and continues to provide evidence of the many similarities as we contemplate further action.”

The creator of PUBG, Brendan Greene (a.k.a. PLAYERUNKNOWN) and lead designer for DayZ: Battle Royale, an Arma 2 mod for the popular open-world survival mod DayZ, isn’t naive about other battle royale games coming to market, and said this in a recent Reddit AMA:

“Other companies will, of course, enter the marketplace, but I would just hope they put their own spin on the game mode and not just make a carbon copy!”

What do you think about PLAYERUNKNOWN’S BATTLEGROUNDS concerns about the similarities between it and Epic Games’ new battle royale mode in Fortnite? Something PUBG should pursue further action against or much ado about nothing? Let us know in the comments below or on Google+, Twitter, or Facebook.

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