Epic Games announced that Fortnite's 100 player PvP mode, Battle Royale, will be going free to play across all platforms that have access for Fornite on September 26th. As far as games go, Fortnite's Battle Royale and PlayerUnknown's Battlegrounds (PUBG) are almost exactly the same game with some differences. Both games utilize different art and Battle Royale has a building feature for player's to use in the game, PUBG doesn't have this feature.
Now, with the release of Battle Royale on the horizon, some of the folks on the PUBG side are a bit upset over the similarities and could even take action against Epic if they feel as though it is too similar.
Brendan Greene, PlayerUnknown himself, recognizes that other game creators will see PlayerUnknown Battlegrounds' success and look to copy it, he said that he hoped they would put their own spin on it.
“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!”
Bluehole Inc, the developers behind PUBG, don't exactly follow the same train of through as Greene. They, at least the Vice President and Executive Producer for Bluehole, Inc, are a bit upset with Epic's release of 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 Chang Han Kim, Vice President and Executive Producer for Bluehole, Inc. “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.”
“We have also noticed that Epic Games references PUBG in the promotion of Fortnite to their community and in communications with the press,” Chang Han Kim continued. “This was never discussed with us and we don’t feel that it’s right.”
We looked around for times when Epic openly mentioned PUBG and it looks like the only times they did it were when they were trying to explain the game mode for Battle Royale by likening it to the most popular games similar to it.
Here's the quote from a Facebook video:
"At Epic, we are huge fans of the Battle Royale genre, and games like PUBG and H1Z1, and we thought that Fortnite was the perfect world to build one in."
Here's a quote from the PlayStation Blog that was also used in a promotional email for Fornite's Battle Royale:
“We love Battle Royale games like PUBG and thought Fortnite would make a great foundation for our own version.”
It's worth noting that Greene recently mentioned the game H1Z1 being the reason PlayerUnknown Battlegrounds even exists. Bluehole Inc. is looking into the similarities and considering perusing further action if things are too similar. “The PUBG community has and continues to provide evidence of the many similarities as we contemplate further action.”
In the gaming industry, it's not surprising to see a game get a clone – especially a successful game. All you have to do to see an example of this is type 'Minecraft' into the App Store or Google Play Store and behold all of the Minecraft clones (cloning is not limited to Minecraft, but it's a pretty good example).
Now, some games escape getting slapped with the title of 'clone' by adding their own twist to things. Take a look at the entire 'survival' game genre with H1Z1, ARK: Survival Evolved, and Rust. Each game is very similar once stripped down, but the features around it are different. Either way, it might be safe to say that if Epic had kept Battle Royale behind a paywall, like the rest of Fortnite, Bluehole wouldn't be salty.