PUBG Devs Call Out Fortnite for "Replicating" Their Game

By Mark Delaney, 10 months ago
It's likely PlayerUnknown's Battlegrounds will alter the video game landscape in major ways for the next several years at least. A game that grew as big as it did as quickly as it did will inevitably invite imitators and inspire other studios, but the team behind the game, Bluehole, has directly called out Epic Games' Fortnite for "replicating" the PUBG formula too closely.

Just over a week ago, Fortnite revealed their Battle Royale mode that we since learned will release as a standalone free to play game. From parachuting into the map to having it slowly close in around you, driving conflict as the round goes on, the similarities are glaring. They were made worse by the fact that Epic Games is even name-dropping PUBG in some of its promotional material. Bluehole Vice President Chang Han Kim had this to say today in a prepared statement:

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. 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. This was never discussed with us and we don't feel that it's right.
These sentiments fall in line with those from Brendan Greene, PlayerUnknown himself, who said similar works will no doubt enter the marketplace but he "would just hope they put their own spin on the game mode and not just make a carbon copy!"

When does inspiration cross into replication?When does inspiration cross into replication?

You can find the Fortnite team name-dropping PUBG and catch some of the early gameplay of their Battle Royale mode in our previous coverage. Compare it to that of PUBG and decide for yourself. Is this more than homage or just another example of a copycat industry?
Mark Delaney
Written by Mark Delaney
Mark is a Boston native now living in Portland, Oregon. He's the Editorial Manager on TA, loves story-first games, and is one of three voices on the TA Playlist podcast. Outside of games he likes biking, sci-fi, the NFL, and spending time with his fiancée and son. He almost never writes in the third person.