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?
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?