Bluehole Studio Inc. isn’t too chuffed with Epic. This is because of similarities between PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds and the new Battle Royale mode that’s just been introduced to Fortnite. The developer is concerned that the Epic game is perhaps cutting it a little too close to PUBG. As a result of this, Bluehole has released a statement detailing its misgivings about Fortnite’s new free-to-play mode, and what in its eyes could be grounds for plagiarism.
Bluehole’s VP and executive producer, Chang Han Kim, said that, ‘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’. He continued, saying that, ‘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.’
He added that, ‘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.’ He’s probably making a reference here to the recent piece about Fortnite, and the release of the Battle Royale mode, that was posted on the PlayStation Blog recently, where Epic stated that, ‘We love Battle Royale games like PUBG and thought Fortnite would make a great foundation for our own version’.
Bluehole is of the view that Fortnite seems to have pretty much lifted the formula from PUBG, and applied it to its own game. It also said that the PUBG community has been gathering evidence of Fortnite copying the smash-hit game’s formula, and presenting these findings to Bluehole. Chang Han Kim said in closing that Bluehole is ‘currently considering taking further action’, and whether this is a legal matter is up for debate.
PUBG’s creator, Brendan ‘PlayerUnknown’ Greene, had recently commented on the possibility of the game’s formula being copied, saying, ‘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!’ Clearly Bluehole has an opinion about which category Fortnite comes under.