Ten days have just passed since the American video-game developer, Epic Game, announced the upcoming 100-player last-man-standing game mode Fornite: Battle Royale.
At the moment, Epic linked its following launch to the Bluehole’s PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds, saying that the company wanted to create a game with such an excellent concept. However, the South Korean company didn’t take that as a compliment by any chance. Thus, leading Bluehole to release a paper on Friday firing a warning shot over Epic’s bow.
Epic has been working on Fornite for at least six years, and this is the first time the company shows interest in Battle Royale genre. PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds was released this year.
This threat came after Epic first announced the “love” the company feels for Battle Royale games like PUBG, thinking it would make a “great foundation for our own version.” Following the statement, the South Korean video-game company’s vice-president, C.H. Chin, who resulted being the one who produced Battlegrounds, called out Fortnite’s upcoming Battle Royale mode for “replicating” the PUBG experience, and vaguely threatened “further action.”
However, reviewers say the statement doesn’t really scare Epic Game in any way. Instead, this delivers more to know about its upcoming Fortnite to those PUBG fans – especially considering that the new mode will be totally free, and PUBG is $30.
“Epic Games references PUBG in the promotion of Fortnite to their community and in communications with the press,” Chang Han Kim said. “This was never discussed with us and we don’t feel that it’s right… The PUBG community has and continues to provide evidence of the many similarities as we contemplate further action.”
Fornite: Battle Royale vs. PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds
Both games development is in an open space with a protagonist-character controlled by the player, waiting to start seeing arms falling from the sky that are ready to be used by itself or its enemies. It’s literally to kill or to be killed until someone wins.
PUBG was built on Engine 4, created by the Fortnite’s developer and used on Batte Royale to get it better. Although both experiences are very similar, they are not entirely the same.
That’s what Brendan “PlayerUnknown” Greene, Bluehole creative director and the game’s conceptual originator, expects from other similar games: not to be the same. According to a note he wrote on Reddit AMA, he thinks that “other companies” will enter the marketplace by doing Battle Royale genre games, but putting “their own spin on the game-mode and not just make a carbon copy.”
This is the first time Epic Game develops another mode-to-play in one of its Fortnite. Janine Hawkins, a loyal player since it was very-first launched, considered Epic had been really defensive and protective about the game’s concept before. However, this significant change might be a way to reach to a new public of Battle Royale fans – considering that the genre has been around for many years and that PUBG is actually on the top of Steam’s player charts.
“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 Bluehole VP and executive producer Chang Han 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.”
There are already other games similar to both Fortnite: Battle Royale and PUBG, most of all in China. They are equally constructed to sustain a battle among many gamers, or the player against the same computer until one of them wins. According to PC Gamer, Bluehole never mentioned or fought none of those games’ developers. However, the South Korean company has said that its statement is “a response to community concern,” it doesn’t actually mean Epic Game is facing legal charges.
Will Epic face legal charges?
It’s unknown if Bluehole is going to sue Epic, although its VP looked pretty serious and angry in the company’s paper.
In fact, Bluehole didn’t mention anything related to legal actions actually being held. Chin just expressed his concerns about Epic “stealing” the South Korean company’s work, and said that it would mean a violation of any private agreement between the companies.
The concept of Battle Royal is ancient in the history of gaming. Some reviewers link the genre to 1978, where Amor Battle was first launched. In it, players also had to fight against many others in a particular environment.
These allegations are not new in the world of video-games companies, according to a developer of the original Ms. Pac-Man clone Crazy Otto, Steve Golson. In front of a GDC crowd in March 2016, he told that game companies don’t usually “copycat” games makers because they are really timid, thus letting courts set sweeping precedents. Golson believed that if a hacker or modder got a favorable ruling, it could have much more impact on a publisher’s bottom line than if bigger companies’ cases were upheld.