Just this past week, PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds (PUBG) studio Bluehole surprised a lot of people when it publicly called out Epic Games for its Fortnite Battle Royale mode which Bluehole claims is a bit too similar to PUB, and how it referenced Bluehole;s game in the press announcement.
While a lot of people will argue that PUBG itself is a copy of H1Z1 and DayZ, apparently, that’s not why the studio is upset. In a chat with PCGamer, Bluehole VP and Executive Producer Changhan Kim explained the press release barb and why the studio is contemplating “further action” against the company that Bluehole is licensing PUBG’s game engine on (Unreal Engine).
So the first thing that I’d like to clarify is that this is not about the battle royale game mode itself. There were other BR gamemodes earlier this year that were released, like last man standing or GTA 5’s battle royale game mode, and we never raised an issue, and I think it’s great that there’s more competition and everyone should be able to create their own battle royale game mode, and it’s not about the idea itself, it’s about Epic Games, and that wasn’t really clear [in the press release].
We use Unreal Engine to develop PUBG, and we pay a large amount of royalties based on the size of our success to Epic Games, and Epic Games always promoted their licensing models [saying] “We want to support the success indie developers”, and [Bluehole is] this indie developer that has been the most successful one using the Unreal Engine this year, and that’s the problem that I see.
So, battle royale is just about last man standing, it’s a simple game mode, and we’re not claiming any kind of ownership over the game mode or genre itself, it’s not for us to even comment. There were a lot of copycats in China and [in that] industry there is a lot of battle royale games that look exactly [the] same as ours, so we will definitely look into similarities if there are different products that are very similar to our game, but even before we actually looked deeper into how similar [Fortnite Battle Royale] is, we wanted to raise an issue because this is from Epic Games. We could be the biggest indie success story that they have and there will be other indie developers that aspire to succeed like us using Unreal Engine, and they would be concerned, right? So we just wanted to raise an issue and let people know that it can be a problem.
Additionally, Kim adds that the studio is “starting to have concerns” when it comes to technical support from Epic Games as anything they help tweak for PUBG (new features, improving existing tech, etc.) might be copied by Epic Games’ Fortnite Battle Royale. which is a valid concern if you think about it.
At the time of this writing, Kim has mentioned that they have reached out to Epic Games but have yet to hear a response.
You can read the entire interview which talks about the situation, right here.
Do you agree with Bluehole’s reasoning behind this or is Epic just doing the right marketing push in mentioning PUBG in order to get attention as much as possible?