PlayerUnknown's Battlegrounds Dev Threatens Epic Over Fortnite's Similar New Mode

"We have also noticed that Epic Games references PUBG ... This was never discussed with us and we don't feel that it's right."

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Brendan "PlayerUnknown" Greene invented the battle royale game mode long before he turned it into a standalone game with PlayerUnknown's Battlegrounds. But for all of the battle royale mods and games that exist, PUBG has been far more successful: The game has smashed all-time records on Steam and enjoyed a meteoric rise, with no end in sight. As you'd expect, other companies are looking to capitalize on the interest in PUBG, but the game's developer is unhappy with the particular approach Epic Games is taking with a new mode in Fortnite.

Epic announced earlier this month that it was releasing a new battle royale-style game mode for its upcoming free-to-play game, Fortnite. It made no attempt to hide its obvious inspiration, naming the mode Battle Royale and stating in a blog post, "We love battle royale games like PUBG and thought Fortnite would make a great foundation for our own version." After initially opening it only to those who purchased the early access version, Epic recently revealed that it will offer this aspect of the game for free to everyone starting on September 26 (the entirety of Fortnite will be free-to-play beginning next year).

In a curious move, PUBG developer Bluehole has now spoken out about the mode, even going so far as to release a press release sharing its reaction to Epic's announcement. The press release, which refers to PUBG as "the first standalone Battle Royale survival shooter game," states that it's decided to respond to "growing concerns regarding the similarities between the battle royale mode in Epic Games' newly revealed Fortnite and PUBG."

"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."

The press release notes that PUBG developers have "no relationship to Fortnite's development as concerns around User Interface (UI), gameplay, and structural replication in the battle royale mode exist."

Han Kim also took issue with Epic mentioning PUBG in reference to Fortnite's new mode. "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 also issued a threat, suggesting that Bluehole could attempt to take some "action" against Epic. "The PUBG community has and continues to provide evidence of the many similarities as we contemplate further action," Han Kim said.

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No further specifics were shared, and it's unclear whether Bluehole has any intention of actually pursuing legal action. In light of PUBG's massive success, it's no surprise to see other developers looking to it for inspiration. As the press release even points out, Greene discussed copycats in a recent Reddit AMA.

"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!" he said in response to a question (which didn't specifically mention Fortnite). "I try not to worry about them to be honest and instead just concentrate on completing my vision for a battle royale game."

We've reached out to Epic for a response to Bluehole's comments. We'll report back with anything it has to share.

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MostlyHonester

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This just in: Creator of the CTF game mode is retroactively suing every gaming company to ever create a multiplayer, team-based game. PU's vision for Battle Royale will be another unfinished game, most likely. The reality is real companies will come a long and make way better versions of Battle Royale.

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Kcxiv

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@computernoises: to be fair playerunknown moded Arma and was brought into Sony at the time to help with the h1z1 version of it. Remember back in the old box of destiny you used to see playerunknown signs everywhere, hell my character still has the playerunknown t shirt skin.

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SickEmergency

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I just wanna know when PUBG will come out on Xbox....

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No_Intelligence

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@sickemergency: It is. they announced.

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SickEmergency

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Edited By SickEmergency

@No_Intelligence: When? Please don't say "Later this year." It's not posted anywhere online

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Thanatos2k

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The Free-For-All game mode has existed for decades. Get over yourself.

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stiefjac

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It looks like a lot of people misunderstand what's bothering them. They're not claiming to own the concept of a battle royal game type, the similarities between PUBG's and Fortnites UI, the fact that you parachute in at the beginning, the circle looks the same, etc. Is what they're upset about. They've even stated it wasn't the fact that someone is making a game similar to there's its the fact that its EPIC specifically whose competing with them.

Epic owns Unreal Engine, which the PUBG dev licensed to make their game. Epic charges a 5% royalty based on gross revenue of games using UE4. As of right now PUBG has sold over 11 million copies at $30 a piece. That's $330,000,000. 5% of 330,000,000 is $16.5 million dollars. Now, imagine you're trying to get into the game industry and by a stroke of luck and timing you hit it big like Bluehole has. Then, the company that you license the engine from who STILL profits from your game decides to imitate your formula (seriously go watch gameplay there's way too many similairites) to directly compete with you while you're still paying them.

Now here's where it gets tricky. Bluehole is upset because Epic actually referenced PUBG in promoting Fortnites's battle royale mode, which is basically the business world equivalent of "put your dukes up you charlatan". In certain situations using another company's product to promote your own can be illegal depending on how its used, but since Epic has the 5% royalty program they may retain some ownership of the games that are made with UE4, i'm not really sure. So what they did may be perfectly legal and Bluehole may have no recourse, but it doesn't mean what Epic did is ethical from a business perspective.

TL;DR Epic is already profiting from them and then decided to use their name to promote their own product, which is kind of a dick move but is probably perfectly legal and bluehole won't be able to do much about it

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Plus_1

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Watching the Fortnite royale off youtube last night and after reading the article, I see it as simple as this. Fortnite should have chosen a different closure type field. I mean square, oval something. Its PUBG. As for the new genre thats certainly not new, "battle royale" , tho the article reads like hes (Greene) claiming a sense of ownership on the term, its clear theyre pissed about the cut and copy. In the end, Greene really has no arguement here. It would be in his and MS best interest to get this out into the wild as quiccly as possible. Stop cryin

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chipmunkkungfu

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And fortnite is getting free publicity by doing so

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draco934

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Bluehole is becoming a butthole :3

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lorddaggeroff

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Edited By lorddaggeroff

I thought pub was a entirely new game with story, adventure objectives, special memorable moment bosses creatures.

It doesn't have to be a new game mode but a game that's fun AAA or not if you focus on a mod as inspiration then it's time to move on.

You don't see kojimas b@# about silent hills. But royale attached to fortnite wrong no matter how you look at it it's distasteful but legally in junction with epics clause.

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northArrow

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I pronounce the game as "PUBE-G" and I'll continue to do so while they pretend to have a monopoly on a genre

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Verenti

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1) You can't trademark mechanics or ideas.

2) PUBG didn't invent battle royal. They're stealing the name and idea from Battle Royal. It would be like calling something James Bond mode and then getting mad when someone else invented a James Bond mode.

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karloss01

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Edited By karloss01

I can see why they are not pleased with Epic, I mean just looking at screenshots you can see the UI used for Fortnite's version is identical perhaps even the same one as PUBG's; they could've at least made the UI match the cartoony game they're making.

EDIT: Now that I've looked at footage, yeah EPIC has ripped off PUBG. From the UI to initial drop and how the circle works, it all looks just like PUBG's work thrown on top of another game. This is what I believe Han Kim is on about, the other Battle Royale games have different methods of starting, some times different objectives and aesthetics different to PUBG but Fortnite looks like EPIC stole PUBG's assets and put them in their game. They aren't claiming the Battle Royale genre, they're claiming the identical aesthetics used by EPIC.

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xgalacticax

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You cannot own a game genre, even if it is a new one. And I'm pretty sure PU did not 'invent' the idea of Battle Royale

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Nitroc

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Edited By Nitroc

PUBG pissed with epic games for making a battle royle mode for fortnite... epic who makes the engine they use for pubg no offense to blue whatever they are called but you have not made anything from the ground up even the game you have is built around a arma mod. Do not see OW and all the other companies suing each other over game like-ness!!! LMAO These glorified bug fixers letting the air get too thin up on top... maybe not its time to thank the people who are really make your game.

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Kcxiv

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@Nitroc: bluehole needs to get on them bug fixes, i dont know how many times i ran into a house and died because of dysync where my characters still outside, but on my PC, im actually inside, with the door closed and i fall over! lol. Im like yeah, i escaped. ! ughh,.. no i didnt!

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nomadski69

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Edited By nomadski69

Good luck. As an actual King who lives on a hill, I've been trying legal action against companies making first person shooters for over two decades.

I am a very poor King.

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Aegis_Kleais

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Hey Brendan, just because you're first doesn't mean you'll do it right or the best. Welcome to the world of competition. You know, that thing which will hopefully keep Bunghole from resting on its profits and NEVER advancing PUBG out of its Alpha-like quality, or how you've chosen to add content as a priority where there are a MYRIAD of technical and UI bugs as well as some insanely miserable hit boxes.

PUBG has potential, but it reeks of a game that can only rise as much as a hobbyist modder could let it, and will never have that AAA-ish finish to it where it plays like a finished product. You've made your millions, you've shown that fixes aren't your first concern. What harm is in there in having someone pull people over to a game where the lofty "goal" of getting to beta is actually in their rear view mirror? Compete or fail.

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TK_Inv1ctus

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really hope this isn't the way Paladins tried to make a free- Overwatch ;-;

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lorddaggeroff

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Honestly I haven't played either but pubg looks better, this looks like the fortnite game that suffered serious issues at launch with confusing objectives, poor implementation and bad microtransactions.

So yes they are trying to recover where they failed but they are two different games.

Pubg: survival style apocalyptic arma

Fortnite: RPG style fast paced survival

I can see it being a buzz kill having royale attached to fortnite, that's poor taste on epic studios side.

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Nitroc

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@lorddaggeroff: It is shady to turn on the guys providing you with the game engine, even worse to make a big deal of it when all they are is bug fixers.. they are not making a game, they are just tweaking a game mod. I think they should loose the rights to the engine they are using.

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lorddaggeroff

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@Nitroc: they are is bug fixers.. they are not making a game, they are just tweaking a game mod. I think they should loose the rights to the engine

I don't understand what you mean by that?

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lorddaggeroff

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Edited By lorddaggeroff

What should we learn from this? Well that any intellectual property owned by: it's certified collective entity being the source code, and the tools used under acknowledgement is so by free to copy reuse (may not abuse, sell with out consent or acknowledgement of the collective owner, must not gamble, create inappropriate content that deems unsatisfactory with our clause) but collective rights that are used for creating content be it: art, sound, content and name, voices, animation, are solely of their content creators, and not of our own volition.

However source code shared via free open licences ( can be revoked at any time with out discretion if and only if it is not within our interest or our values change.) Is free to use publicly be it: the enteral engine, source, but must be released publicly unless our license acknowledges you custom licensee exempt from our clause.

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Prats1993

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They're just mad because Fortnite's battle royale mode actually looks more fun and polished than the buggy and ropy mess that is PUBG.

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SickEmergency

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Edited By SickEmergency

@Prats1993: Ya, no. You obviously haven't played either game lol

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Plus_1

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@Prats1993: ?, and no.

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Tr4newreck

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lol haha...right, he invented 'battle royale' a mode available in other fps games long before pubg came out...

the correct version of his statement is: "i made 'battle royale' popular"..... another asshat trying to grab a mile, when he's given an inch.

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DonJuanCorleone

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Its bound to happen, remember when Saints Row first came out? Everyone was up in arms complaining about it being a GTA clone. GTA just carried on, adapted and excelled.

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redviperofdorne

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So apparently no one can have a free for all mode cause that's exclusive to PUBG....good luck with that guys. Just enjoy your success and keep doing your other thing. Simple put, They could have said yeah there's gonna be imitators but good luck topping us.

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IAmMcGruber

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Edited By IAmMcGruber

I think Lindsey Lohan got ahold of Brendans acct and is now trying to sue again

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SickEmergency

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Edited By SickEmergency

@computernoises: I don't think they are mad and claiming that they CREATED battle-royal. I think they are mad that Epic basically copied every aspect of their game. The enclosing shock circle, dropping from the sky onto an island, pregame location (aka loading spot) is on a small island next to the island you play on. I'm not sure what the timer looks like on both games but they feel relatively close in how soon the circle closes. I've played both games and Epic definitely stole every aspect of PUBG's concept. Epic stole PUBG's approach, not battle royal itself, of course.

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Seymour47

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@computernoises: You may have invented the pixel, but I invented the CONCEPT of the pixel. I'm sure that supersedes your invention of said pixel.

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redviperofdorne

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@computernoises:
Care to comment on any potential lawsuit you may have regarding these inventions? I say you turn this into a triple threat and go after both Epic and PUBG for ripping you off.

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Jokotau

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Edited By Jokotau

they must be really high. like they just didn't copy - pasted H1Z1 and made it more tactical instead of arcade style. and that's about all they've done with it.

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IAmMcGruber

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@Jokotau: I thought the guy who made the h1z1 also made pubg

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jonnybrownieboy

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Edited By jonnybrownieboy

I think I'll uninstall PUB and play fornite instead :)

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CoolManMick

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Tough luck. I doubt it is really about the mode at all. Just using it as an excuse. Why didn't they say something sooner if it was?! It's funny they complain about it on the same week it was announced that the Fortnite version would be free for everyone. They clearly just feel threatened to lose players to Fortnite. And the fact that Fortnite is not only free to play but it's also on PS4 while PUBG is not.... Yeah I would feel threatened too. Better hurry up and find a way to get their game on PS4 if they want my money cos I for one am excited to play it on Fortnite. Have the Xbox One but no interest in buying their game for that platform, only PS4 and they don't have it soooo... yeah I know what I'm going to play.

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stiefjac

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@coolmanmick: They've stated that the point isn't that someone else is making a similar game, the fact that Epic is doing it is the problem. They license Unreal Engine 4 from Epic - which means epic is already profiting off of their game and it isn't even finished. While simultaneously making something that after watching vids of both next to each other is pretty damn similar. Its not ethical

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lithus

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Edited By lithus

Its laughable that PU dare say anyone stole or copied anyone. It's a fucking beat up Arma3 mod and the battle royale concept predates anything he's ever done. He didn't invent shit. What a pompous tool bag.

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G4m1ngOn

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PUBG is a cancer. It is buggy overhyped mess. Now on the wave of cash they will try to boss around about "their" genre? **** you lol... PUBG team is drunk.

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blau808

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Maybe PUBG will finally come out of Beta now

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Germaximus

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LOL Battle Royale is not something original that PUBG came up with. Hell, maybe they should be sued?

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mikemapa

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Edited By mikemapa

Why are they wasting time with this pointless battle? They have over 8 million users, an enormous headstart. They should just focus on continuing to improve the game experience for these millions of users, and they won't have to worry about any upstart competitor. For heaven's sake, even GTA V has a PUBG-style mode now, but PUBG isn't in any danger of this dethroning it. You have a good product, Playerunknown & Bluehole. Make it even better and leave everyone else in the dust.

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Celiria_Rose

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Tough. You can't own exclusive rights to a game mode. If another company wants to try their hand at it or add it to their game then just suck it up and deal with it.

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jyml8582

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@Celiria_Rose: This 100%. No one can own a play mode, just like no one owns a genre. PUBG hasn't been aggressively in development and the game's still in a state of a megaton of bugs, not to mention it's stone age graphics. This is all due to its weirdly overnight sensational success. What they need to push the game's development is a competition, and Fortnite's BR mode looks 10 times more appealing and more fun than PUBG, albeit it's also most likely less challenging. Bluehole needs to focus on making their game better to win out the competition, instead of playing the legal game that could easily destroy their own success.

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Soliaired50

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What a pretentious jackass.

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