Bluehole Studios Is Concerned That Fortnite Is Replicating PUBG

Looks like the circle is closing in on the games that are trying to copy PUBG's style.

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Well. It turns out not all imitation is flattering. Epic has been pretty gung-ho in the promotion of the Battle Royale mode for their latest game Fortnite and the "Last Man Standing" experience is definitely inspired by the incredibly popular PlayerUnknown's Battlegrounds. In a press release and Reddit AMA, the team being PUBG is letting it be known that they aren't fans of this move by Epic.

“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 Chang Han Kim, Vice President and Executive Producer for Bluehole, Inc, in a press release response to Epic's Fortnite: Battle Royale. “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.”

PlayerUnknown, in a Reddit AMA, also said, “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!” Fortnite seems like it'd fit the bill since it includes the base game's crafting and construction elements on top of the Battle Royale formula, but there seems to be concerns nevertheless. Epic also hasn't been really coy in expressing that the game mode was inspired by PUBG and H1Z1.

This quote from Battlegrounds producer Chang Han Kim closes the press release: “The PUBG community has and continues to provide evidence of the many similarities as we contemplate further action.”

This could be a big deal. This could also be nothing. PUBG isn't the first game of its kind, though it certainly propelled the genre to a high tier. Fortnite's Battle Royale isn't the first to try to tap into PUBG's success and certainly won't be the last. Epic's major push to focus on this soon-to-be-free mode could be responsible for Bluehole Studios' response.

Charles Singletary Jr keeps the updates flowing as the News Editor, breaking stories while investigating the biggest topics in gaming and technology. He's pretty active on Twitter, so feel free to reach out to him @The_CSJR. Got a hot tip? Email him at Charles.Singletary@Shacknews.com.

From The Chatty

  • reply
    September 22, 2017 7:20 AM

    Charles Singletary posted a new article, Bluehole Studios Is Concerned That Fortnite Is Replicating PUBG

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      September 22, 2017 7:25 AM

      Fortnite is a replicant

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      September 22, 2017 7:33 AM

      While it is a rip off, you can't be surprised in the least that your highly successful model gets copied.

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        September 22, 2017 7:35 AM

        It's been done so many times before and will continue to happen.

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        September 22, 2017 7:39 AM

        Of course someone is copying it

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      September 22, 2017 7:54 AM

      It is kind of interesting that the company supplying the PUBG engine and has worked with Bluehole on fixing problems with the engine that make it problematic for 100 players at a time is now entering the same space. I'm not sure this will be competing with the very same PUBG players since I feel it combines a mildly casual approach on tactical simulation with the battle royale concept and I don't see the tactical sim appeal here.

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      September 22, 2017 8:01 AM

      Who cares? They are a popular game right now but they didn’t invent the idea of battle royale games.

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      September 22, 2017 8:03 AM

      Something to note that people might not have caught: the issue is not so much that another game is implementing a mode that's just like PUBG, the issue that Bluehole is upset about is that the developer of Fortnite, the game in question, is Epic Games, the same developer they licensed the Unreal engine from.

      I don't know what exact route PUBG went but they probably did the thing where they just used the free version of the Unreal engine and used the backend arrangement Epic came up with. My understanding is that with this arrangement, instead of paying a bunch of money up front, the engine is "free" but any money you make over $50,000 you pay a royalty on to Epic. So if you make $40,000 you don't owe them anything but if you make $60,000, you owe them a % of the $10k you made over the $50k.

      PUBG has sold over a million copies so obviously Epic is making money off of that game. Now they're going to make their own version.

      I don't know if anyone's in the wrong or right here but I can see why they're upset.

      I'm reminded of how Silicon Knights sued Epic because they couldn't get the support they figured they paid for with the Unreal Engine while at the same time features they needed made it into Gears of Whatever Epic was working on at the time. SK lost though and folded.

      • Zek
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        September 22, 2017 9:30 AM

        As long as Epic isn't using that relationship to harm PUBG as a competitor to their own game, I don't think it's relevant. I'm sure the UE4 licensing contract doesn't say anything about Epic not being allowed to make a game that's similar to yours.

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      September 22, 2017 8:32 AM

      Isn't PUBG like the 4th or 5th version of this game-type in the past 3-4 years? Arma had one, Day-Z had one, H1Z1 had one, The Culling was one, then PUBG. Now, while admittedly the Arma/Day-Z ones were PU, him building his rep from mods on someone else's game and complaining now that someone else is modding their own game seems a bit iffy.
      Or as it used to be said: "You can't copyright no beat!"

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        September 22, 2017 10:57 AM

        Arma2:DayZ mod, Arma3 mod, h1z1 kotk, pubg all had Player Unknowns involvement.

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          September 22, 2017 12:38 PM

          OK, I didn't know he was in on the h1z1 thing. I thought that was just part of the game. Well the MAIN part of the game, clearly, but I thought it was integral.

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          September 22, 2017 5:00 PM

          He's basically Icefrog Guinsoo Eul.

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        September 22, 2017 3:58 PM

        Lol Culling

        So terribad

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        September 22, 2017 5:40 PM

        Ark had Survival of the Fittest but it was shit

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      September 22, 2017 9:41 AM

      They have sold what, 12+ million copies at this point and when it hits the consoles it'll double or triple that amount. They have nothing to worry about, they just need to keep refining and adding the things they want to add and not look back.

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      September 22, 2017 10:07 AM

      Fortnite is already a ripoff of SourceForts so whatever.

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      September 22, 2017 10:29 AM

      Seems they are miffed their competition is free.

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      September 22, 2017 11:08 AM

      wah wah. i think bluehole is concerned because epic has the talent/resources to actually make a better last-man standing game than they can. the jank players have to put up with in pubg is unreal given the popularity of this game.

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        September 22, 2017 11:25 AM

        yeah the shooting probably feels better in Fortnite than it does in PUBG because Epic knows how to do a shooter

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      September 22, 2017 11:19 AM

      I'm calling it. We'll have 3 better PUGB clones in 12 months.

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        September 22, 2017 11:24 AM

        I'm actually looking forward to a more polished, faster, smoother PUBG. Not to say bluehole can't do that with their version, it's just other developers might beat them at their own game.

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          September 22, 2017 11:26 AM

          Yeah. The formula's fun, but it would be so much nicer with something like the Frostbite engine, which looks much better and runs like 10 times as smoothly.

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            September 22, 2017 11:48 AM

            I definitely wouldn't mind this format applied to other games in fun ways that I can't seem to think of right now.

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            September 22, 2017 1:10 PM

            So battlefield free for all?

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        September 22, 2017 11:47 AM

        Probably. It kind of sucks being first at something like this. At least they made a FUCKTON of money.

      • Zek
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        September 22, 2017 12:26 PM

        Won't matter because the zeitgeist will have passed by then. PUBG will continue to be successful I'm sure but this game mode won't be an international sensation forever.

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        September 22, 2017 12:29 PM

        Call of Duty:BG, FarCry:BG, Borderlands:BG, Fallout:BG, ReadDeadRedemption:BG (<--- that one I want).

        • reply
          September 22, 2017 3:51 PM

          How would a round of RDR2:BR begin?

          100 hot air balloons slowly falling to the ground? Well, probably more like 24 because I doubt Rockstar will ever be able to increase their online player counts to that degree.

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            September 22, 2017 3:53 PM

            I guess everyone could jump from a moving train instead of a plane, but that's pretty limited in where you begin being restricted to the same tracks and all.

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          September 22, 2017 4:53 PM

          Call of duty bg is basically counter strike, lol

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          September 22, 2017 6:09 PM

          Meh. When's BF5 come out?

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            September 22, 2017 6:10 PM

            I mean, 6? Is Battlefield 1 technically Battlefield 5?

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        September 22, 2017 2:06 PM

        I dont think the fast pubg clones have a pedigree above blue hole (who with Tera were at least adequate devs). everyone who wants to make a good clone will take much longer, and everyone is out for a fast buck will be worse. pubg is on ue4 too so they will get technical improvements from epic

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      September 22, 2017 11:26 AM

      I read this as Butthole Studios.

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        September 22, 2017 11:46 AM

        that's how I read it every time I start up the game and chuckle :D

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        September 22, 2017 12:21 PM

        Yes! I've scrolled by this post 3 times and each time I'm like "butthole, what?" and do a double-take.

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        September 22, 2017 12:32 PM

        Bluehole is like Blueballs, but when your butthole positively ACHES for penetration.

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        September 22, 2017 1:19 PM

        It's never registered as anything but to me

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        September 22, 2017 5:01 PM

        Same. Every time.

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        September 22, 2017 5:54 PM

        MindShaft Games is rebranding!

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        September 23, 2017 3:17 AM

        Same.

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      September 22, 2017 12:32 PM

      First I've heard of Battle Royale...it looks awesome!

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      September 22, 2017 12:48 PM

      I watched Fortnite and I think it just combines too many things that won't make it as attractive as PUBG. I could be wrong, but I really think it won't be nearly as successful as PUBG has been due to the overly complex nature of what they are building.

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      September 22, 2017 12:59 PM

      fortnite pubg mode is free to play on sept26. seems cool from what I seen on stream

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      September 22, 2017 2:56 PM

      concerned = we're mad but our lawyer told we couldn't do shit about it.

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      September 22, 2017 3:44 PM

      butthurt studios

      fortnite is bad though

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      September 22, 2017 3:55 PM

      lol pretty shameless

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      September 22, 2017 5:46 PM

      Battle Royale filmmakers are concerned that PUBG is replicating Battle Royale.

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        September 22, 2017 5:54 PM

        they were gonna make the american movie, but they got delayed past hunger games so people thought they'd be 'another hunger games'

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      September 22, 2017 5:51 PM

      They need to STFU or they're just going to Barbara-Streissand-effect it.

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      September 22, 2017 5:57 PM

      Wait Fortnite has a PUBG mode? Sweet...

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      September 22, 2017 5:58 PM

      It's obviously a desperate attempt to get people to play Fortnite. It's not a great game, so lets pivot and make the game everyone is playing! I don't blame them one bit.