Bluehole details its concerns over the PUBG and Fortnite case

Playerunknown's Battlegrounds versus Fortnite's Battle Royale

The Playerunknown's Battlegrounds versus Fortnite's Battle Royale drama is pretty much alive, at least in what Bluehole is concerned, as when it comes to Epic Games, mum is the word. After a somewhat surprising claim from the PUBG developer about Fortnite's similarities with their game, a PC Gamer interview sheds some more light on this matter.

Bluehole VP and executive producer Changhan Kim starts by saying that their concern isn't about the battle royale game mode itself. They clearly weren't any good at passing a message:

“There were other BR game modes 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].”

So, their beef is with Epic Games itself. But why? Because Epic is the developer of the Unreal Engine and Bluehole fears that Epic could use this to their advantage:

“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.”

“We're going to get some technical support [from Epic], and we're going to work with them to make sure Unreal Engine better supports battle royale gameplay which requires 100 people in one session, and now we're starting to have concerns that they're going to develop new features or improve something in the engine to support that battle royale gameplay, and then use it for their own game mode.”

“We could be afraid when we make new features in the engine by modifying it internally, that is not already available and public, that feature could be leaked, or other things could happen.”

There are a few more details in the interview, including (once again) the fact that Epic Games mentioned PUBG as a game that they like in the Fortnite video. In our humble opinion, it seems like there's a whole lot of nothing here and Fortnite's Battle Royale is as close to Playerunknown's Battlegrounds as Battlefield is to Call of Duty. Without the clear signing of a non-compete clause, Epic Games has all the right to create a game (or a game mode) based on what is hot right now – that is how most studios function. Should anyone that licenses Electronic Arts' Frostbyte engine sue them from making a first-person shooter or another similar game?

What are your thoughts on this?

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