Playerunknown’s Battleground devs address Fortnite Battle Royale comparisons

The makers of Playerunknown’s Battlegrounds [official site] today effectively puffed their chest, pointed at Epic Games, and growled “I’m watching you, sunshine.” They’ve issued a statement addressing comparisons between Battlegrounds and Epic’s new Battle Royale mode in Fortnite, saying that some players have pointed out similarities and now Bluehole are “concerned that Fortnite may be replicating the experience for which PUBG is known.” Which is foolishness, of course. Even creator Brendan ‘Playerunknown’ Greene himself has told us he doesn’t “claim ownership” over Battle Royale modes. Bluehole muttering about contemplating “further action” seems a hollow threat but hey, maybe by making it they’ll save face.

Today’s statement is very much framed as responding to “community concern” and sees Bluehole lay out their foolish stance.

“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,” Bluehole vice president Chang Han Kim said. “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.”

Bluehole add that “concerns around User Interface (UI), gameplay and structural replication in the battle royale mode exist.”

Some elements are similar but the core game differs in crucial ways, being far more arcade-y and letting players build structures. Fortnite’s mode is also similar-ish to H1Z1: King of the Kill (which Greene himself worked on), to The Culling, and to Ark: Survival of the Fittest. We’ll likely soon see a dozen other similar games, just as we did with Minecraftbuts. We’ll be swimming in Plunkbuts.

Chang Han Kim also says that “we don’t feel that it’s right” for Epic to refer to Plunkbat in Fortnite Battle Royale’s marketing without discussing it with Bluehole.

Epic’s Donald Mustard said in the announcement trailer, “At Epic, we’re huge fans of the Battle Royale genre and games like PUBG and H1Z1, and we thought that Fortnite was the perfect world to build one in.” Epic also said in a blog post that “we love Battle Royale games like PUBG”.

Objecting to that praise seems foolish. Objecting to other studios making Battle Royale games is foolish. And Greene has made clear that Battle Royale isn’t ‘his’ anyway. He told us in an interview earlier this year.

“Look, I don’t claim ownership. So, it’s a last-man standing deathmatch. That’s been around since people could pick up clubs and hit each other. I would never claim ownership over that. The ever decreasing circle – I couldn’t program squares like it is in the Battle Royale movie. The code for doing squares that shrink, I just couldn’t do it because I wasn’t a very good coder, right? So I moved it an ever decreasing circle that sort of moved around inside itself, because that’s how I could do it. I don’t even claim ownership on that. These are old ideas. I love to see what the genre has created. It’s various versions on something that I guess I popularised, you know? The idea itself is not mine.”

Bluehole’s statement today even quotes Greene from his recent Reddit Q&A, where he 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 Battle Royale is clearly not just a carbon copy.

Bluehole’s statement concludes with Chang Han Kim saying “The PUBG community has and continues to provide evidence of the many similarities as we contemplate further action.”

Presumably that further action will be nothing because it’d be ludicrous.

Bluehole are likely just posturing, firing a withering glare while fans pick at comparisons and say “Yeah go on on Blue, do ‘im.” Bluehole, next time you want to look tough, perhaps simply tweet Epic one of the many “I’m watching you” GIFs easily available on the Internet. Here, I found one for you:

I believe that’s called ‘brandter’.

Fortnite’s Battle Royale mode will be opened to everyone on Tuesday the 26th, while the PvE mode will remain paid until it leaves early access.

I’ve pasted the whole press release onto the next page because I think it needs to be seen in full to appreciate the foolishness.

60 Comments

  1. Premium User Badge

    Drib says:

    Ugh. This is some bullshit of the highest order.

    Why’s Bluehole got to be jerks? They have tons of money, the most popular game on steam for months running, and they’re crying that some half-dead shooter is making a similar mode?

    Goddamn.

    • Bainful says:

      I don’t think it would have been an issue if it wasn’t for the entrance portion of a battle royale match. The PUBG cargo plane parachute entrance is what set it apart from the competition along with its well polished product(for a early access game). It created that extra level of strategy in the individual play styles and allowed people to play the game at their own pace. Fortnite is overall a much different game, but blatantly ripping of the place entrance was what sent Bluehole over the edge.

      • Aim Here says:

        Bluehole is really not going to get far in a courtroom if they’re going to claim ownership of paradropped entrances in videogames.

        The very fact that you’re claiming it’s related to the game mechanics (‘that extra level of strategy’) shows that Bluehole has absolutely no ownership claims whatsoever, unless they had the foresight to patent it (and then they’ve got the triple problems of claiming that EPIC’s game actually infringes their specific patent, that no other video game in history did the same idea first, and that the idea is even patentable in the first place, which is far from a given).

        This is either empty bluster, or it will become empty bluster once Bluehole has the legal situation explained to them by an actual lawyer.

        • Unclepauly says:

          Haha, they need it explained to them. LAYMAN’S TERMS PLEASE

      • FurryLippedSquid says:

        H1Z1 did it years ago.

        • Bainful says:

          H1Z1 was random, you did not decide where you drop point started. You could go where ever you wanted from that drop point, but your choices were limited. In PUBG gives you the option to choose where along the planes path you jump from and every player has the exact same options when it comes to when they want to jump and where they could possible land.

          • Flopper says:

            COPYRIGHT INFRINGEMENT! Remember when FPS games had randomized spawn locations then Battlefield came a long and let you spawn at a captured objective? If anyone else uses that DICE is gonna sue the shit out of them!

            Wait, no they won’t. Because you can’t copyright gameplay. Otherwise respawns would be copyrighted. Driving cars would be copyrighted. They can copyright sounds, art, characters. You can’t copyright jumping out of a fucking airplane. The fact that they even brought it up is embarrassing.

            I fully understand this is the first good game Bluehole has ever made and they feel the need to be overly protective but god damn. Thank god Brendan Greene dropped it in their lap fully realized and all they had to do was add the art. Bluehole is a terrible company.

            We were actually discussing this the other day while playing PUBG. Imagine when a competent developer like DICE steps in to the Battle Royale market… Jesus christ it’s going to be the greatest game ever made.

      • Flopper says:

        “Well polished.” Haha. Nice one. PUBG is a good game but it’s far from well polished having been in EA for going on 7 months and in closed beta before that.

        Fortnite is actually well polished. Have you played it yet? It plays like a fully released game already and isn’t even close to release.

        As a great poet once said, “Haters gonna hate.” Always and to the end of days. Don’t you mess with the flavor of the year game or our rabid fans will cause us to lash out at all the competition!

      • Janichsan says:

        If the style of insertion was the issue, why doesn’t Bluehole complain about GTA Online’s take on a Battle Royal game mode, which features a very similar way?

      • fish99 says:

        The parachute drop from moving plane was already in Arma 2/3 BR, and while those were made by PU, Bluehole can’t claim ownership of them or claim they came up with the idea. There really isn’t a single unique or original thing in PUBG, apart from maybe using the pan as armour.

  2. Sassenach says:

    Maybe they should ask the king to grant them a Royal Charter of Monopoly to protect their commercial interests in the realm of FFA deathmatch for the sake of the stability and prosperity of the realm?

  3. FurryLippedSquid says:

    Bell-ends.

  4. Unclepauly says:

    Hmmm, swimming in plumpbuts you say?? … Oh? Plunkbuts you say? Nah, I don’t feel like a swim today.

  5. Chromatose says:

    That’s cute given that Plunkbat started out as a Day Z mod and rips a whole bunch of its mechanics wholesale from that game. Fully confident that Bluehole are just a bunch of toxic pricks at this point.

    • VaporStrike says:

      Though to be fair, Player Unknown is the one who MADE that DayZ mod, and also the Arma 3 mod, and consulted on H1Z1, before PUBG.

      • ninjapirate says:

        He used a “last man standing” idea from a Japanese movie, turned it into a mod in an already existing game, and gave the game mode the same name as the movie that inspired it. None of that is original, and it sounds like he’s fully aware of that, and would have the least issue with Epic adding a BR mode to Fortnite.

      • Chromatose says:

        I’m 100% aware that Greene was responsible for the original Day Z Battle Royale mod. I don’t really feel there’s anything in my original post that states otherwise.

        That mod still relied on ARMA 2 to function and inherits a lot of its gameplay mechanics and concepts. A lot of that design therefore directly influenced how Plunkbat plays, and therefore ARMA 2 has been pretty crucial to its success.

        That in spite of this Bluehole decided to publicly object to Epic also producing their own Battle Royale inspired title is absurd. Good job you can’t copyright ideas I guess.

        • Ephant says:

          “That mod still relied on ARMA 2 to function and inherits a lot of its gameplay mechanics and concepts.” Not just Arma 2 but also DayZ. DayZ already is pretty much a Battle Royale, full loot deathmatch game. Remove the zombies from DayZ, disable respawns and add a death circle. There, Battle Royale. Dean Hall did a lot more for the “genre” than PU.

  6. int says:

    Someone relieve them of the conch.

  7. Azumodei says:

    Please stop trying to make Plunkbat a thing, noone will ever call it plunkbat, it’s pubg. Please…

    • Chromatose says:

      At least ‘plunkbat’ rolls off the tongue relatively easily and sounds kind of funny. ‘pubg’ sounds like the kind of noise one makes while trying to do a poo while painfully constipated.

      • MrUnimport says:

        I wish I’d paid attention in intro linguistics so I could articulate why ‘plunkbat’ is more irritating for me to pronounce than ‘pub-gee’ or even ‘pubguh’. Something to do with adding the tricky “pluh” at the beginning and ending on a stop consonant.

    • Darloth says:

      I call it Plunkbat, therefore your implied assertion is invalid.

      Though I must admit, I have no proof whether Noone (any of them) call it Plunkbat or not – so I cannot contest what you literally wrote with any amount of specificity.

    • Premium User Badge

      johannsebastianbach says:

      It’s called Plunkbat around here. So why wouldn’t you call it Plunkbat?

    • Seyda Neen says:

      Plunkbat is soooo fetch!

    • fish99 says:

      No one is trying to make it a thing, it’s just an RPS joke.

    • Nate Gallardo says:

      This is absolutely my favourite kind of reply to articles about Plunkbat.

      It’s good to be passionate about something.

    • Duke of ankh says:

      Well now im gonna start calling it plunkbat just to spite you…

    • Ghostwise says:

      I call it plunkbat.

    • Massenstein says:

      Haha too late, it’s been Plunkbat to me and mine ever since I first read of it on RPS. Also as non-native English speaker it’s much easier for me to pronounce than pub-gee.

    • c-Row says:

      Considering the syllables shouldn’t it be called Pukbag instead? Would certainly fit the plane sequence…

  8. Cvnk says:

    Actors recreate a recent meeting between Epic and BH:

    link to youtu.be

  9. drewski says:

    Funnily enough, I was kinda interested when I first heard about it but the less it’s a PUBG clone the less it appeals.

  10. anon459 says:

    Ideas are reappropriated and/or built upon by those around us. Welcome to society, Bluehole. You’re already rich so I have trouble feeling sorry for you.

  11. racccoon says:

    They are SCARED!!
    plus they do not own any rights to battle royale
    Battle royale movie producers should be hitting Punkkybatty fart arses a lawsuit if anything.
    FORTNITE IS GOING TO KICK THEIR BUTTYPUNKKYBATTY”S

  12. Premium User Badge

    Neurotic says:

    It boggles my mind that the Terra Devs are also behind Plunkbag. I always thought it was just that one bloke on his own. How on earth did Bluehole get involved?

    • TheGameSquid says:

      They became involved when they asked Greene “Hey, do you want to come over to Korea and make a game with us as creative director”. Greene had just quit Sony where he was working on H1Z1 and said “Yes”. While he is the lead designer, this is Bluehole’s game, not Greene’s.

      (Also, it’s TERA, not TERRA)

      • Premium User Badge

        Neurotic says:

        Ah ha. Yes, I know it’s TERA, but my phone’s autocorrect doesn’t. ;)

  13. gwop_the_derailer says:

    Blue Hole going after Epic, their engine supplier, is a bit like Apple going after Samsung, their chip and OLED screen supplier.

    • Janichsan says:

      …which Apple did: they sued Samsung for allegedly copying the iPhone. And Apple originally did indeed win that lawsuit (which is now in the appeals court).

  14. Premium User Badge

    Mungrul says:

    People in glass houses…
    When this game came out, I honestly thought it was something to do with the EA Star Wars Battlegrounds games.
    Maybe Bluehole should shut the hell up before EA decide to take them to court with a much more legitimate trademark violation claim.

    • gabrieldlbien says:

      First off, if you often confuse PLAYERUNKOWN with Star Wars, I’d argue that’s on you.
      Secondly, I’ve only heard of the Star Wars Battlefront games, so I’m clearly not as much of a fan as I thought I was. Never heard of this Battlegrounds series.

  15. Lobotomist says:

    Out of interest in this article ( and note I do not plat PUBG ) i went and checked some Fortnight Battleground videos. And what i see is fascinating carbon copy of PUBG. From how you fall out from plane, glide to ground, loot houses, how circle shrinks around you, in which time frequency, how much it damages you. I think if someone would analyse the numbers even they would show co-relation. There is absolutely no difference in how the game plays out – in that respect it is a carbon copy.

    That being said , fortnight core gameplay does automatically puts a spin just by being what it is.

    The crafting and building brings new tactical element , and lighthearted art style makes game seem less painful. Its also faster , less “snipery” and seems simply more fun.

    I surely want to try it out more than PUBG now. And so will many other people ( especially due the fact its free )

    And I think this is what Bluehole is upset about for sure…

  16. Lobotomist says:

    Video ranting about clear ripoff : link to youtube.com

  17. HeavyStorm says:

    Probably forgot to mention the underlying reason for this is that Fortnite will beat pubg to consoles, and being free pose a threat to establish a consolidated user base there first.

    Which is a business problem for Buehole and why they are barking. Which is what dogs do when they feel threatened. Not smart humans though.

    About the claims that BH is rich already so shut up, well, I’m not sure how rich and, either way, they are public owned. So they have shareholders to appease. That’s enough cause for dumbness.

  18. Premium User Badge

    MajorLag says:

    Despite the fact that the community, including the press, quite literally referred to FPSs as “Doom Clones” back in the 90s, I’m not aware of Id ever whining about Alien vs Predator, Duke Nukem 3D, or even Gloom for that matter.

  19. CloneWarrior85 says:

    Unkown: “I created Battle Royale and Fortbitr is copying us”
    Internet: “What about H1Z1 and The Culling that came out before?”
    Unkown: “I did not create Battle Royale, but Fortine is copying us”

    So sad, but placing his name into the game, we knew he wasn’t a nice guy.

    The game is fun, true, but this guy can’t be really trusted. First the loot boxes, now tinking he’s all godly and all mighty…. its just sad

    • Premium User Badge

      Mungrul says:

      To be fair, from the article it doesn’t sound like it’s Brendan “Player Unknown” Greene squawking about this but the people he sold the rights to and works for, Bluehole.

    • Janichsan says:

      Unkown: “I created Battle Royale and Fortbitr is copying us”
      Internet: “What about H1Z1 and The Culling that came out before?”

      Just in case you missed it: Greene’s Battle Royale mod for ARMA 2 was indeed first.

      H1Z1’s developers in fact licensed the idea from Greene and brought him onboard to work for them.

      • Meoith says:

        First to steal ideas off the movie “Battle Royale” and even steal its title for the game mode.

        • Janichsan says:

          Greene was always very open with the fact that he took inspiration from the manga.

          And – by the way – the term “battle royal(e)” was coined in the 17th century.

          • Decadoice says:

            And Epic were just very open about the fact they took inspiration from plunkbat.

            Imagine if the makers of Battle Royale had sent out sternly worded letters to Greene for “using our name to market your game” when he admitted to taking inspiration from Battle Royale.

            Which is what Bluehole are doing right now.

  20. Premium User Badge

    The Almighty Moo says:

    Away for a week with naught but a simple laptop. Very very tempted to get Heat Signature and play with that.

  21. Meoith says:

    “Community concerns” ha what utter weasels what they mean is “we are testing the waters with our community to see if we can get away with going after epics br mode with out any backlash from the gaming community”.

    Given the original br dev ripped off his ideas from the movie “Battle Royale” right down to even stealing the name of the movie for his game mode it all comes across as hugely hypocritical.