Now Bluehole knows how Blizzard (with World of Warcraft) and Activision (with Call of Duty) felt. The PUBG developer released a statement this morning calling out Fortnite’s Battle Royale mode. Fortnite’s developer, Epic Games, is releasing their Battle Royale update for free next week. Here’s what Bluehole vice president Chang Han Kim had to say about the game.
“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. 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 statement continues: “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’s probably talking about the PlayStation blog post from Epic Games’ Donald Mustard. In it, Mustard writes, “We love Battle Royale games like PUBG and thought Fortnite would make a great foundation for our own version.”
I would get Bluehole’s complaint if they were downing on PUBG. But Epic Games is praising it.
Then again, this issue might be a bit more nuanced than it first appears. Bluehole and Epic Games work closely together on PUBG since it uses the Unreal Engine. Having Epic beat Bluehole to the punch with a Battle Royale game on consoles probably irked them a little bit. It would irk me too. But hey, you’re the top game on Steam right now. Every publisher and developer out there is taking a look at what they could do.
Just wait until the mega publishers jump in. A Red Dead Redemption 2 Battle Royale mode? Ghost Recon? Fortnite will be the least of your worries.
It just seems weird to attack Fortnite. Maybe it’s because of the existing relationship between Epic and Bluehole. Or, maybe Fortnite’s mode going free to play has them nervous. Epic Games is no slouch. And beating PUBG to the punch on consoles is a big deal. Especially, with a free-to-play mode.
World of Warcraft and Call of Duty dealt with the same games chasing their greatness. But they stayed on top because they were the best. Bluehole is doing a good job on the development side of PUBG. Keep updating, keep adding, keep fixing, and they’ll be okay.
Fortnite might make some noise on consoles, but come on. PUBG hit 1.4 million concurrent players this morning. When you’re that big, folks are playing your game for a reason. They’re not going to leave in droves at every Battle Royale game that comes along.