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'PlayerUnknown's Battlegrounds' Developer Feuds With Epic Games Over 'Fortnite' Battle Royale Mode

23 September 2017, 10:13 am EDT By Aaron Mamiit Tech Times
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Bluehole Studio, the developer of the massively popular PlayerUnknown's Battlegrounds, has opened up a feud with Epic Games over the Battle Royale mode of upcoming free-to-play game Fortnite.

PlayerUnknown's Battlegrounds has made history by recently breaking the Steam record for most number of players on a single game at the same time. The sky's the limit for the multiplayer shooter, so why is its developer so concerned about Epic Games and Fortnite?

Bluehole Calls Out Epic Games

Before Fortnite made history by unintentionally enabling PlayStation 4 and Xbox One cross-platform play, Epic Games announced that it will be releasing a Battle Royale mode for the upcoming title, which is set to be launched on Sept. 26.

"We love Battle Royale games like PUBG and thought Fortnite would make a great foundation for our own version," Epic Games wrote in a press release, without being shy on saying what inspired the game mode.

Bluehole recently spoke out on the matter, saying that it has decided to respond to the similarities between the Battle Royale mode of Fortnite and PlayerUnknown's Battlegrounds.

Bluehole clarified that the team behind PlayerUnknown's Battlegrounds has no relationship with Epic Games and Fortnite. Epic Games, however, is the creator of Unreal Engine 4, which is the engine that Bluehole paid a license for to create PlayerUnknown's Battlegrounds.

The studio's VP and executive producer Changhan Kim especially took note of Epic Games referencing PlayerUnknown's Battlegrounds in the promotion of Fortnite, which was not discussed between the two companies.

Han Kim said that Bluehole is considering further action against Epic Games, but specifically what kind of action remains unclear.

It's Not 'Fortnite,' It's Epic Games

Bluehole's Kim later clarified, in an interview with PC Gamer, that the studio's issue is not with Fortnite and its Battle Royale mode, but with Epic Games itself.

Kim said that the studio has no issue with Fortnite releasing a Battle Royale mode, as other games have offered similar "last man standing" modes. Bluehole is not claiming ownership over such a style of gameplay.

The problem is with Epic Games's usage of PlayerUnknown's Battlegrounds to promote Fortnite without first informing Bluehole, despite being business partners. The studio has been paying a significant amount of royalty to Epic Games for its Unreal Engine 4 license because of the success of PlayerUnknown's Battlegrounds.

In addition, by using the name of PlayerUnknown's Battlegrounds, players might think that the team behind Fortnite is the same one behind PlayerUnknown's Battlegrounds.

Epic Games has not yet responded to communications from Bluehole, likely because it's the weekend. Tech Times will follow the events surrounding that issue as they unfold.

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