Player Uknown’s Battlegrounds has been an absolute powerhouse since its early access release. Currently, it has sold over 10 million copies and it recently surpassed Dota 2 in the concurrent player count on Steam. I personally have logged 464 hours of playtime in the game. I imagine, within a few days, I’ll surpass the 473 hours I’ve put into King of the Kill. Given the success of Battlegrounds, it’s no wonder that other companies would try and cash in on the same battle royal genre. Grand Theft Auto did it with one of their game modes and now Fortnite is doing it. Battlegrounds’ developer, Bluehole, also saw it and they were none too happy.
I originally started writing this piece on Friday not long after Bluehole issue their statement. By the time Saturday rolled around, Bluehole had an interview with PC Gamer to clarify their issue with the Fortnite Battle Royale mode. Ultimately I decided to hold off on releasing the article until I personally had a chance to try out the Fortnite Battle Royale mode which I did yesterday when it released. While I do understand some of what Bluehole meant in its concern regarding the Fortnite Battle Royale, it really seems like a petty complaint.
The whole thing so far seems like Bluehole had this “Ready, Fire, Aim” mentality in terms of its initial press release. Don’t get me wrong, Battlegrounds to me is a blast. I’m not trying to bash Bluehole or Battlegrounds because of bias. I play it constantly both solo and with friends. To me though, how in the blue hell can Bluehole talk about any game ripping them off. Yes… I get that they later revised the claim but even to make it in the first place? When I was playing H1Z1: King of the Kill pretty frequently, I heard about Player Unknown’s Battlegrounds. When I checked it out I thought to myself “This looks like exactly the same game as King of the Kill.” How could there not be some legal ramifications for Battlegrounds when it’s essentially a carbon copy of King of the Kill?
In Bluehole’s revised statement, they went on to talk about the Unreal Engine. Bluehole pays some pretty high royalties to Epic Games for use of the Unreal Engine. They are concerned that changes will be made to this engine and will end of benefiting Epic Games and their Fortnite Battle Royale Mode. A part of me does understand what’s being said here, however, the feel of how both these games play is very different. Fortnite is more of a cartoonish arcade style shooter. The concept is the same as Battlegrounds, yes; but they are still very different. I don’t see any Battlegrounds players rushing in droves to play the Fortnite mode instead.
The only thing in the statement that I really fully agreed with was in regards to the marketing. Epic Games threw around the name “PUBG” in their trailer and Bluehole made it feel like the two companies collaborated. Alright, I certainly understand a company’s product not wanting to be inadvertently advertised for the competition. Outside of that, the whole thing felt very petty to me. Even more so after I played the Fornite Battle Royale mode. The only thing Fortnite did which was interesting, was the ability to build cover and the destruction aspect. In Fornite’s Battle Royale mode you can harvest minerals from around the map. In doing this, you gain the ability to build walls, ceilings, floors, and ramps. You can also knock down existing structures with your hammer or explosives. Sure…it’s interesting but its nowhere near enough for me to give up Battlegrounds to go play Fortnite.
Since its release yesterday, Epic Games has reported that Fornite’s Battle Royal mode has already reached one million players. This isn’t the spectacular news headlines may make it out to be. First being that this mode is currently free to play. Second being that many are trying it out of sheer curiosity because of the news put out over the weekend. Fortnite did a good job in creating their own unique experience of Player Unknown’s Battlegrounds.
Have you played Fortnite’s Battle Royale Mode? If so, what did you think? Was Bluehole being petty in their claims? Be sure to let us know in the comments below.
Former professional wrestler, father of entirely too many kids but a gamer forever. I live just south of Philadelphia in Pennsylvania. I went to school for Game Development and have been following my passion for gaming in top gear recently.
–Pain heals, chicks dig scars, glory lasts forever