Epic Games’ new battle royale mode for Fortnite has launched for free today, despite objections made by PUBG developer Bluehole at the end of last week.
The mode, which is now available for PS4, Xbox One, PC and Mac owners, sees 100 players duke it out to be the last man standing – a concept Bluehole says is "replicating the experience for which PUBG is known."
Bluehole has since clarified its statements to PC Gamer, saying this argument "isn’t about the battle royale game mode itself," as there are plenty of other BR modes available in other games around the world. Rather, the issue is with Epic Games itself.
It’s a messy situation, as PUBG was developed using Epic Games’ Unreal Engine, but Bluehole’s main concern appears to be that Epic Games could easily do this to other studios who also license its engine and incorporate their features into its own games.
"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,"Chang Han Kim, vice president and executive producer for Bluehole told PC Gamer.
"We could be the biggest indie success story that they have and there will be other indie developers that aspire to succeed like us using Unreal Engine, and they would be concerned, right? So we just wanted to raise an issue and let people know that it can be a problem."
He continues: "PUBG might have really simple battle royale rules and systems, but we see that as Brendan’s own idea and that game mode in PUBG belongs to Brendan. You know that Daybreak Games actually licensed this idea and worked with him to develop their game mode and [Bluehole] did license his idea as well. Not only [did we bring] him to Korea to hire him as the creative director, we licensed his idea to develop PUBG. So we’re not just taking someone else’s idea. Bluehole’s stance is that we respect and value the indie developer or modder’s idea and we actually licensed it."