PlayerUnknown's Batlegrounds developer Bluehole Studio is concerned about competitors copying their battle royale shooter, and they have a problem with Epic Games doing so in their Fortnite Battle Royale game mode. The studio is currently "contemplating" action against Epic Games.
Brendan PlayerUnknown Greene appeared quite unconcerned and was definitely expecting other studios to eventually try and imitate PUBG's battle royale gameplay in a Reddit AMA just a few days ago.
It now appears that the rest of Bluehole Studio's leadership doesn't share Greene's laissez-faire attitude towards copycat manoeuvres by the competition.
"We've had an ongoing relationship with Epic Games throughout PUBG's development as they are the creators of UE4, the engine we licenced 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", Bluehole’s vice president Chang Han Kim said in a statement.
Fortnite Battle Royale publisher and developer Epic Games openly referenced PUBG as an influence on their own take on the battle royale genre and Bluehole aren't terribly happy about this aspect of the production either.
"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. The PUBG community has and continues to provide evidence of the many similarities as we contemplate further action. "
While Bluehole's concerns are understandable it is a little odd that they have waited as long as they did before openly voicing their position. It is also unclear whether they have taken the matter up directly with Epic Games before going public with the whole affair.
If Telxvi knows anything, then he knows that a lot of this back and forth is about money primarily, and any notion of ethics, fairness or concerns emerging from the PUBG community are more of a cosmetic feature rather than anything else.
The sting in the entire matter may be coming from the fact that Fortnite Battle Royale will be entering the battle royale battle royale as a free-to-play title, while PUBG still has to deploy its microtransactive features, and Bluehole may be more concerned over that aspect of the competition than anything else.
It is also worth remembering that Fortnite Battle Royale will be arriving sooner and on more platforms that PUBG is currently available on, and being able to cry FIRST on any platform is worth quite a bit when it comes to games.
We are still awaiting a response from Epic Games, but trying to lay claim to a set of mechanics as grounds for legal action isn't something that has good odds of building a solid case, should Bluehole decide to turn their "contemplation" of action, into actual action.