PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds developer Bluehole has come forward with some clarification on the tiff that seems to be occurring between the company backing the massively popular PUBG and Epic Games’ Fortnite: Battle Royale. It appears the company’s reasoning for being a little angry about the decisions made by Epic Games have less to do with the idea of copying Battle Royale games and more with the fact that Epic Games could be tweaking things in a positive manner for Fortnite: Battle Royale’s success.
After releasing a statement on Friday that seems like a complete departure from what was expressed in the first place, Bluehole VP and executive producer Changhan Kim made some clarifications to the original position expressed during an interview with PC Gamer. Kim stated that the issue is “not about” the game mode itself, saying that the company “never raised an issue” about the game modes spotlighted in titles like Grand Theft Auto 5. He went on to state that he thinks it’s “great that there’s more competition” and “everyone should be able to create their own battle royale game mode.”
So if that’s not the case, then what is? As Kim states was not quite evident in the initial press release, it’s the fact that Epic Games is the company that makes the very engine that PUBG was based on, and that games like King of the Kill and PUBG had obtained licenses to use, where Epic Games hasn’t. But even that seems a little bit like a stretch. What really looks like the main rub here is that Bluehole is concerned that Epic Games could in fact be bolstering the technical prowess of Fortnite: Battle Royale in ways that wouldn’t be a boon for the PUBG code since both companies would be working against each other.
Bluehole is also upset that PUBG was mentioned during Fortnite’s various promotional materials, which is a valid concern, but one also has to wonder if the company would feel a little miffed if Fortnite didn’t use the name since it seemed at first Bluehole wanted to claim some sort of ownership over the Battle Royale mode.
The situation does not appear to be an optimal one on any side, but it does seem that Bluehole may have chosen its wording a little better before sending out the first release, which does tend to paint a bit of a different image. Either way, it still stands that there is room in this indubitably crowded industry for both to exist. Hopefully the situation doesn’t escalate further from here.