Years ago, seemingly every developer was trying to ride the wave of MMORPGs and releasing their own. Then everyone was doing MOBAs, then CCGs, then team-based hero shooters.

Now, in the wake of PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds’ runaway success, the new hotness is battle royale-style games. On that level, it shouldn’t have come as too much of a surprise that Epic Games announced its own BR mode in Fortnite, which you can play next week. (After this article was published, the dev team also gave some details on how the mode is coming along on the public test server.)

But one developer/publisher has taken issue at Epic Games’ foray into BR territory — and that’s the makers of PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds itself, Bluehole Studios.

In a statement released today, Bluehole “responds to community concern surrounding Fortnite’s Battle Royale Mode.” We’re not sure who in the community is “concerned” but we’ll go with that for now. The press release on the matter calls PUBG “the first standalone Battle Royale survival shooter game” and will “contemplate further action” against Epic and Fortnite.

(NOTE: This link is the only place we could find the full statement from Bluehole. It doesn’t seem to be available over any official channels, and none of the other news sites where we’ve seen this story reported confirm that they received it directly from Bluehole. We’re inclined to believe it’s legitimate, but there’s a non-zero chance it could be part of an elaborate hoax. We’ve reached out to Bluehole and will update this piece if we learn anything different.)

(UPDATE: We’ve received confirmation from Bluehole Studio that the above statement is legitimate.)

So is this just sour grapes over someone else creating a similar game? Yes, to some extent, but Bluehole maybe has some kind of additional reasons to raise a beef. Epic Games is the maker of Unreal Engine 4, which is also licensed to Bluehole for PUBG. Additionally, Epic specifically called out PUBG in its announcement of its BR mode, saying “We love Battle Royale games like PUBG and thought Fortnite would make a great foundation for our own version.”

That’s hardly the first time a game has compared itself to other successful games to try and lure players — or think of any movie that says “From the makers of” (something popular). And I doubt there’s anything in the UE4 licensing agreement that prevents Epic — or any other company — from making a BR-style game with it. The whole press release comes off as petty and a little childish, especially when it concludes with this statement:

In a recent Reddit AMA (e.g. Ask Me Anything) session, Brendan Greene (aka PLAYERUKNOWN) was asked about other companies replicating the Battle Royale experience:

“Other companies will, of course, enter the marketplace, but I would just hope they put their own spin on the game mode and not just make a carbon copy!”

Considering its focus on building and generally different graphical look, I don’t think you could claim Fortnite Battle Royale is a “carbon copy” of the more realistic-looking PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds. But hey, maybe that’s just me.

the author

Jason Winter is a veteran gaming journalist, he brings a wide range of experience to MMOBomb, including two years with Beckett Media where he served as the editor of the leading gaming magazine Massive Online Gamer. He has also written professionally for several gaming websites.

22 Readers Commented

Join discussion
  1. Wololo on September 25, 2017

    Lol. There’s literally Ark Survival of the Fittest.

  2. ooooo on September 25, 2017

    Good. Stop them in their tracks before they turn the game into another arena shooter.

  3. BLUEHOLESTUDIOS on September 24, 2017

    Hey guys thanks for the feedback. Any publicity it’s good publicity! Am I right?….. Guys?

  4. Kevin Flemming on September 23, 2017

    PUBG is a buggy load of shite, made by nobodies anyway. Not surprising they’re getting pissy about something that isn’t even a problem. Battle Royale is just a name. It’s like Sky trying to sue for the name No Man’s Sky.

  5. mikedeboom on September 23, 2017

    can see it now after seeing this leak they will now see a leak in their crowd funding.. bluehole studios sure made a mess up now. If they go any further which i believe they will because they are trash to start with.. Almost makes me think they are a certain developer who created trash games to gain a few bucks in the past and acting out in the same matter, but much harsher.

  6. Buggy on September 22, 2017

    They call themselves the first standalone Battle Royale style game developer wow much copyright much. I remember it was Arma then H1Z1 that had the Battle Royale mode incorporated in their game now fortnite has it and PUBG is saying they own the rights to BR mode and they made it first like some brain dead idiots.

    • J on September 23, 2017

      I don’t think you know what standalone means, you said it yourself Arma 3 and H1Z1 had battle royal mods/modes incorporated in their respective games they weren’t originally built from the ground up to be a standalone battle royal game like PUBG. Arma is a simulation type realistic shooter, H1Z1 was a zombie survival game before it split into two games, PUBG is a battle royal game.

      • Buggy on September 24, 2017

        then this argument isn’t even valid seeing that fortnite isn’t a standalone game but has both pve and pvp and pubg is picking a fight with them on the basis of stand alone why you ask because they know the potential of Fortnite but accuse it even though it’s not a stand alone

  7. rickshaw on September 22, 2017

    Lol what a bunch of losers they stole the name from a movie .
    I think the movie director & its producers of battle royale movie should go after punkybattface spolit brats & sue em.

    • NameGoesHere on September 24, 2017

      BTW, that movie also stole it from a manga in Japan (the origin of Battle Royal)

    • NameGoesHere on September 24, 2017

      BTW, that movie also took the idea from a manga in Japan, literally titled “Battle Royal”.

  8. butthurt much? on September 22, 2017

    ha butthurthole studios, haven’t they sold 1 million copies of their game so far? also they would probably still have buyers, after this mode releases for free from the fortnite team.

  9. Weilan on September 22, 2017

    Bluehole Studios should rename themselves to Butrhole Studios after this pathetic move

  10. Weilan on September 22, 2017

    what a bumch of babies, i was seriously thinking of buying PUBG in the future, now i will never buy a game by such immature people, i mean babies

  11. same on September 22, 2017

    wasn’t the h1z1 actually the first suvival mode or im missing here something..

    • kek on September 22, 2017

      H1z1 was not the first in it’s genre nor h1z1 BR, not even remotely close.

  12. Milokkissd on September 22, 2017

    another example proving that developers/publishers are pure cancer. they are pure vomit. they should all be sued for poluting this world

  13. Malice666 on September 22, 2017

    Next headline. Epic withdraws engine use rights from Bluehole..

  14. Mogar on September 22, 2017

    So they made a game, based on a game-mode, based on a movie, that’s based on a novel and are complaining about another game having a game-mode based on it?


    They lost all and any respect I’ve had for Bluehole.

  15. Mouhsine on September 22, 2017

    the battle royal is just a game mode like death match..there is also survival mode which basically the battle royal in CS global offensive this game was made ages before PUBG..and who knows maybe some older games also have that mode…Bluehole just took that mode and made a whole game about…so that does not make Bluehole the first company in the history of gaming to make a multiplayer FPS “survival mode” and considering it an exclusivity plus calling any other company that adapt this mode to their games a “copy past” or “carbon copy”…PUBG is just lucky to be in top among the so many FPS+open world multiplayer games in the market and i don’t think that luck will last for to long…