On Friday, PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds developer Bluehole put out a statement that the team was not happy with Epic Games and the new battle royale mode for its game, Fortnite.
Bluehole VP and executive producer C.H. Kim reached out to PC Gamer to clarify his statements, as he claims the message he was trying to convey in the original release was not clear enough.
“So the first thing that I’d like to clarify is that this is not about the battle royale game mode itself,” Kim said. “There were other BR game modes earlier this year that were released, like last man standing or GTA 5’s battle royale game mode, and we never raised an issue, and I think it’s great that there’s more competition and everyone should be able to create their own battle royale game mode, and it’s not about the idea itself, it’s about Epic Games, and that wasn’t really clear [in the press release].”
In both the trailer and official blog post announcing Fortnite: Battle Royale, Epic mentioned PUBG specifically by name. It seems that this is the main sticking point in Bluehole’s gripe with Epic, and not the fact that they made a similar game mode.
“So, we just want to emphasize this is only a problem because Epic Games is the company that makes the engine we use and we pay a large amount of royalties to them,” Kim said. “And we had this business relationship and we had trust that we would be getting continued support, and we were looking forward to working more closely with them to get technical support, maybe develop new features. But our name was used to officially promote their game without our knowledge. There was no discussion. It was just a bit surprising and disappointing to see our business partner using our name officially to promote the game mode that is pretty similar to us and there was misunderstanding in the community that we’re officially involved in the project.”
It’s an odd situation, but it seems as though Bluehole jumped the gun on their original statement and Kim was trying to clear the air to reissue the same statement but with a different tone.
“What I think is, they should have at least came to us before making it and had a discussion with us,” Kim said.
Meanwhile, Fortnite: Battle Royale will be free for everyone starting on Sept. 26.