PUBG ‘contemplates further action’ against Epic’s Fortnite battle royal mode

Remember that whole ordeal earlier this week when Epic announced that next week’s Fortnite patch will be a free-to-play PvP-centric battle royal mode? PvE players were understandably miffed, given it’s an about-face on Epic’s original plan to focus on PvE instead of PvP, but they’re not the only folks mad: PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds developer Bluehole has all but accused Epic of ripping off the mode, which Epic has previously said was inspired by PUBG as well as H1Z1.

In a press release this morning, Bluehole vice president Chang Han Kim says the company is “concerned that Fortnite may be replicating the experience for which PUBG is known,” down to parts of the UI.

“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.”

He concludes by suggesting he’ll be “[contemplating] further action.” That’ll be an interesting day. Wonder what they’ll do with all the other games with such a mode? Anybody got a popcorn gif?

Source: Press release via VG247
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88 Comments on "PUBG ‘contemplates further action’ against Epic’s Fortnite battle royal mode"

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kgptzac

Oh wow that guy from Bluehole is so funny. Maybe “further action” is having PUBG having a building system? lol

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Vunak

This is rich. BHS the company that was actually convicted in Korea for exactly what they are blaming another company for and it was much worse in their case since they actually had all the original art assets and code from Lineage3 when it was being worked on at NCSoft and then became TERA.

Tukuto
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Tukuto

whut about all these “souls like” games putting UI stuff in the same place? no one was ever bothered about that.
isnt this just another genre at this point?
if yuu asked me id be pretty happy if i inspired people to make games like mine.

Mewmew
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Mewmew

I get why they’re concerned, Epic basically copied PUBG with Fortnite assets and then gave it away for free. Fortnite co-op players even refer to the PvP mode as Fortnite PUBG mode. And yet because they did use their own assets, there is nothing that can be done about it. Considering further action is all they can do if they don’t want to waste money and time.

Drawing attention to it like this wasn’t good though. There were a whole lot of people who had no idea how close the two games were, now they will know they’re basically the same except for the Fortnite version is free. They should have just ignored them as there’s nothing they can do for a company using their own assets. People copy each others modes and concepts all the time, and PUBG sure as heck didn’t invent Battle Royale.

ceder
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ceder

John “Totalbiscuit” Bain is even weighing in on all this silliness:

John Bain‏ @Totalbiscuit · 16h16 hours ago-

Here is the complete PR email from PUBG devs Blueholes in which they claim the ‘community
Is concerned https://pastebin.com/97aWn1zr

Lol… wut.

The only thing the community should be concerned about at this point is how much the VP had to drink before sending out this stupid thing

Blueholes PR firm now run by The Fine Bros it seems

(mocking their being like a “Kids React” video.)

If a dog barks at the moon, nobody blinks. If the moon barks back, the dog is famous. Grats to Fortnite for a ton of free publicity

ceder
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ceder

I hope Blizzard does it to them in wow. The mockery on top of mockery would be epic.

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socontrariwise

Not using someone elses brand in your commercial material is standard industry behavior. I would sue the hell out of anyone trying to ride on the brand you build as well. They do have their brand/name protected don’t they?
But the mode? I doubt they patented it …

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Robert Mann

James Howard is going to sue them all from the grave, from back in 1672. Or maybe General Thomas Perronet Thompson from the 1661-2 timeframe (battle royal instead of royale, but… meh?)

But never we mind that the concept has existed for longer than the concept of public domain…

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Robert Mann

Pubg sues Epic, then is sued by the last big arena style multiplayer shooter, which is then sued by Valve based on TF, which is then… you get the point.

what-4
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what-4

Well shoot, I mean Blizz sued the pants off of Trion for the whole “You are not in Azeroth anymore” adds for Rift, oh wait, they didnt. RIP.

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silverlock

How do you get to be the head of a game studio and not even know that game play designs and concepts are not protected? All this does is generate bad publicity for plunkbat. As for dropping their name in adds sorry but companies have been doing that for decades.

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Jeremiah Wagner

Seriously , PUBG is a complete rip off of a huge ARMA 3 multiplayer mod. Its literally EXACTLY the same. So maybe everyone should just sue each other in one big circle jerk.

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agemyth 😩

You are probably talking about the Arma 3 mod called “PLAYERUNKNOWN’s Battle Royale”. Take a moment to think about why it might be ok for “PLAYERUNKNOWN’s Battlegrounds” to be very similar to that mod.

pepperzine
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pepperzine

People saying them referencing PUBG in advertisements is grounds for a lawsuit must not remember Rifts advertisements with ” we’re not in Azeroth anymore” being splashed on the screen at the end, and all the ui elements that were directly emulated from WoW.

This is the game industry people, this type of competition has been going on for as long as it has existed. Look at the slew of JRPGs that are all the same games with semi-different storylines….

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Robert Mann

Heck, WoW stole dozens of things themselves, and nobody really cared because… the gaming industry as a whole wasn’t all about squeezing every dime from players with no other motivations.

pepperzine
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pepperzine

Definitely so, I just wanted to use rift copying WoW as an example since they blatantly advertised that’s what they were doing, and if a lawsuit over that stuff had the possibility of being successful blizzard had the capital to do it (but didn’t, for obvious reasons).

what-4
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what-4

HA I made the same comment. Or the Times Coke used Pepsi of vice versa in ads.

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Bhima Jenkins

Contemplate away, there is no there, there. Good luck trying to sue over this, as PUBG isn’t even the first battle royale game. Hell, GW2 had a battle royale activity mode before PUBG was even a thing, and I’m sure Anet wasn’t the first either.

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StonerMk2

Yeah because PUBG has resource gathering, base building, traps and tiered weapons, definitely a ripoff. *rolls eyes*

This is a case of ego before IQ. Steamers made your game popular now these assholes think they’ve created something special, and only they have a right to it. Sorry folks this is how the game industry works and its been going on for decades. Been watching game play of Fortnites BR mode for a week, sure its similar, but theres no goddamn way these people are going to be able to claim its a “carbon copy” of PUBG, and to be honest Fortnites mode looks like its a lot more fun then PUBG. Also Fornites UI is a goddamn nightmare. Half the battle of playing their BR mode is fighting the damn bag management.

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Sorenthaz

Good. Epic needs a rude wake up call because they shouldn’t be allowed to get away with the crap they’ve been doing all for the sake of making a quick buck off of popular trends.

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Sorenthaz

It’s also funny how coincidental it all is. PUBG announced it was coming to consoles in laye 2017 or early 2018? And Epic beats them to getting a battle royale clone out on consoles first. Guess how long the Unrealteam was working on this rough bare bones clone? 2-3 months. Guess when PUNG made that announcement? At E3 in June. TOTALLY not taking advantage of the moment to get to the console market first with a wateted down variant.

Dantos
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Dantos

I think the main thing that PUBG is upset about is that fortnite pre-empted them as a console battle royale game.

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Dug From The Earth

Good

Maybe it will inspire Epic to innovate a LOT more to make this game “mode” a lot better, and a lot less of a direct copy of PUBG with building mechanics.

what-4
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what-4

direct copy of PUBG with building mechanics.

Those 2 are mutually exclusive, either its a dirted copy or it has differences.

CoD is a Direct copy for Battlefield without the vehicles.

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jay

LoL pubg saying someone else ripped off it’s game mode is quite rich, I honestly hope they do pursue legal action against fortnite, that would then open them up to a slew of legal battles of their own.

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Armsbend

“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.”

Using the popularity someone’s game to promote your game? Add to that the UI similarities and you have a case. If you are stupid enough to say your game was inspired by a specific game that is currently in active release then there is a case against you.

what-4
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what-4

Rift did it to WoW and nothign was done, and that was FAR more visible example. Those “you are not in Azeroth” ads were on TV.

deekay_plus
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deekay_plus

hey i thought the derek smart model of self promotion was acceptable around these parts! XD

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Alex Hyer

Its mostly pointless. Fortnite is already DOA.

Game doesn’t stand a chance, even with a ripoff PVP mode.

luxundae
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luxundae

“We invented Battle Royale!”

“Oh yes, where did you come up with the name?”

“…we borrowed it from a totally unrelated movie. Totally unrelated.”

(I realize their complaint here is couched specifically in terms of using the PlunkBat name in their press release, but I believe that the root of anger is actually based in the game mode itself.)

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Schmidt.Capela

You know that Battle Royale is the name of a novel published (in Japanese) in the 90s that basically described the gameplay of PUBG two decades before the game was released, right?

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Robert Mann

It was first used in the 1600s, so far as any written record shows. In fact, both Battle Royal, and Battle Royale, were both first used then so far as we know. The concept is well beyond public use at this point…

luxundae
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luxundae

Yes, that was the joke I was trying to make. Plunkbat claiming they invented it is ridiculous as the name of the mode itself comes from the Japanese IP (which I was introduced to in movie form….eek…17 years ago now…time flies).

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agemyth 😩

I don’t think the addition of the game mode in Fortnite is the primary issue here.

“We’ve had an ongoing relationship with Epic Games throughout PUBG’s development as they are the creators of UE4, the engine we licensed for the game”

Sounds like the problem is more about how much and what kind of information Epic may know about PUBG through supporting Bluehole with the Unreal Engine. Obviously, I’m no game dev or lawyer, but maybe Bluehole is now asking itself how Epic’s position as the game engine makers may have “inspired” them in how they went about making Fortnite BR.

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Rheem Octuris

Oh, like they didn’t steal it from H1Z1. There are no original ideas anymore.

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Alex Hyer

H1Z1 brought PlayerUnknown in to DESIGN their Battle Royale mode back when H1Z1 was unreleased to the public.

Prior to that, PlayerUnknown was maintaining the game mode as a mod to Arma 3.

Thats where I first saw / heard of PlayerUnknown and the Battle Royale mode.

deekay_plus
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deekay_plus

he hizi didn’t exactly invent the battle royale premise.

and i’d argue pubg’s version of the concept is legitimately novel and innovative in ways no other battle royale thing has done before.

tho thecnically in the hunger games book 2 the big bad city people did narrow the game area to force confrontations amongst the contenders much like pubg does.

lol

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Schmidt.Capela

The original Battle Royale novel (completed in 1996, over a decade before the first Hunger Games book, but only published in 1999), as well as the manga based on it, already used that concept of narrowing the “game area”. “Competitors” wore a bomb collar that would explode if they entered any zone marked as forbidden in the larger play area, and as time passed more and more zones would be declared forbidden, until all surviving competitors were restricted to a single zone.

And I really doubt Battle Royale was the first work where this concept was used.

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Dystopiq

Looks like the Drama Llama is back, baby!

MJ Guthrie
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MJ Guthrie

Drama llama pinata!

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Robert Mann

Don’t go getting hit with bats now…

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McGuffn

Technically don’t you have to take an action in order to take further action? What actions have they taken? Sternly worded letters? Flaming bags of whatever left on Epic’s welcome mat?

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Darthbawl

Popcorn + cats, what could be butter, er better? :P

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Armsbend

cute!

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Jack Pipsam

Oh good, I was wondering when we’d get some dumb drama again.

Emmanuel Carabott
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Emmanuel Carabott

I am not lawyer but I dont believe they have an argument here. You cannot copyright an idea, anyone can copy it freely.. what you copyright is the expression of that idea. IE unless Fortnite copied the art, the sound, the story, the same values PUBG uses to implement the idea of battle royal, they should be safe.

deekay_plus
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deekay_plus

there does seem to be some derivitive art assets in teh UI according to comments below :P

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Schmidt.Capela

What do you mean by “derivative”?

Copyright only deals with direct copies; a work of art that is virtually identical but is proved to not have been copied isn’t a copyright infringement. If Bluehole can prove beyond reasonable doubt that Epic made a direct copy of those assets, changing them only enough to pass a cursory inspection, then they might have a case. Otherwise, if either Bluehole can’t prove that there was copying involved or if the assets are different enough that they might as well have been recreated from scratch, there’s no case.

It’s why the clean room approach works as a defense against copyright claims. If you take a team to analyze a copyrighted work, make a full specification of it that doesn’t include any direct reproduction of the copyrighted work in full or in part, and give that report to a second team that never saw the copyrighted work, whatever the second team creates isn’t an infringement of the original copyrighted work even if it ends being virtually identical.

deekay_plus
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deekay_plus

why don’t you ask the people i mentioned below? instead of ignoring the rest of this sub thread? XD

Emmanuel Carabott
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Emmanuel Carabott

again no lawyer and worst yet didnt play either game but it does seem to me like the art style of fortnite is no way near the art style of PUBG so are we talking UI elements placement (not copyrightable afaik) or actual same art was used. I am curious now but cant even find a screenshot of them side by side :(

deekay_plus
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deekay_plus

apparently the UI for this game mode in fortnite looks pretty much identical to that of pubg. >>

Emmanuel Carabott
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Emmanuel Carabott

saw some videos of both games, I dont see how UI is similar, not just art style but even placement of elements is different.

deekay_plus
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deekay_plus

there is a few similarities in placement but you’re right they are quite different. dunno what those guys below are talking about lol

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Tom316

Well there is the whole thing that PUBG used a store asset for the grouping system. A store asset for the compass at the top and a store asset for the map system.

If you decompress the PUBG files you can even see the names of said assets that where used and see the similar file layouts and such. But what the heck do I know :D

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H. D. Harris🏳️‍🌈

i def see the similar arrangement of the health, compass, and ammo elements but I’d hardly say that they were identical beyond placement, the appearances are totally different. Besides, how many places are there to put those things in a screen anyway?
At what point do you have to move an element just because someone else has already put it there even though you think it goes best where you wanted it in the first place?

New canvas.png
deekay_plus
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deekay_plus

i was more thinkign primarily the bottom center elements, which are pretty unusual in pubg (that white bar is you hp)

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Schmidt.Capela

You mean, like LoL does?

The bottom center is the best place to put information you need to track all the time in a fast paced game; it’s the closest place to the action without obstructing said action. As such it’s not that unusual to see the health bar there (or health numbers, like in many Seiken Densetsu games that don’t use a health bar).

deekay_plus
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deekay_plus

there’s more than that in common but you’d know that if you put both videos to a random time to check.

deekay_plus
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deekay_plus

does anyone else find it amusing that bluehole of all studios picked up pubg to publish and fund development of? everytime i see the logo on client launch i just have this silly inner giggle about the people who made tera funding this game lol.

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dthblayde

Someone say popcorn?
comment image

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inire

….

someone was inspired by a DBG game? Remarkable.

deekay_plus
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deekay_plus

gta had battle royale modes before hizi was “a home for swg vets” lol

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dthblayde

That will always be my most fondly recalled “WTF” moment. “And to our SWG fans… welcome home!” SWG fans collectively go “….whut….”

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Modrain

Even if trying very hard, it would be pretty complicated to replicate the buggy, quirky experience provided by PUBG. A lot of the fun I’m taking from this game is how such unexpected issues arise at the weirdest times.

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shear

They actually have a point, Epics game in itself using this sort of battle royal mode would be ok, but I took a look at it and holy crap, there are so many UI similarities among the entire start of it and the only difference is the fact that you can build. It’s very very similar to a point where I would consider this to be a step too far.

There is a fine line between imitation and copying and I think Epic crossed it.

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Jeremy Barnes

uhhh…wha? Chang Han Kim is that you?

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Wolfyseyes

No popcorn gif, but I searched for “douchebag gif” and found a pretty good one.

dbag.gif
Dantos
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Dantos

H1Z1 says hi.

deekay_plus
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deekay_plus

battle royale modes weren’t new with hizi just like the japanese movie battle royale didn’t invent the hunger games premise.

that being said there’s not much that bluehole can do here afaik. maybe trade mark violation for mentioning their trademarked product by name in their promotional materials? idk.

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Schmidt.Capela

You can mention competing products without infringing trademarks, as long as you don’t attempt to misrepresent those products or claim ownership over them.

It’s very unusual to mention competing products in advertisement, though, because it can have the opposite effect; customers of the advertised product that aren’t fully satisfied might look into the other mentioned product to see if they like that one better.

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Jeremy Barnes

nope, no trademark claim. They would have to claim customers are confused into thinking that fortnite is saying that they are pubg.

venatis
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venatis

Okay, but how many games out there are similar to each other? PUBG isn’t exactly original itself either.

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Armsbend

This is the important line:
“down to parts of the UI.”

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Totakeke

Asheron’s Call 2 say hello to World of Warcraft’s UI.

C:

JoeCreoterra
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JoeCreoterra

Wow I can’t believe people think AC2 ripped off WoW when it was out for years previous… Blizzard actually carbon copied a lot of great new ideas that Turbine had heh

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