A couple of weeks ago Epic Games announced a 100 person Battle Royale mode for Fortnite, the base building/defending third person shooter. In that linked article, the description of how the Battle Royale mode is undoubtedly very similar to how PlayerUnknown's Battlegrounds works. Bluehole, Inc says they've been listening to community feedback on Fortnite's new mode, which has now prompted them to comment on the matter.
As for similarities, Fortnite's Battle Royale and PUBG are made for 100 players, have a wait area for players as the server fills, fly over an island where players choose they can drop, over time circles crop up that players must run to to survive, and there's one winner in the end. Again, nobody can deny that the mode from Fortnite is at least incredibly similar.
Here's what Vice President and Executive Producer at Bluehole had to say this in a press release:
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.Brendan "PlayerUnknown" Greene didn't comment directly on Fortnite's Battle Royale mode, but in a recent Reddit AMA he said this: "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!"
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.
Whether one would call Fortnite a "carbon copy" or not is up for some debate; however, no one can deny the many close similarities Fortnite's Battle Royale mode and PUBG have in common.
Quick TakeWhile PUBG can voice their displeasure, there's not a lot they can do, and I'm not so sure publicly calling out another company is the right move. They can't "own" a genre per se, but I definitely do see why they may be annoyed at what appears to be a fairly blatant copy of the PUBG formula, just with Fortnite combat mechanics thrown in. Considering the runaway success PUBG has been in terms of sales, I don't think they should be all that concerned with Fortnite cutting in.
Of course, shame on Epic Games for making it so blatant. There's no doubt we'd see more battle royale games/modes, but I would hope many of them will be a different spin on what PUBG has popularized.