Last night I put out a piece regarding Bluehole Studio and Playerunknown’s Battlegrounds regarding the implied threat of legal action from Bluehole against Epic over similarities between the latter’s Battle Royale mode in Fortnite, and the former’s aforementioned PUBG title. I recommend reading it, it’s a short piece, but the crux of the matter is that neither Bluehole or Brendan Greene own the concept of Battle Royale, nor did either create the genre, and that Bluehole doesn’t have a moral leg to stand on when its own employees were actually criminally convicted of stealing from another developer just eight years ago.
Today, PC Gamer released an interview with Bluehole VP Changhan Kim, in which Kim claims that the press release wasn’t clear and that the issue is about Epic and not the game mode itself. You can read the interview here and make your own conclusion, but many of the questions seem to be avoided or outright contradicted in the same interview. For instance, Kim states that Bluehole isn’t claiming ownership.
So, battle royale is just about last man standing, it’s a simple game mode, and we’re not claiming any kind of ownership over the game mode or genre itself, it’s not for us to even comment.
Despite claiming no ownership over the game mode, Kim makes it pretty clear by using H1Z1 and itself as an example, their belief that Epic Games had an obligation to pay a license to use the concept.
You know that Daybreak Games actually licensed this idea and worked with him to develop their game mode and [Bluehole] did license his idea as well. Not only [did we bring] him to Korea to hire him as the creative director, we licensed his idea to develop PUBG.
Kim never explicitly says that Epic should have licensed the game mode, but does state that they should have had to come to Bluehole before developing Fortnite’s Battle Royale mode.
What I think is, they should have at least came to us before making it and had a discussion with us.
He also goes on convey concerns over Epic’s ownership of the Unreal engine, that if Bluehole modifies the engine to create new features, that they could be leaked or “other things.”
We could be afraid when we make new features in the engine by modifying it internally, that is not already available and public, that feature could be leaked, or other things could happen.
Despite all of this, Bluehole admits that it has not actually been in contact with Epic regarding its concerns over Fortnite, however the stated reason for concern does change at the end of the interview to include confusion by the community as to whether or not PUBG was involved in any official capacity with the development of Fortnite Battle Royale. You can check out the entirety of the interview at the link below.
Playerunknown’s Battlegrounds is currently the most popular game on Steam, nearly doubling the number 2 spot held by Dota 2.
(Source: PC Gamer)