The Weekly Raid: Is Fortnite Guilty of Plagiarizing PUBG?
Playerunknown's Battlegrounds has taken the PC gaming scene by storm this year and continues to make new highs every week. It recently surpassed Dota 2 as the most popular game on Steam, reaching peak concurrent player numbers exceeding 1.5 million.
With that sort of success, PUBG and the Battle Royal genre it popularized was sure to draw copycats. We saw the same phenomenon play out with MOBAs, survival sandboxes, and most recently with Hero Shooters. But even while anticipating a deluge of clones, we were surprised to see how quickly and from what direction that competition came from.
After spending nearly 6 years in development, Epic Games finally released Fortnite into Early Access this July. Originally designed as a cooperative tower/hero defense game, Epic made a surprise move by releasing a Battle Royal mode for the game earlier this month. What's more, they announced that the Battle Royal mode would be free to play for all users by the end of the month, that would it be spun off into a stand alone game, and that it would beat PUBG itself to console release.
If the whole 100-people-on-an-island concept wasn't transparent enough, its important to remember that Epic Games is also the studio behind the Unreal Engine which powers PUBG. Blue Hole, the Korean studio behind Playerunknown's Battlegrounds is non too happy about their key vendor, with whom they worked side by side in optimizing their product, turning around and peddling their own take on the concept.
Blue Hole and Epic Games have already exchanged a few public blows over the past week, but we must turn to the gaming jury to find out where the truth lines. Is Fortnite just another take on a public domain concept, or is it a blatant rip-off of PUBG's deliberate design. We will moderate the discussion, but leave the verdict to a jury of our live stream viewers. Results will be published here for those of you who don't catch the discussion live!