When Epic Games announced a new last-man-standing-mode for Fornite, it wasn’t just Playerunknown’s Battlegrounds who noticed a few similarities. After all, when we say you’re dropped into a lobby, ferried to an island, and then set loose to search for weapons and take out other players, you probably have no idea which game we’re talking about.
Safe to say, the indie success story don’t consider Battle Royale a flattering homage, and have since gone on to threaten “further action”. It also can’t help that the Fortnite launch has pre-empted PUBG’s move to console, and done so for free. So, is PUBG right to worry about Fornite’s Battle Royale? And more importantly, should you feel bad for playing it?
Well, to begin with, PUBG developer Bluehole has made it clear that that their issue is more to do with the business relationship they have with Epic Games than the new mode itself. The indie title is made using a license of Unreal Engine 4, owned by Fortnite’s creators – an arrangement which will undoubtedly face some scrutiny now that the two companies have competing games. In particular, the PUBG team have said they’re now worried about working with Epic to develop new features, since they could then appear in Fortnite.
Of course, battle royale isn’t an original idea, and Fornite isn’t the only title to take inspiration from PUBG. With the smash shooter currently atop Steam’s concurrent player chart, it isn’t hard to see why last-man-standing modes have started popping up across the industry. In particular, Grand Theft Auto V recently introduced Motor Wars, a competitive battle royale mode with a shrinking kill box.
So should you feel guilty for for playing Fornite’s new mode? Well, maybe just a little. But as for which game to play, it really depends what you’re looking for. If all you want is the fun, frenetic energy of a last-man-standing shooter – and you don’t want to pay for it – then Fortnite’s Battle Royale has everything you’re looking for. But if you’re looking for a more nuanced, atmospheric experience, then you’ll probably prefer jumping out of your skin thanks to a surprise headshot in PUBG.
Either way, it’s pretty likely that both games will have many new players in the foreseeable future, with PUBG finally launching on Xbox One this Christmas, and the inevitable publicity boost that will come with the full Fortnite game turning free-to-play sometime next year.
Player Unknown Battlegrounds is available now on PC with a Xbox One release date as yet unannounced. Fortnite is available now on PS4, XBox One, Microsoft Windows, and Mac OS.