PUBG maker Bluehole clarifies issues with Epic and Fortnite

PUBG maker Bluehole clarifies issues with Epic and Fortnite

Bluehole VP and executive producer Chang Han Kim has shed some more light on his company's issues with the battle royale mode in Epic Games' Fortnite

Speaking to PC Gamer, the exec said that the problem was not the battle royale gameplay; rather the issue is How Epic Games has handled the release of its battle royale game.

"So the first thing that I'd like to clarify is that this is not about the battle royale game mode itself," Kim explained.  

"There were other battle royale game modes earlier this year that were released, like last man standing or GTA 5's battle royale game mode, and we never raised an issue, and I think it's great that there's more competition and everyone should be able to create their own battle royale game mode, and it's not about the idea itself, it's about Epic Games, and that wasn't really clear [in the press release]."

He continued: "There are a lot of different issues but everyone else that released a battle royale game mode made their own thing, but it was Epic Games that made this game that is similar to us that has similar elements, and that's the concern, that it was Epic Games."

It seems that part of Bluehole's concern is due to the fact Epic was very open about bieng inspired by Playerunknown's Battlegrounds in promotional materials; this was something that wasn't run past Bluehole prior to the announcement. 

"There were players like, "Oh it's cool, now we get to play PUBG in Fortnite"," marketing and events manager Sammie Kang said.

"And there was nothing we could do about it, because it was depicted that we were officially involved."

Kim was also concerned that Epic might take features from Playerunknown's Battlegrounds due to the fact that employees of that studio assist Bluehole due to the fact the project uses its Unreal Engine 4. 

"We're going to get some technical support [from Epic], and we're going to work with them to make sure Unreal Engine better supports battle royale gameplay which requires 100 people in one session, and now we're starting to have concerns that they're going to develop new features or improve something in the engine to support that battle royale gameplay, and then use it for their own game mode," Kim said. 

 Oh, and Bluehole hasn't even tried to resolve this issue behind closed doors, which... isn't exactly great form. 

"So we didn't have any real discussions [with Epic]," Kim said. "We just found out through articles from the media and then it took us a long time to figure out what was going on because we found this out through media, and it took us a long time, and [Epic was] being really aggressive about making this into a standalone game that will be released on different platforms, and we thought we need to straighten things out here and then clarify some things."

PCGamesInsider Contributing Editor

Alex Calvin is a freelance journalist who writes about the business of games. He started out at UK trade paper MCV in 2013 and left as deputy editor over three years later. In June 2017, he joined Steel Media as the editor for new site In October 2019 he left this full-time position at the company but still contributes to the site on a daily basis. He has also written for, VGC, Games London, The Observer/Guardian and Esquire UK.