Amid growing tensions with Playerunknown’s Battlegrounds developer Bluehole, Epic Games has released a new update for its Unreal 4 game engine to improve it for battle royale titles.
In a blog post, the firm says it has made a wealth of changes that optimise the tech for not only battle royale games, but all projects using Unreal Engine 4. The first change has been to server performance, with UE4 now optimised to handle massive matches featuring 100 players.
The engine has also been optimised to handle larger map areas, like those seen in PUBG and Fortnite: Battle Royale. This has been achieved with tools from middleware firm Simplygon, which are already being used in Epic’s MOBA title Paragon.
This news might serve to throw petrol on the fire that is Epic and Bluehole’s conflict. The latter released a statement highlighting its dissatisfaction with Epic for name-checking Playerunknown’s Battlegrounds in marketing content for its Fortnite: Battle Royale mode.
These changes to Unreal Engine 4 have also caused some industry insiders to speculate that we are about to see a glut of battle royale titles trying to get in on the Playerunknown’s Battlegrounds action. That title has sold 13m copies to date with creative director Brendan Greene eying lifetime sales of 100m.
Epic's own battle royale play in Fortnite has been pretty successful, with that title hitting seven million players since its July launch.