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Garrett Fuller: PUBG and Fortnite – The Drama Continues

By Garrett Fuller on September 23, 2017 | Columns | Comments

PUBG and Fortnite – The Drama Continues

This week Fortnite launched their Battle Royale expansion giving players the chance to compete against each other in a hunger games style scenario. Many people in video games will try new things and usually see modes of games coming into play from other games in the market. This is how it has been for years. That is until the news that Player Unknown Battlegrounds is clearly not happy with the Battle Royale style content. So what happens now? 

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Many outlets have picked up the story today, but if this had gone on back in the day of MMOs, would you have even had a World of Warcraft? Ultima Online and Everquest essentially created the genre and many other studios rose up in the ranks because of them. Game features were shared across titles and no one really took note. One of the biggest recent observations on this trend is the public event system in Destiny 2, which was founded in Warhammer Online by Mythic. Either way, modes and designs have always been shared across games.

So why is PUBG taking such an issue? They use the Unreal Engine on their game. Also, the system was implemented early on in H1Z1 as part of their PvP system. No one at Daybreak had blinked an eye with the huge take off of success that PUBG had. If PUBG considered further action again Unreal and EPIC Games this could quickly become the legal battle of the millennium in terms of video games. 

One area which really gets fuzzy is when the Fortnite team had mentioned both H1Z1 and PUBG in promoting the game. Inside the industry everyone is really a fan first, especially of other people’s games. We all play them. But there are some tricky scenarios which could become a problem.

The biggest is that in the race to console, Fortnite’s Battle Royal launches on consoles as well next Tuesday. This is a fast launch and will actually beat PUBG to the console market by what looks like several months. Another move which could box out the game from seeing further success. PUBG already has millions of players and recently broke Steam records.

The phrase “considering further action” by BlueHole, the people behind PUBG is the one that has gotten everyone looking up. If it comes down to a legal battle, a court could decide the fate of an entire game genre, let alone the future of how games are made which play in the same genre. Could you legally own certain character statistics, something like hit points, or Strength? If so then Dungeons & Dragons would have had to license out everything for decades now to endless amounts of titles that have been launched using this style of RPG platform. Honestly, gaming would change as we know it.

This could be the beginning of a huge end to video games as countless game styles are similar. Honestly, there may not be a case here at all considering the decades of history on how games have been made. However, if things do change, it will shift the landscape of design completely for all of us. Honestly, I can understand why PUBG is upset, but not sure it is worth the earthquake of outcomes that may ensue. Hopefully, they can settle out of court, or this thing dies on the vine. 

Garrett Fuller Garrett Fuller Editorials
Garrett Fuller has been playing MMOs since 1997. He originally joined MMORPG.com as a writer in 2005. In 2007 Garrett went on to handle Industry Relations for TenTonHammer.com. Then, in July 2009, Garrett happily rejoined his old team at MMORPG.com as the site's News Manager. Garrett lives in Hillsborough, NJ with his wife, son and daughter.

His column appears here every Wednesday.
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