The Battle Between Fortnite And Battlegrounds Continues

The Battle Between Fortnite And Battlegrounds Continues


Since Fortnite announced its battle royale mode, there’s been a little, uh, tension between its developer Epic Games and the developer of that other battle royale game, PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds. What’s come next has felt a little like an arms race for accessibility, throughout which Fortnite‘s free, console-supported battle royale mode is quickly gaining traction.

Prior to release, Battlegrounds developer BlueHole released a fierce statement about Epic Games’ upcoming free 100-man PvP survival mode, describing their concern that it would be “replicating the experience for which PUBG is known.” BlueHole’s fear wasn’t misplaced.

Days later, when the new (and free) Fortnite mode was released, amid overwhelming praise for it, a few uncanny similarities jumped out at players: the lobby where players run around and shoot each other; the floating vehicle from which they float downwards; the hilly, green island on which they fight; the supply drops and, well, the general battle royale experience.

Fortnite‘s major innovation is its building mechanics, which has players mining materials and constructing forts to protect themselves.

The mode is good. It’s faster-paced and simpler than Battlegrounds, which can sometimes feel a lot like gathering lots of items, moving from hiding place to hiding place and, twenty minutes later, getting head-shotted by someone you can’t even see.

Also, it beat Battlegrounds, still in early access, to consoles. Crucially, PlayStation 4 players can now get in on a 2017 battle royale game (as of now, they won’t get Battlegrounds). In fact, Fortnite‘s battle royale mode is the first big, new game of its kind to release on console, also beating out H1Z1 and The Culling.

Since Fortnite‘s battle royale mode released, there’s been a feeling of competition among the two games, which is made awkward by the fact that developer Epic Games made the engine Battlegrounds runs off.

On its first day, over one million players flooded Fortnite‘s new mode, the game’s Twitter account bragged. About a week later, Fortnite‘s player count exploded to 7 million, and in a few days, its Twitter account would boast of hitting 525,000 peak concurrent users.

Two days later, Battlegrounds dev PlayerUnknown would screenshot his game’s 2 million peak concurrent users for a Twitter post, and, twenty minutes later, Fortnite would announce that 10 million people have played its battle royale mode.

Neither developer would comment on whether there’s an ongoing conversation between them.

JShredz, who moderates the Fortnite Battle Royale subreddit, says he’s seen an “overwhelming” number of posts on the subreddit from Battlegrounds veterans, indicating that some players have jumped ship.

He gave Battlegrounds a spin a while back, but “never really got hooked due to some stability issues,” he said, referring to the game’s known connectivity issues. With Fortnite, he was “really, really hopeful they’d be able to bring what other BR games like PUBG and The Culling had been able to do well and integrate it within a lighter, friendlier, and generally sillier environment.”

Since the battle royale mode came out, JShredz has completely forsaken the game’s main mode for it.

That “friendlier” environment extends to Fortnite battle royale’s learning curve. Redditer FinallyRage, who plays both Battlegrounds and Fortnite‘s battle royale mode, says that it took him several Battlegrounds games to land a kill. With Fortnite, it took him just one.

PUBG is slower paced, it has a huge learning curve and half the time I don’t know why I died. [In Fortnite] BR it’s much easier to spot people and more of an action shooter. It’s a lot easier to get started in,” he told me. Also, he said, Fortnite‘s games are faster, meaning he can play a round during a lunch break.

It’s unlikely that Fortnite will match Battlegrounds‘ record-breaking number of concurrent players, but its rapid explosion in popularity says something about accessibility.

Free, easy-to-grok and on several platforms, Fortnite‘s battle royale mode is grabbing players who, for various reasons, felt disenchanted with Battlegrounds — or couldn’t play — despite its use of ideas that we’ve seen before.


  • This is just getting childish, if they are threatening them with legal action that means every other game that is like PUBG that came before it can do the same to blue hole.

  • This remind of a story my friend told me a few years ago. The developers of a rpg game called Oblivion and the indie developers of a game called Morrowind had a quarrel with one another because they accused each other of copying the other’s game.

    The solution? They worked together and created one of the greatest RPGs of all time called Skyrim. Still popular to this day.

    PUBG and Fortnite could take a lesson here.

  • Its a free to play title that caters to casual audiences way more than Pubg ever will. Fortnite Br is most certainly interesting, but I think the Koreans are losing their marbles if they think Fortnite is competition.

    • I think they’re right to be worried on console, PUBG has issues running well on some pretty high end PCs at the moment. I can only imagine the performance on console.

      Fortnite is not only already on console building an active player base but they’re free to play.

      Don’t get me wrong I’m a big PUGB fan and been put off Fortnite from the PvE version’s practices, but I think Bluehole have the right to be worried about their potential console sales because of this. There could potential impacts on the Xbox deal they signed as well.

      • Yeah they have more than a few reasons to worry.
        Optimising the game should be their main concern though, because at the end of the day it’s not a complex mode and any decently sized developer with a little experience and resources can easily tack something like this on as an after thought.
        (As Epic has shown)

        • I know a few of the in house Epic devs, and the things they can make the engine do is MENTAL.

          For that knowledge to filter out to devs using UE4 takes specific questions, or a rollout to a new version (and thus added to update notes).

          It’s not surprising that Fortnite Battlegrounds is well optimised – it has the full force of Epic devs behind it. PUBG is what, 20 people cribbed together to try stay ahead of a gargantuan beast they accidentally created?

  • People are saying that PUBG has nothing to worry about vs Fortnite Battle Royale but history has shown us that the more cartoony, easier to play game is the one that wins.

    Look at Angry Birds. Complete rip off of Crush The Castle, but it was simpler and had a cutesy art style so it won.
    Candy Crush vs Bejeweled.

    I’m not saying either game is winning or losing at the moment, but neither games position is concrete.

  • Yep fortnite has definite first move advantage on console. It’s annoying that they’ve been spruking PUBG on xbone for months now but can’t give any sort of indication add to when it will be released but hey here’s Fortnite coming along to eat PUBG’s lunch on consoles!!! I’ll definitely try it out this week (didn’t on the weekend cuz Star Wars beta was my priority) my son played it on Sunday with his friends amd said it was good fun – he even won a round which tells everything you need to know about this games accessibility!

    • As a rule i enable my adblocker on any site that has auto play videos. Its a crappy practice and sites that do it wont get ad revenue from me. If any of the Kotaku editors are reading this, Get rid of the Auto play videos and ill get rid of the ad blocker. deal?

  • The main differences I see between them are vehicles and building. I don’t count the artstyle since it’s not gameplay related.
    PUBG is just so poorly optimized it hurts. I’m a console player mainly, but I gave PUBG a crack on my laptop and I virtually could not shoot anyone due to the low frames I would get.

    About the building vs vehicles… I feel like the building aspect makes games differ way more. You’re always going to end up looking at an enemy in a different building than the last game versus sometimes getting somewhere quicker in a vehicle.

  • Fortnite is still in Beta but charging a full game at 60$ Granted that the battle Royale mode is free it still shows that it’s got a lot of work to go through.
    The issue with the new mode is that the map isn’t catered for 100 people. It’s for 50

  • Fornite BR is great fun on PS4. I’ve managed to finish 2nd. What is not great, is lag on OCE servers ..booo.

  • I should thank PUBG for talking about Fortnite. I didn’t even know this was F2P. I thought it was a DLC on original Fortnite which isn’t free. 😀

  • considering how shitty PUGB looks and is so poorly optimised, and is filled with hackers and cheaters, why on earth would anyone actually pay the $30-40 bucks that Steam is advertising it for.

    Shit if you want to throw your money away how about you give it to me

Show more comments

Comments are closed.

Log in to comment on this story!