PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds had a meteoric rise to become one of the most popular games in the world, and its sudden popularity has inspired no shortage of other takes on the new battle royale genre. Some of those games are offering their own spin on the concept, while others are pretty blatant copycats. PlayerUnknown himself thinks things would be better for the genre if there was a little more of the former, and a little less of the latter.
“I want other developers to put their own spin on the genre,” Brendan Greene tells BBC, “not just lift things from our game.”
That’s not to say Greene is against the idea of more battle royales - to the contrary, he says “I want this genre of games to grow.” But for that to happen, he says developers making battle royale games should focus on making “new and interesting spins” on the idea.
Greene doesn’t name the copycats he’s talking about here, but many of the most direct PUBG clones are coming up in Asian markets, particularly with mobile games in China. Tencent are developing one such game in Glorious Mission, which pursues similar ideas right down to a semi-realistic military aesthetic.
Publishers Bluehole (before PUBG development was spun off into a seperate company) expressed concern about Fortnite’s battle royale mode having a few too many similarities to their own title, which they found particularly vexing given their existing relationship with Epic and Unreal.
“Some amazing games pass under the radar,” says Greene, calling for better IP protection in games. “Then someone else takes the idea, has a marketing budget, and suddenly has a popular game because they ripped off someone else's idea. I think it's something the industry needs to look into.”
But as popular as fellow battle royale titles like Fortnite have become, I don’t there’s much concern about PUBG passing under the radar.