On Friday, Epic announced that its take on the last man standing genre, Fortnite: Battle Royale, will launch as a free-to-play standalone title on September 26,
However, in a press release shortly after, Bluehole VP and executive producer Changhan Kim expressed concern that Epic Games' support of PUGB via Unreal Engine licensing could pose a conflict of interest.
"We've had an ongoing relationship with Epic Games throughout PUBG’s development as they are the creators of UE4, the engine we licensed for the game," said Kim.
"After listening to the growing feedback from our community and reviewing the gameplay for ourselves, we are concerned that Fortnite may be replicating the experience for which PUBG is known."
Later, Kim expanded on this thought in an interview with PC Gamer, stating that Epic is in a position where it could take advantage of Bluehole.
"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," he said.
"We could be afraid when we make new features in the engine by modifying it internally, that is not already available and public, that feature could be leaked, or other things could happen.
"So, we just want to emphasize this only a problem because Epic Games is the company that makes the engine we use and we pay a large amount of royalties to them."
Kim also criticised Epic Games use of the PUBG name in its promotion of Fortnite.
"This was never discussed with us and we don’t feel that it’s right," he said.
"The PUBG community has and continues to provide evidence of the many similarities as we contemplate further action.
"It was just a bit surprising and disappointing to see our business partner using our name officially to promote the game mode that is pretty similar to us and there was misunderstanding in the community that we're officially involved in the project."
Bluehole should have been consulted about the battle royale mode in Fortnite, Kim said.
"PUBG might have really simple battle royale rules and systems, but we see that as [PlayerUnknown himself] Brendan's own idea and that game mode in PUBG belongs to Brendan," said Kim.
"You know that Daybreak Games actually licensed this idea and worked with him to develop their game mode and [Bluehole] did license his idea as well. Not only [did we bring] him to Korea to hire him as the creative director, we licensed his idea to develop PUBG.
"So we're not just taking someone else's idea. Bluehole's stance is that we respect and value the indie developer or modder's idea and we actually licensed it," he added.
"What I think is, they should have at least came to us before making it and had a discussion with us."
Bluehole hasn't yet spoken with Epic as the latter's offices are closed on the weekend.