The team behind PC early access hit PlayerUnknown's Battlegrounds (PUBG) has issued a statement raising concerns about a free multiplayer mode being added to Epic Games' Fortnite, after creator Brendan Greene called the mode a "carbon copy" of his game.
Released as an early access title in March, PlayerUnknown's Battlegrounds is a competitive shooter in which 100 players playing solo or in squads, are airdropped onto an island where they are tasked with gathering resources and defeating their opponents to be the last ones standing.
In September, Epic Games announced a new free-to-play battle royale mode with the exact same set up, for its PS4, Xbox One and PC survival game Fortnite.
"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 Chang Han Kim, vice president and executive producer for Bluehole Inc, the team behind the shooter.
"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.
"We have also noticed that Epic Games references PUBG in the promotion of Fortnite to their community and in communications with the press. This was never discussed with us and we don't feel that it's right."
The statement comes after Greene (also known as PlayerUnknown) partook in a Reddit Q&A and answered a question about Fortnite Battle Royale. He said: "Other companies will, of course, enter the marketplace, but I would just hope they put their own spin on the game mode and not just make a carbon copy! I try not to worry about them to be honest and instead just concentrate on completing my vision for a battle royale game."
While Greene might not be worrying about the mode, it seems Bluehole Inc is, with Han Kim saying: "The PUBG community has and continues to provide evidence of the many similarities as we contemplate further action."
PlayerUnknown's Battlegrounds has been the surprise success of the year, selling an incredible 10 million copies as of the start of September and retaining its growing audience through the release of regular, free updates continually building and improving the game.
The game has not yet been released on consoles, which is one reason the release of Fortnite's competing mode will be a concern of Bluehole's. The game is heading to Xbox One later this year however, and is expected to be released on PS4 at some point in the future.