Innovation vs Inspiration - PUBG


#1

Alright, so I keep seeing videos calling out games that are “straight ripping off” pubg because it’s been successful. My question is, what makes pubg what it is and why do people feel its being ripped off. I haven’t played pubg… but really, I kind of have… I think there is one specific innovation that creates the pubg experience and without it, it would be like tons of other shitty games just like it. I want to hear what you all think that thing is, what sets pubg apart and can it really claim exclusive use of that mechanic (try and be specific)?

Sorry if this is an old topic, but I love discussing what is and isn’t innovation, what creates experiences, and what aspects of a game can be used in other games without being considered copying.

Also, I’m gonna leave this here… no reason…

tldw
Guitar Hero, Rock Band, Killer Instinct, Saints Row, Angry Birds, Super Mario Bros 2, Farmville, Bayonetta, Ms Pacman, Pong


#2

People like to claim Fortnite BR and others (which there are so few) ripped it off, but they just ripped off an idea. PUBG is technically the 3rd iteration of PlayerUnknown’s (PU) Battle Royale game mode. The first iteration was a mod PU made for Arma 3, that got pretty successful with the decline of DayZ. PU then licensed the game mode (idk how tbh) to Daybreak Studios (formerly Sony Online Entertainment Studios) for use in H1Z1, which came to be released as H1Z1: King of the Kill. PU then got contacted by Bluehole (developer of MMO TERA) to start work on PUBG, where PU would be the publisher and Creative Director at PUBG Corp., a subsidiary of Bluehole.

So, that’s where we are. Now, there isn’t just one mechanic that separates it from other games. Last Man Standing modes have been in games forever and looting guns and equipment got popularized by survival games (DayZ, The War Z, etc). Drawing inspiration from the 2000 Japanese film Battle Royale, it mixes last man/group standing gameplay with looting guns, attachments, ammo, medical supplies, etc with a mechanic that constantly decreases the maps size, forcing players to engage others. If you don’t get to the circle in time, you lose health over time until you eventually get to the safe zone or, well, die.


#3

that’s the one. Without this simple mechanic, pubg is just another in a long line of boring survival games with no zombies. Literally everything else about it is unremarkable or new. I believe shrinking the map is, while not earth shattering, an innovative concept and the main reason for the game’s succes. Question is: who decides what innovations can be used without it being considered copying? Gamers? Developers? Lawyers?

The reason I ask is because player unknown was hinting at further action and that bothers me. Last thing we need is some kind of legal precedence for game mode protection…


#4

I am unfamiliar with DayZ but I know H1Z1 (as well as Fortnite) are more arcadey. PUBG is more tactical and slower paced. I don’t know that I would consider that a singular mechanic though.

You wrote this while I was slowly responding. Um… H1Z1 was doing this with the gas way before PUBG was created.


#5

there you have it, there is literally nothing original or new, not even the specific mechanic that I believe gives the experience player unknown is so proud of.


#6

To be fair, PlayerUnknown did help with the development of H1Z1.


#7

Either way, that’s the mechanic that sets it apart from other - run around deserted landscape, kill other other people with stuff you find laying around - games imo.


#8

I’m no lawyer, but having stayed at a Holiday Inn once (is this a Canadian reference that doesn’t translate) I’m not sure what action could be taken at this stage. And even if Bluehole were to go after Epic, I would assume they’d look to transition off the Unreal Engine too?


#9

I’m no lawyer either. I have been involved in similar cases at tech companies though (on both sides).

Copying PUBG’s map shrinking mechanic doesn’t seem actionable to me alone. There is strong intent and “inspiration” from many games.

If there was intent to copy and opportunity to use something covered by implied or explicit non-disclosure agreements then that’s something. For example, if EPIC had access to information due to being in a separate license agreement for their engine and used that information to go-to-market quicker.

The other thing that makes action difficult is proving damages. For example, Discord is essentially (or almost literally) Slack marketed to a different demographic (gamers). It is basically the same software. To take action though, Slack would have to prove that there are damages incurred by Discord existing in the market.

If they really dig I’m sure they could find some gamers who used Slack and now use Discord, or some data that shows there is confusion in the market when a gamer sets out to choose a platform for chatting with a group. It’s so hard though it’s generally not worth it.

The better use of that money is to work on making something better for the consumer and simply out pace the competition that is ripping you off. Or acquire them if you have the cash, of course.

That’s what PU should be focused on, in my opinion.


#10

Nah, we had that commercial series down here too :wink:


#11

Didn’t Epic Games help on PUBG in some aspect? Presumably the law suit would be because they waived the right to make a similar game, as in, their intellectual property is inside and owned by PUBG.

I agree that they shouldn’t be able to own a game type. And they don’t, there’s h1z1, The Culling (Best one of all of them but there’s nobody playing it) and others.


#12

I imagine that if it were that explicit, there would be no debate.


#13

Something along those lines though.


#14


Ignoring the format/presentation, the content presented in this video is an interesting analysis I’d not really heard to date on the topic:


#15

The issue here is not that games are “ripping off” one mechanic or the other and I think everyone knows that. The real reason behind this and any related drama is that the creators of these products are trying to keep competition to a minimum, and that the users want to feel validated in their choice of product by arguing they are the “real” ones as opposed to all the fakers. As far as I’m concerned, neither multiplayer shooters, shrinking arenas nor battle royale (either the concept itself or it applied to a videogame) are original to plunkbat and as such these debates, to me, are little more than shows of insecurity.

I always find fascinating to explore how creators find and apply inspiration to their titles, but this sort of dick measuring contests are nothing but a vestige of our caveman brains that we need to get over, not only because as players we need to accept the fact that, towards or against them, videogame design is always tied to trends, but because hardly anything in this media has been 100% original.


#16

Well, guess BlueHole (Pubg) gave up.


#17

I think Epic said ,”oh you wanna sue us? Well how about we don’t let you use our engine and you’ll have to rebuild your whole game from scratch? How bou dat?! Yeah we didn’t think so”

I’m pretty sure that’s an exact transcript of the first hearing.


#18

I want to believe it is word-for-word what happened.