Today Bluehole, Inc. announced that Chang Han Kim, previously Bluehole’s Executive Producer and Vice President, is now the CEO of PUBG Corp., Bluehole’s first step towards turning the phenomenon of PUBG into a world-renowned franchise.
Last week this time Chang Han Kim, following a press release about his feelings towards Fortnite’s new battle royale mode, requested an interview with PC Gamer to clear up any misconceptions the audience had about his comments. He went on to say that, rather than being upset by the mode itself, he was bothered by how they went about it.
He started by saying he wished they’d come to him before they made the trailer, that “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 using the PUBG name and confusing players, by making them think they had something to do with the project.” This is the point where I have an internal argument about whether I run a gaming website or a blog. On a website, this would be the end of the topic, but on a blog, I would have the permission to rant about how this sentence is nonsense.
By saying that players were confused by Fortnite’s trailer is to basically say they’re idiots. Epic Games made their inspiration clear in the trailer, but they did not – for a second – give viewers the idea that Bluehole Studio had anything to do with Fortnite’s iteration of it. And to, even for a second, say that players could not tell the difference is to say that they don’t have sense. Now, a week later, we know exactly why Chang Han Kim was so upset by Epic Games creating a battle royale mode that was not only free but could make it to consoles first – he had just become the CEO of a company that existed solely to push PUBG to the corners of the earth and license the game [mode]to other people; something that he couldn’t admonish Epic Games about a week ago because the announcement of his new position was still under wraps.
Now, anyone paying close attention to the PC Gamer interview could tell it was more about their relationship with Epic Games muddying the water between dev studio and engine creator. Chang Han Kim took every opportunity to explain that, although the genre was not new, everyone that had taken part in it so far had paid to play. Following Brendan Green’s creation of the “King of the Hill” mode in Arma 2, Daybreak Games paid to have their King of the Kill mode, and so did Bluehole to follow – it was the fact that Epic Games had beat them to console, without paying a dime, that seemed to upset Chang. And to me, that’s fine. Knowing that in less than a week you’ll be the head of a company that exists just to license a product, but being unable to reprimand someone that’s doing it for free today must be very difficult. But I’m disappointed by the fact that both him and Sammie Kang, Marketing & Events Manager, pretended it was about the confusion of us gamers; closing with
Right, and there were players like, “Oh it’s cool, now we get to play PUBG in Fortnite”, and there was nothing we could do about it, because it was depicted that we were officially involved.