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Fortnite's Battle Royale mode goes free, despite PUBG complaints

Mode emerge from paid Early Access with latest update, indicating development has not been stalled by Bluehole

Epic Games is soldiering on with the development of its Battle Royale mode for new release Fortnite - flying in the face of complaints from the developer of PlayerUnknown's Battlegrounds.

The latest update to the game removes Battle Royale from the paid Early Access version of the game and makes it free to all. The mode is available on PC, Mac, PS4 and Xbox One.

The last-man-standing multiplayer mode has courted controversy since its announcement with Bluehole Studio complaining about Fortnite's inclusion of a Battle Royale scenario that is so close to its own hit PlayerUnknown's Battlegrounds.

The developer has since clarified that its issue is not with someone else recreating the sub-genre, which has been pioneered by its creative director Brendan 'PlayerUnknown' Greene, but instead with the relationship between Bluehole and Epic.

For example, Bluehole expressed concern that advancements made while working with the Unreal Engine team, which powers PUBG, could be used to enhance the same mode in Fortnite.

The release of Fortnite Battle Royale on Xbox One is also likely to irk Microsoft somewhat, which has secured an exclusive partnership with Bluehole to bring PUBG to its console later this year. Given the game's surging popularity at 10m users and counting, PUBG is set to be a major pillar of Microsoft's line-up when it launches the Xbox One X this November.

The fact that Epic Games is pushing forward with Battle Royale's development and rollout implies that it is perhaps not taking Bluehole's complaints too seriously, but time will tell as to whether the PUBG studio is able take further action.

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