The back story of PUBG, Fornite, and battle royale video games
Brendan Greene had a singular vision to bring battle royale to the video game market. He started as a modder, and he was a fan of movies like Battle Royale and The Hunger Games. He started working on a mod that could do this kind of a first-person shooter game mode where the territory for fighting kept shrinking until there was just one player left standing.
And the rest was history. Greene hooked up with Daybreak Games on H1Z1 and then went to Bluehole, which set up a subsidiary, PUBG Corp, to make a battle royale game. There, in South Korea, Greene helped create PUGB. It became a huge hit when it debuted in March 2017, and it saw a meteoric rise on PC, consoles, and mobile.
Greene spoke about this experience with Rami Ismail, cofounder of Vlambeer, at the Gamelab 2019 event in Barcelona. He talked about his life as a modder and being thrust into game development with almost no experience beyond what he taught himself. For nine months, he toiled with the development team and eventually put their creation out in to the wild. Then he got a rush out of the huge popularity of PUBG. The mobile game alone has topped more than 400 million downloads, and the team has grown from 30 people to more than 400. (a)
But why Fortnite, and not PUBG, ended up “winning” in the West?
My guess: Fornite was the first to be available everywhere for free — and Epic Games delivered a smoother experience through their Unreal Engine as well (sidenote: Read, for example: The History Of Fortnite (a) and Fortnite and PUBG: Origins (a).) .