What’s worse than designing a game that bears an unintentionally striking resemblance to another, more popular game? The obvious answer, of course, is: creating a shameless knock-off of another, more popular game to be included in your game that already bears a striking resemblance to another, more popular game.
Did you catch all of that? No? Never mind. I’m waffling on today about the lesser-known hero shooter title Paladins, which does of course bear a strong resemblance to Activision Blizzard’s own hero shooter, the legendary Overwatch. Similarities here, though, might be forgiven – after all, games in the same genre are likely to look similar, and you wouldn’t criticise Tekken for looking like Street Fighter now, would you?
But then developer Hi-Rez went and announced Paladins: Battlegrounds (or PBG, for short), a Battle Royale game mode for 100 players that takes place on an island onto which you are dropped. Touted as the first ever Hero Shooter Battle Royale, the new mode is unashamedly and unequivocally copying PlayerUnknown’s smash hit Battlegrounds all the way down to the name. And this, folks, is the trailer:
Like its namesake, Paladins: Battlegrounds is a last-man-standing mode that involves collecting random weapon drops as you are pushed toward a final location by an ever-shrinking wall of fog. Of course, keeping it utterly identical would be cause for legal action, so Hi-Rez have made sure to include the class system from the base game, as well as mounts like horses that serve in place of vehicles. Subtle.
The new mode was announced at the Hi-Rez Expo 2018 mere days ago, and will be implemented into the game in the near future. What with the unprecedented success of Brendan Greene’s mod-gone-viral, it comes as no surprise that game developers are looking to ride the tidal wave of Battle Royale popularity; indeed, it was only a few months ago that co-op survival game Fortnite announced and implemented its own version of the 100-player free-for-all, to huge success. If that particular incident is anything to go by, however, Hi-Rez can expect a home-made subpoena through their letterbox any time now…