Brendan Greene, the creator of PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds, would like to see greater legal protections for the systems game developers create. Speaking to us in a new interview, he explained he doesn’t want to copyright the whole Battle Royale genre but there are systems he created which are simply being lifted in other games.
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Before PUBG, Greene had played around with the Battle Royale systems in an Arma 3 mod and a mode for H1Z1. “Battle Royale and H1Z1 were my concoctions as well, and even the battle royale game mode I licensed to H1Z1 and I licensed to Bluehole,” Greene explains.
Now, on hearing this it’s easy to say that the film Battle Royale and The Hunger Games series ran through these ideas first and Greene doesn’t argue with that. “The last man standing mode I claim no ownership of at all,” Greene says, “but the very specific systems I had created for Arma 3 don’t exist in these movies and didn’t exist before that so I feel like ‘OK, these are unique things that I came up with.’”
For instance, in neither of those series do the characters parachute into the island or have artillery strikes fall on red zones (though, they do both feature areas that are locked down with player-killing environments).
Greene and Bluehole’s vice president C.H. Kim have been talking about a need to legally protect creators who create new systems, like those in PUBG.
“We want to try and protect artists,” Greene says. “Games to me are very much art forms so when someone creates something unique and new there should be recourse to receive protection and there’s no framework for that now.” Greene doesn’t yet know if it’s something they will act on but it is something he would like to research, saying: “These frameworks and systems exist in other mediums, so why do they not exist in games just yet?”
Greene doesn’t think these sorts of protections would “stifle creativity”, instead he thinks “it will encourage creativity because people will have to come up with new ideas instead of looking at us and going ‘Oh, that’s a good idea, let’s just do that instead.’