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PUBG inspired Fortnite to make a new game mode

100-player Battle Royale-style PvP mode is completely separate from regular Fortnite, live now on test servers

Charlie Hall is Polygon’s tabletop editor. In 10-plus years as a journalist & photographer, he has covered simulation, strategy, and spacefaring games, as well as public policy.

Fortnite, the hybrid early access title from Epic Games, is getting a new game mode inspired by Playerunknown’s Battlegrounds. The 100-player, last-man-standing version of Fortnite will bring player-versus-player battles to the game for the first time. The mode is available on test servers right now, and Epic says it will go live by Sept. 26.

After more than six years in development, Fortnite launched into early access in late July. The third-person game combines the mechanics of a classic shooter with a Minecraft-style building game. Our review called it sloppy, but with flashes of brilliance.

Developers from Epic told Polygon in June that one of Fortnite’s key advantages would be the ongoing support it would receive from its core team. However, in a post issued today, Epic said that this new mode was actually built by the team behind Unreal Tournament. As such, it will be completely separate from the standard, player-versus-environment mode of traditional Fortnite.

“We love Battle Royale games like PUBG and thought Fortnite would make a great foundation for our own version,” said Epic. “A few months ago Epic’s Unreal Tournament team began experimenting with the mode while the original Fortnite team kept updating the core game. To maintain game balance we kept the PvP mode completely separate from the PvE mode. The new Battle Royale mode was so much fun we decided to share it with everyone to get feedback.”

The move is similar to the strategy taken by the team at Daybreak Game Company, which split their popular H1Z1 title into two separate products. One game, called Just Survive, retained the core survival mechanics of the original while the other product became H1Z1: King of the Kill.

King of the Kill has gone on to be a fixture among the top 5 most-played games on Steam and is one of the most-streamed games on Twitch.

Playerunknown’s Battlegrounds is on a tear right now. It recently sold its 10 millionth copy, and beat out Dota 2 for the most concurrent players on Steam.

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