If one thing is clear, is that PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds (PUBG for short) caused a sensation in 2017. This is because the competitive online multiplayer game has been picked up by millions of players worldwide, who have no doubt enjoyed its exciting shooting action set in a post-apocalyptic world.
And the game was at the centre of controversy last September when YouTube star PewDiePie made a racially charged comment against an opponent while playing the game, evidence of how popular developer PUBG Corp’s game has become in a short period of time.
Actually, the game only hit Steam Early Access (a pre-release channel where players can buy games that are still in development) last March, and sold more than 24 million copies before its official release in December 2017.
In an interview with Iven Global (via GameSpot) PUBG Corp boss Chang Han Kim spoke of the game’s success, and how pleased his company (which is based in South Korea) is of the game’s meteoric rise in the video game world.
“PUBG gave the gaming industry something to think about. A title developed by a small team in South Korea sold more than 20 million copies and has approximately 3 million concurrent players”, said Kim.
The man also said that his goal is for the game to reach all gaming platforms, but referring to a potential PS4 version of the game, Kim said this may still take a while due to Sony’s strict quality control.
“Early Access on Steam and Game Preview on Xbox One are like pre-release, so they don’t have a restriction on quality. However, PS is very strict about this. There were cases where a game took 6 months more to launch even when it was already completed”, said PUBG Corp’s CEO.
It’s worth noting, though, that despite the fact the Xbox One version of the game is essentially a pre-release version, it has already sold more than 1 million copies, which certainly is no mean feat.
Also of interest to PUBG players is what Kim had to say about fog and rain in the game, weather conditions that are no longer available due to the fact that “the retention of players in fog and rainy was too low and we had to take them out” as Kim said in the interview. PUBG Corp’s boss also voiced concerns that some users could get an unfair advantage when playing on night maps by tweaking their graphics card or monitor’s brightness settings.
Kim also spoke of how cheating is having an effect on the PUBG experience in general, acknowledging it’s a serious problem in the game, and that it’s taking steps to deal with the issue too.
“We had a talk about this with Tencent, the publisher of the service in China, and they said that it will be an everlasting fight. Like you said, it’s impossible to eliminate hacks completely. However, we’ve put so much effort into banning cheaters, and the number of cheaters after the launch of the 1.0 version has dropped significantly as a result”, said PUBG Corp’s chief.
PUBG fans might also be pleased to hear that Kim has big plans for the game, hoping it can turn into a media franchise and branch into other entertainment areas like movies and TV. Actually, Kim admits the likes of Netflix have already knocked on their door, so perhaps a PUBG movie might be a reality sometime in the future.
For the time being, though, it’s great to see a game like PUBG achieve so much in so little time, proof that the PC platform can still give birth to successful video game franchises which can reach an audience of millions. Although hopefully console players won’t be left out in the cold, and a full Xbox One release and PS4 version will become available in the not so distant future as well.