People really want to parachute down to a desolate land and shoot at each other. Less than six months after its Early Access debut, more than 10 million copies of PlayerUnknown's Battlegrounds have been sold, cementing the "battle royale" game as one of the most popular titles of the year. The game also reached a new peak of more than 970,000 concurrent users after the PUBG Invitational tournament was held at Gamescon.
PlayerUnknown's Battlegrounds started life as an Arma 2 mod from Brendan "PlayerUnknown" Greene. It was then picked up by a publisher called Bluehole, which announced in June 2016 that it would become a standalone title within the year. The game then headed to Steam's Early Access in March 2017. It was a hit, often sitting at the top of Steam's and Twitch's lists of most popular game sales and streams, respectively.
If you somehow aren't familiar with the game, PlayerUnknown's Battlegrounds pits 100 players against each other in an ever-shrinking map littered with guns and other equipment. Your goal is to take out other players without being shot down yourself, which often leads to long stretches of calm punctuated by intense firefights. Check out our hands-on with the game for more information about how it plays.
Other parts of the game have changed. Some updates, like servers that restrict players to a first-person view instead of allowing them to use a third-person perspective, have been welcomed by the community. (The visibility offered by a third-person view too often meant the difference between life and death.) Other changes—such as the crate-and-key system that requires you to pay for in-game items—were less welcome.
Bluehole also announced in August that it would slow down the pace with which it released updates to PlayerUnknown's Battlegrounds. This change was supposed to help the company gear up for the game's official release and to make sure its players had "realistic expectations” regarding the time it takes to update the game. This is common to Early Access games; the point of the platform is to iterate on unfinished titles.
PlayerUnknown's Battlegrounds is now available on PC, and it will head to the Xbox One as part of the Xbox Game Preview program sometime this year, with an official launch following in early 2018. Bluehole vice president and executive producer Chang Han Kim said in a press release that the company is "working diligently to bring a solid gameplay experience for full launch on the PC and Xbox One Game Preview versions later this year.” That jibes with the company's announcement in July that the game's official PC debut was being pushed to Q4 2017.
|Platforms||PC, Xbox One|
|Where To Buy||Steam|
|Release Date||March 23, 2017 (Early Access)|