PlayerUnknown's Battlegrounds (PUBG) kickstarted the nascent battle royale genre. Some titles incorporated similar elements before PUBG launched, but after the game's success, a new genre was born. The battle royale has come to life with indie games like Totally Accurate Battlegrounds, the addition of battle royale game modes to long-running series like Call of Duty and Battlefield and, of course, Epic Games' quick pivoting of Fortnite from a modern take on Minecraft to having a battle royale mode that has become a pop culture sensation less than a year after it first debuted.
This flood of titles has forced PUBG to compete in a genre it effectively started. Over time, however, the game's players have grown increasingly frustrated by long-running technical issues and the relatively sluggish update schedule when compared to how often Epic refreshes Fortnite. PUBG Corp. has been hearing those complaints, and now it's started a new Fix PUBG campaign to convince the wunderkind's players their complaints aren't falling on deaf ears. Now the question is whether or not the initiative comes too late to help PUBG regain its former glory.
Here's what PUBG Corp. said in a Steam update about the Fix PUBG campaign:
"For the duration of the campaign, we’ll be entirely focused on addressing problems with the game, including bugs, long-needed quality-of-life improvements and fundamental performance improvements. Throughout this campaign we’ll share specifics about what we’re working on and the expected time it’ll take to address the issues. Then we’ll deliver on our promises."
The company also included a list of changes it already plans to make based on player feedback. That includes allowing shots to deal full damage if they would've hit a vital area were a limb not in the way, various quality-of-life improvements and changes to how the FPS cap works, among other things. PUBG Corp. said "many of the improvements we’ll be making to the PC version will naturally be carried over to the Xbox version of the game as well" and that it's "committed to fixing problems for all our players," so presumably PlayStation 4 players will also benefit.
PUBG Corp. established a new website specifically for the Fix PUBG campaign where interested players can find the company's roadmap, a progress tracker for individual fixes and some FAQs that mostly boil down to "read the site." The website discusses the campaign's general purpose--"fix the game" by making PUBG a "better, more stable and fairer game"--as well as offer more details about specific changes. It's refreshing to see a company be so transparent about its game's problems and exactly how it plans to fix them, as well as when.
Yet, it remains to be seen if any changes will help PUBG earn back some of the goodwill it's lost. Cheaters have run amok (and technical issues have persisted) long enough to leave a bad taste in people's mouths. Redemption is possible, as Hello Games showed with the popular NEXT update to No Man's Sky, but there's no guarantee. That's especially true now that people can look forward to ostensibly similar experiences from the more established and much larger developers behind Call of Duty and Battlefield. And, well, Fortnite has already become gamer's new pastime.