PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds, the battle royale phenomenon that took the world by storm continues to escalate – breaking 1 million concurrent players.
With the sort of steam that PlayerUknown’s Battlegrounds has been showing, this sort of result was inevitable. The battle royale game that has captivated a global gaming audience has broken 1 million concurrent players on steam, topping even the likes of global MOBA behemoth Dota 2.
The surge in popularity is unsurprising, given that the game has managed to penetrate deep within the global gaming community. The focus on refined gameplay mechanics bolstered by a continuous pressure to keep moving toward the play area has spawned what some are already calling the next greatest eSport – and that’s not just hype.
We'll have our next update's patch notes for you tomorrow, but for now, here's a better look at our new Foggy Weather Effect! pic.twitter.com/w8v9zphrgi
— PLAY BATTLEGROUNDS (@PUBATTLEGROUNDS) September 11, 2017
The “easy to pick up but hard to master” approach has worked out wonderfully for Mr. Unknown and his compatriots over at Bluehole. It takes players next to no time to jump into the world of PUBG and out of their first airplane drop. From there, it’s all about learning, learning, and learning. The high skill ceiling has worked out to the benefit of the game’s marketing, which is now has a considerable Streamer community to back it – bringing new players in daily.
While the meteoric rise that PUBG has experienced is enough to make the likes of well-seasoned developers turn green with envy, it hasn’t been all smooth sailing. Whenever a product receives this much attention, it will undoubtedly draw a much harsher lens of criticism toward it – and that it has.
The most recent debacle to grace the customer service and community management team for PUBG has been the addition of a microtransactions under the form of pay-to-open loot crates filled with cosmetic items. It should be noted that the items included in these packs are cosmetic only, and offer the recipient no advantage over other players out on the battlefield. Unfortunately, with the large volume of active players that PUBG now boasts, it doesn’t take long for one spark of vitriol to ignite a wildfire out on the forums and Steam reviews.
Feeling slighted that Bluehole would dare add microtranactions in what Is admittingly an unfinished game, players have taken it upon themselves to review bomb the game on Steam with negative reviews as a ploy to show Bluehole that they will not stand for that sort of behavior. Unfortunately for them, the devs don’t appear to show any signs of reversing their decision as its apparent they’ve already made a killing off of selling the keys alone.
As understandable as it is for players to fear that their favorite game is prioritizing monetization over development, the hordes of screeching masses would do well to remember that although PUBG remains under development, Bluehole have been releasing an aggressive update strategy that other devs would struggle to keep up with. Yes, the notion of a pre-release eSports tournament is still a ridiculous concept to wrap one’s head around – but when a game has this fervent and fast-rising following, the question morphs from “why?” to “why not?”
New @PUBATTLEGROUNDS weapon alert!
— PLAY BATTLEGROUNDS (@PUBATTLEGROUNDS) September 8, 2017
Perhaps the only gripe worth griping over is the sudden onslaught of server-related issues. Bluehole have admitted that their server architecture will need to be updated in order to accommodate the sudden influx of players, but one should realize that such surges in activity are rarely ever planned for in the online gaming community. Only look to any over-hyped MMO launch to see the effects of being under-prepared. Ultimately, the problems that PUBG is having right now are good ones. Bluehole and PlayerUnknown haven’t made many missteps along the way yet – and so long as they continue to tread their path carefully, the sky is the limit for their record-breaking battle-royale simulator.