This time last year, it was PUBG setting the records and getting most of the attention in the battle royale genre, but now Fortnite is dominating in almost every way. Part of what makes Fortnite so appealing is that developer Epic Games updates and the game on a near-constant basis with new content and tweaks, which encourages players to continue coming back to see what’s new and improved. And that in turn gets more people spending money on the free-to-play game’s microtransactions, which have reportedly been incredibly lucrative. PUBG also updates regularly, but now developer PUBG Corp. has acknowledged that the game has “fallen short” in some ways.
When Playerunknown’s Battlegrounds or as you know it – PUBG – was first announced, who would have thought that it will be such a massive hit among gamers. Yet here we are, where the efficiency of smartphones are being judged on the fact that whether you could PUBG on them without a lag or not! And, to the gamers’ delight, the the game’s publisher has announced a new PUBG game is under development. The development is still in the initial stage so neither the name of the new game nor its release date is yet known.
Another Playerunknown’s Battlegrounds game is in development, the game’s publisher has announced. As of right now, the game is still untitled, however it’s still being helmed by a new studio called Striking Distance, which has appointed ex-Call of Duty and Dead Space developer Glen Schofield as its CEO.
The project as a whole is still relatively new so there’s still little known confirmed details about the game at present. Although, in saying that, PUBG Corp.’s press release states the game is an “original narrative experience within the PUBG universe,” while Schofield hints the game might not be a battle royale title.
He said: “As a creative, the freedom to explore the PUBG universe has me excited about the possibilities, which I view as beyond the battle royale genre.” Schofield went on to tweet that the new game is not a sequel to PUBG. The studio will “create an original narrative experience within the PUBG universe”, whatever that may be.
The new studio will be in good hands, as industry veteran Glen Schofield is taking the helm as CEO. As vice president and general manager at Visceral Games, and later a co-founder of Sledgehammer, he’s worked on some major titles such as Dead Space and Call of Duty. In his introductory video, Schofield said he’s looking forward to “the freedom to explore the PUBG universe” and the opportunities that offers, “which we view as beyond battle royale”.
In terms of practicalities, Striking Distance is being built from the ground up and will be based in San Ramon, California. It’s wholly owned by PUBG Corp, meaning the mother company will also pubglish the new title.
In the context of a recent Kotaku report into Treyarch’s takeover of the expected Sledgehammer-made 2020 Call of Duty title, you have to wonder what’s been going on at the studio in recent years. Schofield and fellow co-founder Michael Condrey departed Sledgehammer back in February 2018, ostensibly for executive positions at Activision, before both quietly exited the company. Condrey left to establish a new (as-yet unnamed) 2K Games studio in early 2019. Sledgehammer, meanwhile, will now serve as a support studio for the 2020 COD game (alongside Raven), and the studio has apparently been haemorrhaging employees over the past few months.
It is also confirmed that the upcoming title will not carry forward the battle royale legacy of the original, but is rumoured to focus on a storyline instead, which PUBG is said to be lacking in its current format.