Earlier this year, Xbox fans got some great news! PlayerUnknowns BattleGrounds is coming to the Xbox One platform! A lot of controversy has been going around the internet since this announcement and as more and more info is being released. When announced at E3 2017 it was given the Console Launch Exclusivity title. This usually means that a title that is announced with this, will eventually come to other consoles. Here’s an article relating to that announcement earlier this year.
First off, where did this game come from all of a sudden? It has been making huge waves since it’s launch onto Steam Early Access, selling millions more every month and has even set a record for Highest Concurrent Playerbase on Steam beating League of Legends and DOTA2 to take the crown. It now holds an impressive 2.7 million Concurrent Peak count, and closing in on 23 million copies sold on just Steam alone! It all came from the mastermind Brenden Greene, who was living on welfare when he was first creating the game.
Working extensively, he eventually teamed up with the South Korean company Bluehole Inc. to officially create what we now know as PUBG. You can find an extensive interview on Brenden Greene and his history with the creation of the game here with Bloomberg Technology.
What about its exclusivity? Is it timed, permanent or what? This has never been a confirmed thing at any point in time, because no exec. really seems to want to upset the other crowd, whoever it may be. It was announced at E3 2017 as a Console Launch exclusive, but it now has “Xbox One Console Exclusive” on it along with “Game Preview Edition”.
This specific title change is because of the extended partnership Microsoft and the Xbox division has given to BlueHole Inc. to help develop the game and to Publish it through Microsoft. They, Microsoft, has even sent people to offices owned by BlueHole in Korea and Spain to help work on this project. That’s quite the investment into a game that may come to other platforms in the future.
“Launching on console will certainly help in that respect, and Bluehole just announced that Microsoft will be publishing the game on Xbox One. That’s a pretty big step, given that it hasn’t left Early Access.
BG: But we use Unreal, and with Unreal porting to Xbox is simple enough. And now that we’re published by Microsoft, they’re sending people to our office in Korea, and in Span, and they’re going to help port the game. The main development team still works on the PC version.
We’re doing the publishing deal because of the expertise they bring to it, and not just to the Xbox version, but the PC version as well. We run on Windows, which is a Microsoft product, and we’re working with them… to try and improve security that allows cheating to happen. It’s just strengthening that relationship with the people who make the platforms so that the Xbox and the PC version can be the best they can.”
This partnership will see to heavily extend this exclusivity deal, well past the 3-6 timed exclusive everyone thought and seem to believe. It would still have the label of “Console Launch” Exclusive and not just an “Xbox One Console” Exclusive. Even though they have been in talks earlier this year with other Corporations about expanding their player base on other platforms, after gamescom that exclusivity deal seemed to have solidified. If it is to ever come to the Ps4 platform, don’t expect it anytime soon. It is only being made for the Xbox One platform right now, of course Microsoft does not own the IP to the game so the super long term could provide a copy of PUBG onto the Ps4.
PUBG Comes To China
There were a lot of articles earlier this summer saying they are in talks with Sony and Tencent to expand their player base (Here’s one from Bloomberg Tech).
With Tencent investing earlier this year in BlueHole Inc. and being in talks with them, it has allowed them to bring PUBG to Mobile devices and PC in China. I’m quite curious to see how this will pan out, as playing on a phone with this type of game could be very challenging. I don’t see it being a full version being brought to the phone of course, but a 25 person battle with very lowered graphics so make sure the most users can play.
In a recent interview with GamesTM in Issue 194 which is a gaming magazine, Brendan Greene said that PUBG would be running at 60fps on the Xbox One X and between 30-40fps on the S version. (WCCFTech Article) This seemed to upset a lot of people, who felt that if they were on the S they were at a serious disadvantage. Brendan Greene later on made a statement to clarify what he said on Twitter.
“While I previously stated PUBG would run at higher FPS at XGP launch on 12/12, I want to clarify that PUBG will run at 30 FPS across all @Xbox One devices. We’re constantly refining the game & exploring options to increase FPS, but this early in dev, we’re unable to confirm more”
He confused a lot of people with his first statement and of course made people upset. Now people are even more upset that they are not getting 60fps on their Xbox One X consoles. Well, Chill Out. You honestly have no reason to freak out over this, because the game is not a fully finished product and it could take quite some time to get there. It’s easily running at 60fps on very early builds, but it will take a lot of work to get that same frame rate on the finished product with 4k textures. There is a reason it is in Game Preview and locked at 30fps. Different frame rate versions can cause different issues. If they were putting out 2 separate builds, they would potentially have 2 entirely different sets of problems that would have to meet deadlines for fixes and updates. They do not have that large of a team, and can only do so much. Have some patience, and be happy that this game is coming to console in the first place, all thanks to Microsoft.
Microsoft Restricting Playerbase by Pre-Orders?
Right now, it seems PUBG is “Out of Stock” in the Microsoft Store (link). Im not too sure as to why this is, but the only thought is they do not want to overwhelm the servers too much right at launch. It can still be pre-ordered through other retailers, but even they might end up having to back order and cancel certain peoples pre-orders. This could also be a reason for why they do not have it up on the Digital Store. No statement has been made as of yet as to why this is the case, but December 12th is not too far away and maybe we will get some clarification then.