Let me put this straight – I have been playing PUBG for more than 70 hours now, and I have no plans of quitting. If you’re following us on our social media channels, then you may have seen us playing the game.
The game is like drugs wrapped in PTSD-pita bread. 3 weeks ago, my friends and I put up a PUBG voice channel on our Discord server. Today, our server already has a total of 4 PUBG-teams – all filled with 4 players each channel – concurrently playing the game from 10pm to 3am. It’s wild.
What is PUBG anyway?
Allow me to put it in a context you’d easily appreciate: Hunger Games, 100 people parachuting down to a 8x8km island, loot fest, and become the lone survivor. These things define what PUBG is all about. It’s a mad survival game, mixed with RNG and poisonous gas.
Hype Train is for real!
The game was launched was launched at Early Access in March 2017, and Bluehole – the developers – are looking at graduating the game from Early Access to full retail release within the next 2 months. It will also be a console timed-exclusive game to Xbox One.
There are over 4M gamers who bought the game from Steam (as of this writing). For an Early access product worth PhP760, you can already compute how much the developers have already earned from it, and they are just getting started.
One round of PUBG may extend to 30 minutes. According to Steamdb, the median playtime among all players in the last 2 weeks is 10 hours, which roughly translates to 20 to 30 rounds of PUBG. The average playtime among all players, on the other hand, is 17.4 hours! That’s a lot of time fragging, sniping and camping.
Steamspy tells a far more comprehensive data: concurrent daily players rise up over the past weeks. Most number of concurrent players was 257,018 – its peak since it was launched in March 2017.
The developers are committed to continuously update PUBG in the next months before official release. Recently, BlueHole pushed their Month 3 update, which includes tons of new improvements, weather settings, spectator mode settings and guns. You can check out their lengthy patch note on this link or below.
[su_spoiler title=”Early Access Month 3 Update” style=”fancy” icon=”plus-circle”
- Improved network performance by reducing the amount of data being sent from the server to the client.
- Reduced network lag by preventing a large amount of data being sent from the server to the client simultaneously.
- Fixed an issue of frame drop when other characters were around by optimizing nearby characters.
- Fixed an issue of frame drop when vehicles were around by optimizing vehicles.
- Optimized the starting airplane and Care Package airplanes.
- Improved rendering performance of weapons from far-off.
- Made improvements to the weapon animations.
- Optimized many in-game effects, including the red zone bombing effect.
- Improved many UI features.
- Improved features regarding rainy weather.
- Added Groza. Groza is an AR chambered for 7.62mm ammo, and can only be acquired in Care Packages.
- Added P18C. P18C is a pistol chambered for 9mm ammo with a full auto fire-mode.
- Vector and UMP now support burst mode.
- You can now pick up items while moving. The interaction animation will not force you to stop anymore, but make you walk slowly.
- You may interact with doors, items, or vehicles while reloading. Reloads will be canceled with such interactions.
- The screen will be gradually desaturated based on remaining health during the REVIVE state.
- Blood effect does not appear during the REVIVE state anymore.
- Adjusted kill count system in Duo and Squad modes. A person knocking an opponent out will receive a kill count regardless of the actual killer.
- Adjusted F key (interaction) to prioritize the REVIVE action in certain cases
- You can now pull out pistols faster.
- Fire mode can no longer be switched during reload.
- Adjusted the play area to spawn more evenly within a circle, so that the play area does not appear in the center so frequently.
- Adjusted default quantity to be selected at 1 when pressing CTRL key at inventory to partially drop or pick up items.
- Adjusted motorcycle and motorcycle with sidecar to move more smoothly.
- You can no longer switch to/from prone while picking up items.
- Red Dot Sight is now attachable to pistols, except for the revolver.
- Increased the recoil on UMP.
- Added two new weather settings: Sunset and Clear Skies.
- Added destructible cabins.
- Added new animation for when a character is at the speed of taking fall damage.
Items & Vehicles
- Adjusted vehicles to face random directions at spawn.
- Adjusted loot balance for certain items.
- VSS will no longer be found in Care Packages. It will remain to be spawned in the map.
- At a low probability, you will be able to acquire AR Silencers, SR Silencers, and 4x Scopes in Care Packages.
- Spawn rate of UMP was slightly decreased.
- Spawn rate of UZI was slightly increased.
- Level 1 Helmet was being spawned at a much higher rate than the Level 1 Vest, and the spawn rate was adjusted so that both items will be spawned at a similar rate.
- Increased spawn rate of items in regions and buildings with relatively low spawn rate.
- Changed the names of certain weapon attachments.
- Adjusted the spawn time of vehicles and speedboats, so that they can be seen from farther away.
- Improved the starting airplanes.
- Cargo door opens when participants get ejected from the airplane.
- Optimized lighting inside and outside of the airplane.
- Adjusted the direction of teammate icons to the direction the teammate faces.
- Added teammate list on World Map.
- Improved character’s recoil animation.
- Removed death marks of teammates after a certain period of time or distance away from the place of death.
- Added three new languages: Thai, Indonesian, and Vietnamese.
- Fixed an issue when the voice chat volume blasted momentarily after getting on an airplane.
- Fixed an issue where the character was not at the center of the screen while on a parachute.
- If you reload into game while in a parachute, you will still be in the parachute.
- Prevented users from removing outer walls of buildings by deleting certain files.
- Partially fixed a bug that caused a character to be stuck in terrain.
- Fixed a bug that caused a character to be misplaced after getting in a vehicle.
- Fixed a bug that caused effects to look identical underwater and outside of water.
- Fixed a bug that caused a character to make an interaction motion trying to pick up an item when there is no inventory space.
- Fixed a client crash that occurred when fences were destroyed.
- Fixed an issue of invisible fences even after destruction.
A Fun Game for Streamers
It is obvious that PUBG caught the interest of many players and game streamers globally, but we hope that it doesn’t die out easily just like what happened to H1Z1 and DayZ. PUBG is a different animal though from the start. It has huge plans from the very start: it was made specifically with game streamers in mind. Its spectator mode was designed for esports and interactive content creation. In fact, famous Twitch streamer Sacriel, Grimmz and Cohhcarnage have been using the game and the spectator mode platform as means to educate and entertain their respective viewers.
This model, which Bluehole developed, is bound to grow even further. Currently, spectator mode and custom servers are only available to PUBG partners. However, given the popularity of these platforms/features built in to the game, the likeliness for relaxing or bringing it to more gamers is high.
The Road to eSports
Given the current setup and partner-exclusive features of PUBG, the game’s road to eSports territory is not far from reality. It is getting there, but Bluehole has to put all the necessary components needed to make it fully ready for eSports:
- Continuous rebalancing of game componens such as weapons, cars, loot RNG, etc.
- Listening to positive and negative feedback from fans
- Encourage creation of contents for digital consumption to increase brand’s earned media
- Encourage limited time free play
- A more robust eSports subplatform: spectator-mode for casters, tournament bracket
- Supportive and fun community
As of today, Bluehole’s plan to make the game fully ready for eSports is taking shape.
Esports Orgs & Tournament Organizers looking to be involved with @PUBATTLEGROUNDS – We will be releasing Custom Game Access Guidelines soon!
— PUBG: BATTLEGROUNDS (@PUBG) June 30, 2017
In fact, Melissa Mok, Senior Partnerships Manager of Bluehole seemingly confirmed that LAN play preferrable for organized event will come.
Bluehole is just getting started; and PUBG has nowhere to go but up. The community is too hyped up and the developers are actively listening to suggestions and feedback.
It is also obvious that Bluehole is actively targeting content creators and streamers as the company’s means to build more hype and bring more people together to love their product. It is working, and I believe that there are no other qualified people to be targetted than those who play and engage with the people watching them.
Giancarlo Viterbo is a Filipino Technology Journalist, blogger and Editor of gadgetpilipinas.net, He is also a Geek, Dad and a Husband. He knows a lot about washing the dishes, doing some errands and following instructions from his boss on his day job. Follow him on twitter: @gianviterbo and @gadgetpilipinas.