Has Playerunknown’s Battlegrounds already peaked? The number of active players has been dipping since its all-time high late last year, and increased competition is stealing attention. What can be done?
The problem, states developer Bluehole, is that despite their ascendance to fame as 2017’s biggest game success story, they’re still dealing with limited resources — and due to circumstance, they’re having to devote a lot of these resources to just keeping the current game playable. Another map has been promised, but the release of details has been delayed as progress on the map itself has slowed.
The problem is cheaters! PUBG’s high popularity in China comes with a strong bootleg market that supports cheating software. The cheaters have been poisoning matches for quite some time and PUBG Corp’s resources have been directed to finding ways to fight them, instead of working on improvements to the game itself.
“Early this year, development of some of the major features and systems was delayed as our focus shifted towards tightening our anti-cheat effort,” said a company rep. “Also, due to other reasons, we have not been able to show you the team’s development roadmap for 2018. We would like to ask for our players’ generous understanding that despite the team’s eagerness to share what we have been planning and working on, the timing had to be changed.”
Despite this, the PUBG crew has been able to continue updating the game with some regularity. The next update will add two new types of crates: Fever, featuring 70s-themed fashions and gear, and Militia, featuring combat-oriented outfits. The rate at which some premium crates will drop — the ones that require real money to open — has been lowered to 20%. It was 40% before this.