PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds has risen to become one of 2017’s most popular titles, and its momentum doesn’t seem to be stopping anytime soon. Much of its success can be tied to its new type of gameplay, the battle royale, where 100 players are thrown onto an island and must find ways to survive in order to come out on top. While the premise has been used all throughout much of our culture pertaining to film and even television, it never seemed to fit snuggly into the gaming culture but now all of that’s changed. We now see the genre being implemented into other titles, as well as other smaller and major companies seeing financial gain by targeting players who may show interest. It’s not so much the big bucks that make playing PUBG so fun, so what is it exactly that has propelled the title to the top of the Steam leaderboards surpassing that of even DOTA and CS:GO? Well let’s touch base on a few reasons down below.
A Fresh New Approach
PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds came to life from ARMA 3, a war based game that included a battle royale mode which had been created by Brendan Greene, who we all know as PlayerUnknown. From there the concept seemed to pan out real well for Greene who then went on to assist the team who worked on H1Z1, and eventually decided to take on a new venture of his own with his name as the brand. Fast forward to where we are now and we can clearly see that PUBG has skyrocketed to success in just half a year of its early access release on Steam, and while some might argue that it could may well be a one shot wonder type of deal we really don’t see that happening. Gamers love a fresh new take on playing video games and one great way to bring in players, is to create a format where you can have a ton of fun but still have that competitive edge when the ball gets rolling.
First Person Shooters were the go-to genre to go let off some steam but it’s now the battle royale genre that’s allowing us to really showcase our tactical prowess in high pressure scenarios. What’s striking about PUBG is that it’s nothing “new” in the sense that, the mechanics behind the game are very much like playing a Third Person or First Person Shooter, but rather it provides you with this adrenaline rush that you can’t find anywhere else. You’re thrown onto an island where everything is RNG based and all you have are your eyes and ears to assess the situation, and survive at all costs. There are no level up rewards or kill streaks but only raw focus and sheer determination to ensure that you don’t get targeted by enemies around you. It’s a game of cat and mouse at all times and there’s never a guarantee of where the enemy will be since there’s no UAV to give you the heads up on where people are. It’s all instinctual and that’s where the fun really begins. There's still a plethora of content coming our way too such as the new Desert Map (which we have a screenshot of) along with new vehicles, an XBOX One relase and hopefully down the road we'll see a longer list of weapons to play with.
PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds requires that you use correct judgement when playing since there’s never a time when you can just sit back and relax towards first place. Everyone around you is aiming for the same goal but are all coming from different directions on an incredibly big map, which makes tracking people down extremely hard. Since the loot items you search for are all RNG based you’re never certain about the chances of grabbing a big ticket item, so it becomes this all out race to see just who’s able to outlast the competition. The unpredictability behind PUBG is what makes it such a thrill to play but also to watch, since the audience is never too sure who will win even if it seems one person has the advantage.
For example a player may have run into a high risk high reward area like Pochinki and snagged a ton of powerful loot items, but all it takes is one headshot and the game is over. Weapon superiority really means nothing in PUBG because it’s very easy to find yourself in harm’s way when in your mind everything’s safe. The best gun or the best armor in the game can’t save you from being flanked by 2 or 3 enemies who heard your gunfire, and running away doesn’t always grant you another life line. Every decision you make needs to be decisive otherwise you’ll find yourself in the lobby immediately. Second guessing yourself in PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds can lead to a lot of problems, especially for newcomers who perhaps don’t understand the philosophy of the game. Be that as it may, it brings us to another point of why PUBG has become so popular and it’s that it reaches a very wide audience.
It Reaches a Wide Audience
PUBG has only been around since March of 2017 when it officially went into early access, and already the game has sold over 20 million copies. That’s an incredible feat for one man with a new concept that seemed to really reach a much wider audience than the more mainstream genres out there. You don’t necessarily need to be an FPS god or TPS queen to be proficient in PUBG, all you need is focus, willpower and a willingness to improve every time you play. We came from a CS:GO background and spent much of our childhood playing games like SOCOM, Goldeneye among many others, but even that doesn’t save us from the crazy action that ensues in PUBG. You may have some wicked aim but your back is wide open which gives any player permission to snipe you and take a kill, so it doesn’t give any one player a certain amount of authority over the other. The RNG aspect about it also provides a fair playing field since no one is ever sure of where to get the same gun 100% of the time. Sure, the Military Base has a very high likelihood of picking up guns like the M16A4 or SKS but not in every match you play in.
Weapons will be scattered all over and where you went last game to grab your favorite weapon, the next time you return a small P92 with a Sickle will be lying in the corner. It’s that randomness that just allows anybody of any skill level to jump right in and play, since no one player is placed above the other. A shotgun can destroy a player with an AWM, a pistol can destroy a player with a shotgun, a pan can become a powerful CQC machine and the list goes on. So many variables mean that new as well as experienced players come into the game fresh and must now rely on other properties such as mental awareness in order to succeed. Another thing to note is that because PUBG is still new it only means the game will continue to evolve, should players stay heavily invested in the scene and contribute to ensure longevity for the community. It’s no longer a game of just grabbing the best gun and getting your K/D ratio up, it’s a game that, with enough practice and commitment to developing new strategies over time will reward just about anyone who’s willing to win.
Honey's Final Verdict:
So why do you think PlayerUnknown’s Battleground is so popular? Is it going to overtake the likes of CS:GO as the new shooter title of the eSports world? Or will it sing its last song for 2017 before coming to a stall in the new year? Let us know what you think in the comments section below, and as always be sure to follow us on social media to stay up to date with gaming news along with everything fresh coming out of Japan. Follow us as well on Twitch to catch us live as we play a variety of titles ranging from PUBG to the wacky otaku titles we all love. My name is NualphaJPN and I’ll see you next time.