What is PUBG and what’s all about all those battle royale games

End of January is the beginning of the test of the new, free and less resource hunger PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds (PUBG). It should be possible to run this game in Lite version even with integrated graphics card. And, as said it will be available free for everyone at no cost.

Hold your horses, because "free" may mean Thailand or Asia. Currently tests are limited only to this country and it is not sure, if PUBG Lite version won't be limited only Asian market.

PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds is a battle royale-type game (see below) in which up to 100 players can compete on a single server. I will discuss some game details and battle royale games here as well.

The game

The game starts with jumping out of a plane with a parachute. After landing the actual gameplay starts where each player must focus on three different win-elements:

  • kill'em all, before they kill you,
  • there is no crafting, only exploration and elimination,
  • find an equipment needed for a survival, placed randomly around the map, before others do,
  • avoid games field limiting barrier that constantly shrinks and kills you instantly upon touching.

Game is won by the player or a team that is last to stand alive in a given scenario or a map.

Battle royale games

Also known as battle royal, are characterised by following aspects:

  • a computer action multiplayer games,
  • for few, dozens or even hundreds of players,
  • players can play separately or organise themselves into teams,
  • competition is real-time, on-line and in the same time on designated server,
  • single game, map or scenario is played until there is only one player or team alive,
  • game is supported by some resources, back-packs etc., randomly placed on the map,
  • resources are served on first-come-first-get basis and are never replenished,
  • once a player is dead it cannot be reborn, once team looses last player, it is out of the game.

Game area usually never stays the same, as it was in the beginning:

  • it can be explored by players or teams and expanded on these basis,
  • it can be randomly enlarged by game's mechanics at a random paces,
  • it can be, on contrary, shrunken by some aspects (i.e. the barrier in PUBG).

Some sources claims that battle royale is a different game type, not an action multiplayer games' variation.

Some history

Most industry specialist agrees that battle royale games are inspired by the 1996 Battle Royale Japan sci-fi book and its 2000 film adaptation, but 15-20 more years must have passed (until 2015-2016) for the noticeable rise of awareness and popularity of this kind of games.

Year 2015 is marked with increasing popularity of survival-like games, but it was soon faced with:

  • boredom caused by no clear goal of the game,
  • beginners' frustration (being part of no clan and having no equipment).

This caused Brendan Greene (known under Playerunknown nickname and recognised as de facto father of the battle royale games) writing battle royal-like modifications for ARMA 2 and [ARMA 3](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/ARMA_3] games. But, since it was FPP shooters, certain game mechanics limited him from bringing all his ideas into life.

Next year Greene spent in Daybreak Game Company (known as Sony Online Entertainment at that time), which he left pretty soon, being frustrated of not having full control over produced titles. At that moment he was hired in Bluehole which soon started PUBG development.

Most significant battle royal games are:

The official history of development of PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds started 1st June 2016 when PUBG Corporation (a part of Korean Bluehole development studio) announced that works over game are in progress. And ended up less then a year later, on 23rd March 2017 when the distribution of the game (through Steam Early Access started).

Reception

PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds received generally very well reception:

As for rankings aggregators, PC version of the game has received 84,69% through GameRankings (based on 17 reviews) and 86% through Metacritic (based on 45 review).

Popularity of the game, when measured by the number of officially sold copies, went like this:

  • premiere: 330 thousands (earning their creators 11 millions USD with average prices of 33 USD per copy),
  • first three weeks: 1 million copies,
  • 1.5 month since premiere: 2 millions copies,
  • 2 months since premiere: 3 millions copies,
  • 3 months since premiere: 4 millions copies.

Until February 2018, thus in less then a one year, game was sold in 30 millions copies (according to SteamCharts, passing 1 billion of income, and had over 3 millions of players in a peak period.

You can find more info, including recent news, in the pubg.com website.

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