It is an irrefutable truth that PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds is the talk of the town this year.
Boasting a record breaking concurrent count on Steam month over month. Console players have been clamouring for their chance to finally launch the game on Xbox and PlayStation.
In over a short period of eight months, PUBG has become the talk of the industry. Every personality and video game outlet raved about their ‘chicken dinners’. For a game that currently hangs in early access, it begs the question. How PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds became the success it is today?
In order to properly examine the gaming phenomenon I believe it is equally important to look at the history of PUBG. Brendan ‘‘PlayerUnknown’’ Green started his rise when further developing the DayZ mod for Bohemia Interactive’s Arma 2. This mod would become the catalyst of what would go on to be Battlegrounds.
Brendan Greene continued to develop his love letter to the film; Battle Royal after getting a contract position from H1Z1 president – John Smedley. Greene worked with the company to integrate his DayZ mod into the online zombie survival game.
This contract position helped leverage the exposure Brendan Greene would need in order to land his current position at Bluehole Inc. Within a year of development, Greene and the Bluehole development team released PUBG for beta access. It was not until the early access transition that millions got caught up in the zeitgeist.
The steady progression to acclaim, brought to life because of the multiple iterations of Brendan’s vision. What was once a mod for the open world military shooter quickly evolved into a representation akin to the 2000 cult classic film.
Players came in droves to play the game once it released. For good reason too. PUBG takes the core concept of a third-person shooter and invigorates it with a survival aspect that has not been seen in this magnitude. PUBG has upped the ante and supported their game to a tremendous 100 player cap. This allows for 25 teams to be pit against each other. When you speak to any PUBG player, the stories and antics that occur between these 25 teams are what make up the memorable moments during the wavering gameplay.
It is a breath of fresh air that a new IP releases with a new game mode. With almost every online competitive shooter that releases, it is almost a guarantee to have an amalgamation of the mainstay match types. Team Deathmatch, King of The Hill, CTF, etc. PUBG introduced a brand new game mode and stamped its name on it.
In the following months after the early access release of PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds, the industry was hit with the widely controversial release of Epic Games’ Fortnite Battle Royale update. This free to play expansion took the Battlegrounds game mode and worked it into the already established mechanics of Fortnite.
Without getting into the semantics of whether or not a game mode belongs to the creator, it is obvious the fanbase of PUBG took ownership of the game. When the announcement hit the internet, the community hit back with remarks of there not being enough to differentiate the two games.
A community that grew in such a small amount of time had so much passion for the game and the roots of where it came from. So, they stood on their soapbox and defended a game, that for all intents and purposes had only been in the wild for six months.
Even as we speak, there is a large chunk of the game community still waiting on the PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds release on console. Rather than settling for what is already released for no free, they would rather hold off and wait until the release of their beloved game.
As the Battlegrounds platform grows, the community grows in tandem. The promise of new updates and content keeps those players invested.
Finally, The phrase “chicken dinner” in the PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds community has become a badge of honour of sorts. Players receive the title splash for having placed first and surviving over the other 99 participants. As a way of congratulating players in a game with no secure inventory or upgradable tools. “Chicken dinner” is a way of players to show off their victory.
During the spring and summer, Twitter feeds, game forums and industry outlets were filled with posts about winning a match. Just as PUBG became viral sensation, so did the now-popular phrase.
Streamers and the Youtube community also helped in taking the game to a viral level. Front pages of both Twitch and Youtube were littered with lifestreams and montage videos. Online personalities like DrDisRespect and Grimmmz helped to shape the online community. In fact, in doing so acted as a marketing campaign of its own. With more than four million followers on Twitch, PUBG never has to run a single promo. The thousands of content creators online help keep awareness alive with videos and message board discussions.
In eight short months, PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds has taken the world by storm. PUBG just keeping growing and evolving with no sign of slowing down. The combination of a fresh take on a third-person shooter, a viral tornado that just won’t quit, and a community that stands behind the title.
The console release on Xbox One just around the corner. I am certain that with more eyes on the game, the popularity will continue to snowball. In the near future, we will see the game land on PlayStation 4. It will inevitably get another large boost in playerbase.
For more on PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds keep your eyes peeled on WorldGaming.
Steve is based in Toronto, Ontario. His enthusiasm and adoration of the video game industry go back to the days of SNES. Find him on Twitter and join in on the escapades.