dropped a patch earlier this week
, but don’t get too excited: It was mostly bug fixes and balance adjustments for the battle royale game. Players can check out a new gear customization tab that offers the ability to switch parachute skins. And an aviator crate is now being sold
The studio said that low frame rates is a priority for the team: “We’ve seen a lot of concern from many of you about overall performance. Addressing FPS drops is our top priority, and we hope to have more updates to address performance improvements soon. For now, the team will be trying out fixes throughout this patch cycle.”
And if you’re following the mobile experience of PUBG, check out details on Patch 0.5.0 after the jump – the game’s just hit 10 million daily users.
As you probably have heard, there was a Bless influencer event this week, with a couple of media and a smattering of MMO streamers in attendance. The leak of the price points happened soon before we went in, but none of the people in attendance, devs or streamers, really seemed fazed by it. Most people seemed ready to have a good time.
For someone like me, who was initially blown away by Bless circa 2011, the game had fallen off my radar, especially after the game’s rocky trip to Russia and initial Korean release. The western build-up for me has felt like a big PR push, with the pricing model dangled like a feature that people actually should be excited about. Basic questions like, “How does endgame work?” were easier to find on Reddit, Steam, and fansites than any of the PR I was reading. I was concerned, to say the least, but things like “tame almost any mob!” and “100v100” battles intrigued me. Though nothing I saw is probably going to change any core fans’ mind, it may be useful to those on the fence.
There’s going to be a big downtime for a patch for PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds tonight; don’t count on playing in tonight after 10 p.m. EDT. That’s because of a nice big patch that’s dropping, update 12. And update 12 is bringing plenty of new stuff to the game, starting with a big rebalance to all of the existing weapon types. Assault rifles in particular have been rebalanced to really avoid having one of them be objectively the best choice for every possible scenario.
A new muscle car has also been added to Miramar, along with new scopes for your weaponry to further affect your gameplay. It’s a length patch that you can read through in detail; downtime for the patch is expected to be around four hours. Once it’s all over, you can start re-evaluating which weapons you should be picking up for which situations, hopefully before other players prove their superior skills at snap valuation.
Bluehole and PUBG Corp are apparently continuing their government-backed crackdown on PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds cheaters.
Last week, PUBG Corp told Steam players that it takes cheating seriously and has upgraded its security measures. “In the meantime, we’ve also been continuously gathering information on hack developers (and sellers) and have been working extensively with multiple partners and judicial authorities to bring these people to justice,” the studio writes. “Earlier this month, on April 25th, 15 suspects were arrested for developing and selling hacking/cheating programs that affect PUBG. It was confirmed that malicious code, including Trojan horse software, was included in some of these programs and was used to steal user information.”
The studio indicates the suspects, all in China and being dealt with by Chinese authorities, have been fined the rough equivalent of $5.1M USD for their infractions. Prison time is historically a potential factor in cases like these in China as well, but the report doesn’t mention it.
PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds isn’t giving up the fight against Fortnite for the market share of the battle royale crowd. The PvP shooter has a ton of content in the works, starting with a weapons balance patch that’s coming soon.
The team said that this patch should address imbalance in players’ selections: “According to our research, only a few specific types of weapons (ARs) are used in most situations. We believe the choice about which gun to use should be based on personal preference and its effectiveness in any given situation, rather than simply ‘which gun is strongest.’ Our goal is to make it so no one gun will feel objectively better than the others.”
The studio announced that it is hosting the first official PUBG e-sports tournament later this year in Berlin with a $2 million prize pool. Also, Xbox One players can rejoice that they will finally be getting the Miramar map only four or so months after it came out on PC.
And finally, PUBG Corp. is asking players to vote on one of five names for an abandoned resort that’s located on the Savage map.
If you had expected the Netherlands to be leading the fight against lootboxes, you may be more clairvoyant than the rest of the population. After investigating 10 games, the Dutch Gaming Authority has found that four of the games tested feature lootboxes that violate the Better Gaming Act. That may not sound too serious until you consider that the offending games have eight weeks to make changes to the lootboxes to comply with the law.
Failure to do so can result in fines or just straight-up forbidding the games from being sold in the Netherlands. That’s a pretty big deal.
While the DGA did not specifically name games, the Dutch paper reporting on the situation cites FIFA ’18, Dota 2, PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds, and Rocket League as the offending titles. The remaining six titles are not in violation of the law but were still sharply criticized for the lootbox implementation, which is said to target younger players and encourage gambling. It’s also worth noting that each of these violations specifically pertains to tradeable items for real money, which just squeaks in as a gambling option.
Mappety map map maps. Soon you can pick your own map in PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds and won’t be stuck in Miramar.
According to PUBG Corp, people have been begging for the feature for half of forever, but a number of issues stood in the way. The studio says matchmaking was its biggest concern: “We analyzed tens of millions of matches and sorted the data by server, mode, and time to make sure map selection wouldn’t break the game for anyone. We wanted to make sure that we could create a solution that worked for every region’s players, even the ones with a naturally low server population.” On top of that, it wanted to take into account the supposedly different preferences and playstatles of different regions.
“Ultimately, we created a version of map selection that we think is unlikely to cause issues for matchmaking” as maps are added in the future, PUBG Corp writes.
Brendan “PlayerUnknown” Greene does not have kind words for people who dislike the red zone in PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds. In his own words, people who die to the red zone are just not good players, and thus deserve to die in the red zone until they get better, because it’s so obvious that it’s arriving. His statements were unambiguously in favor of the red zone working in the way it did at the time he made those statements.
So, naturally, the most recent patch for the game shrinks the size of the red zone and its duration.
The patch also contains three new areas on the map for players to fight over, along with faster grenade spawns and an assortment of bug fixes. There’s also more testing going on for the game’s Codename: Savage, if you’re curious to see how that new map is coming along. All good things for the future of the game.
The MMO industry moves along at the speed of information, and sometimes we’re deluged with so much news here at Massively Overpowered that some of it gets backlogged. That’s why there’s The MOP Up: a weekly compilation of smaller MMO stories and videos that you won’t want to miss. Seen any good MMO news? Hit us up through our tips line!
Maybe you’ll discover a new game in this space — or be reminded of an old favorite! This week we have stories and videos from Seal Online, Trove, Pokemon Go, Sea of Thieves, Tales of Gaia, Battlerite, War of Rights, PUBG, World of Warcraft, City of Heroes, Will to Live Online, and Prosperous Universe, all waiting for you after the break!
So where will battle royale games be in another five years? We don’t know just yet, but from a purely business standpoint we can extrapolate some ideas. GamesIndustry.biz has an analysis up suggesting that we can look to the last overnight genre explosion in the form of MOBAs as a good indicator of what will happen with future battle royale entries, scrambling to pick up the scraps not already picked up by Fortnite and PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds.
Why? Well, the entrenched playerbase has already been established in those games, which means that slight tweaks to the formulas are unlikely to cause player shifts, and by the time these competitors are released most players will already be committed. In short, it’s many of the points we raised in a piece about trend-chasing on Wednesday, just applied more specifically to this genre. So if you’re hoping that the next battle royale game will be the one to dethrone the ruling powers, you might not want to bet too heavily on that.
Video games have always been a remarkably insular field; that’s the nature of development. Someone produces Super Mario Bros, and a few years later Sonic the Hedgehog sounds like a really good idea for some reason. But then you have games like The Great Giana Sisters, games that don’t try to just copy parts of what made the inspiration good but just copy the whole thing with one or two changes.
For normal video games, this can work out decently; a game that just doesn’t get much traction still sells some copies, hopefully. Just because Croc wasn’t Spyro didn’t mean that no one bought the former. But for online games, these trend-chasing games are almost always dramatic failures that litter the landscape. Why is that? Well, there are pretty good reasons, and today seems like a good time to talk about that.
Let the battle royale lawsuits begin! TorrentFreak caught wind of a new lawsuit in California that ought to set all the cloners on edge: PUBG Corporation is suing NetEase for ripping off PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds, specifically alleging copyright infringement, trade dress infringement, and unfair business competition. (The Korean PUBG Corp and Chinese NetEase both operate businesses in the US, hence the justification for the venue.)
Given how old this particular genre is, and how PUBG was far from the first to run with it, you might be skeptical about the company’s claims. PUBG Corp believes it has copyrighted the concept of a pre-game lobby where you can test out weapons, among multiple other concepts, including the dynamic air-drop spawning system, the map, the boost bar and consumables, “starting with nothing” and being forced to compete for resources, realistic gear, character paper doll, shrinking gameplay, down-but-not-out incapping, butt-covering frying pan… it goes on like that for a while. Maybe we’ll give them the frying pan. Honestly the screenshots are more convincing than the list. 154 pages of this.
It’s no surprise that Ready Player One was constantly being referenced at GDC 2018, especially in VR, AR, and MMO panels. It’s not just because of the movie’s release but because the tech involved is seeing a surge of interest. That doesn’t mean we’re on the cusp, in my opinion, but it may be a thing we should start talking about.
And talking about it we did. As Bill Roper of Improbable and SpatialOS recently told me, “The next generation of online games isn’t going to behave like current-generation MMOs. […] We don’t know what a billion-person game might look like, but it’s likely to include a wide variety of playstyles, to reflect the diversity of its playerbase.” Even if you’re a cynic and don’t think SpatialOS will play any part of this future, Roper’s very much on the mark: Billion-person gaming isn’t going to be like our current MMOs.