Tired of hearing the words “asset flip”? PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds is too. Apparently at E3 last week, PUBG creator Brendan Greene gently joked that he “want[ed] to kill” people who claim his game maps are an asset flip. Now, PUBG Corp. communications lead Ryan Rigney has jumped into the fray on Reddit, where he addresses long-running accusations and rumors on the platform that the game’s maps are “either outsourced or entirely built using store-bought assets.”
“The first thing to understand is that if you’re just starting up a team, you’ve got to lean on asset store work because that’s the only way you can spin up a game fast, and for a reasonable price, to quickly find the fun. Hiring an art team of 40 people to ‘try a game’ and ‘see if it’s fun’ is simply not a smart way to work—this is what the asset store is for! It’s a great resource for teams that want to work smart.”
Rigney essentially argues that as the game’s maps have been developed, and as Bluehole has spun up new art teams to support the design, “they began to rely less on store-bought assets, although they continued to use them strategically, because it just doesn’t make sense to build everything in the game world yourself.” The team did re-use assets from the Erangel map in Miramar, as will the upcoming winter map, but that doesn’t make it an “asset flip.”
“These sorts of issues are pretty much always more complicated than the Reddit meme version of the story (‘hehe XD asset flip’) so keep that in mind whenever you see someone telling oversimplified tales,” he says.