PUBG’s Brendan Greene did an interesting interview with RPS last week with some quotes worth highlighting. For starters, he has an interesting take on the fact that Steam shows PUBG’s numbers have dropped by half over the last half year. Moreover, he says he doesn’t believe the loss of players can be attributed to Fortnite’s burgeoning popularity.
“Going off Steam metrics alone is really shortsighted because we’re across five or six platforms worldwide,” he says, pointing to the game’s Chinese popularity. “Internally we see the numbers and they’re not really dipping, it’s more stabalising. You know, even the Steam numbers have now stabilized. We know that yes, we’re not at our peak player count anymore but as I said, look at Dota – they got 1.2 million peak and now they’re back at 600k. You know, games go through this evolution of like having huge popularity and them coming down to a regular player count and that’s what I think you’re seeing with us.”
Greene also addressed toxicity in the game; his response echoes a lot of sandbox developers’ idea that while freedom breeds toxicity, it also engenders beauty and “interesting social things,” which is certainly true, but, uh, the toxicity is still a huge problem and might not actually be worth it. He does mention that “voice filtering technology” might be an option for handling gross and toxic voice chat.
“All the way back in Arma 3 Battle Royale, if you used homophobic or racial slurs we banned you. Permanently. Goodbye. It’s just unacceptable, and something I really… Like, I don’t care what you do in your private space, but in our game you act like a decent human being or you don’t play. […] We are looking at ways to deal with toxicity within the game. We want to get rid of the guys that decide ‘I want to be a dickhead on the internet’. Why they choose that I don’t know, but yeah we are looking into all these. I can’t tell you that yes we’re going to do it or we’re not going to do it, but as I’ve said I’ve been a strong believer in getting rid of the idiots since [the] Arma days, so I want to continue into this – it just takes time to build these systems up. We already have report systems in the game. If someone is being an idiot, people can report them, and if they get enough reports there’s a banning system there. So we already do deal with toxicity, we need to do more obviously, but we’re waiting in a lot of regards for tech to catch up.”