PUBG creator on moving away from battle royale to the next big thing

    
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Hmm. Appears I'm still alive.

It’s likely that 2018 will be remembered as the year of battle royale in the gaming industry. But it’s 2019, and game developers need to find the next hit before the popularity of battle royale fades. That’s why developers like PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds’ Brendan Greene has set his sights on something completely different.

“Together with a team of game developers and researchers,” Greene announced via Twitter last month, “we will explore new possibilities of interaction and connection within the game space.” However, it doesn’t end there. For him, that means the end of battle royale.

He was careful not to say that battle royale was “over” in his interview with Gamesindustry.biz, but he did say that rest of the PUBG developers “have the reins of battle royale, they know what PUBG and our battle royale is. They understand what we want from the game and what we want to do to it moving forwards.” So he saw this as an opportunity to move to the next project.

Unfortunately, he won’t say what that next project is going to be because he’s still in the team-building phase, but he did say that he has time to explore. “There is no deadline here, this is us with a few years to play. Gaming and the industry has become so hard, this is a very lucky thing to have. We can genuinely explore and be curious for some time.” Essentially, because of the huge success of PUBG, Greene is able to research and develop new ideas and just explore.

According to Greene, battle royale still has room to grow. He used esports as an example of where battle royale could go. But for him, he wants “to have some fun but also see if [he and his new team] can do some good.”

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Melissa McDonald

If your last name isn’t Graylin or Dorsey, you’re unlikely to catch lightning in a bottle twice.

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wieland

A while back he said he wants to do a survival game next.
Doubt thats still what he aims at.

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Witches

This is a bit unfair, the guy made a mod for some game i don’t even remember and over time it became BR, it was never a greed thing.

Hating this guy is like hating the first person who created a custom skin for a game, or the first person who created fan made content that you could play after the original game ended, they are not responsible for the overmonetization of everything, all they wanted was to have more fun with games they already liked.

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Akagi

Next big thing? What can be dumber than Battle Royale?

A game mode where you randomly spawn by dropping from the sky into nothingness and have to look for pieces of map to run around and find other people to run around with and then find a C4 and blow up that piece of map so other people can’t find it and time runs out and you win for blowing up the most pieces of map?

A game mode where you randomly spawn by dropping from the sky into a raft and you have infinite flashbangs and you have to throw them in other people’s face so they can’t see where they’re going and crash so you win?

I’m having a hard time coming up with something dumber than Battle Royale. Maybe this guy is the only one who has the actual gift to invent something even dumber.

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Anton Mochalin

I don’t see anything dumb in what you describe. A typical MMORPG raid looks and feels much dumber.

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Akagi

Exactly how does it feel dumber?

You have to gather 40 people, they have to have certain gear and they must know how to do their part pretty well, a small blunder can cause a lot of trouble. WoW’s raids around TBC/WoTLK were the best ever.

A cleverly crafted dungeon/raid takes a lot more effort than a randomly generated map for Battle Royale. They take months upon months to create, and they are only a small speck of the game.

You can literally create a Battle Royale game in like a week with a random map generator, then you buy assets like characters and models, stitch them together and you have a “game”.

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Bruno Brito

You have to gather 40 people

WoW’s raids around TBC/WoTLK

Wat

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Akagi

I played too much Vanilla and got confused with the raid member size.

In fact, I’ve played Vanilla more than any other expansion, used to play a lot of WoTLK before, but that was around 2011 and for the next 8 years, I played only Vanilla, so I forgot they switched to 10 and 25 man.

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Bruno Brito

40man raids was stupid, as Wildstar proved. Having a more manageable size is waaaay better.

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Anton Mochalin

You gather 40 people which tell you which meta build you should use then you go to the map which is the same and basically stand on the same place over and over pushing your skill buttons over and over in the same rotation to hopefully get some loot which will allow you to go to the same map with the same 40 people to hit the same bosses with the same rotations standing on the same place etc etc. Any most simple PvP game provides you with levels of magnitude more variety of situations changing at levels of magnitude faster pace.

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Bruno Brito

Battle Royales are gear treadmills, not skill treadmills.

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Dankey Kang

Ah the next big thing. I also am moving on to the next big thing; once I figure out what it is, I’ll be a billionaire.

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Sorenthaz

Chances are it’ll end like most folks who hit the right place at the right time scenario where they aren’t really able to produce a second breakthrough. But who knows.

Big aspects of BR that seem to appeal to folks is:

1. The format of X individuals in a team/ffa deathmatch setting.

2. The potential for anyone to make a deep run and claim victory regardless of skill level.

3. Having a big open playfield that steadily grows smaller.

4. Having each match start everyone off at the same ‘level’ and basic state which you have to work up from.

5. RPG-esque loot that has different tiers/upgrades/etc. and can be looted from other players.

MOBAs, the previous big fad, actually have some similar core characteristics with BRs. Starting from the bottom each match and having to work up from that would be the biggest one, then tiered gear upgrades and a shrinking play field (in terms of losing towers = you have less ‘safe’ space and it opens up more attack points for the enemy team) to a lesser degree.

My guess is whatever becomes the next big PvP fad will likely have at least the “start from zero and build yourself up to badass status each match” aspect while the only persistent progression comes from account-wide accolades and cosmetics and so on. So I guess the question then is what the scale of it will be, and if it will feature teams or be a FFA/squad-based format. Also chances are it needs to be something digestable within 30 minutes or so.

What would be cool is to actually see something like what WH40K Eternal Crusade aspired to do, but failed at actually doing. Having large-scale wars/battle campaigns that reset on a regular basis and folks start from scratch each time. Or possibly like a survival-based contest where you have to survive for 20/30/60 minutes but you get the biggest potential reward only if you’re the last one standing.

Either way it’s pretty much bound to be competitive in nature and I doubt it’ll have a long-term persistent progress that impacts in-game performance. Being able to start from nothing each time and have a chance to win no matter your skill level is the biggest draw to the BRs imo, because it allows folks to jump into the game at any point and not worry about being so far behind those who have been playing since day one.

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Anton Mochalin

I wouldn’t call MOBAs a “fad”. League of Legends is almost 10 years old and is still 2nd top grossing game on PC with Dota 2 being 8th top grossing game. Chinese MOBA Honour of Kings is the most grossing game of all times across all platforms earning more than $1 billion in February 2019 alone.

I wouldn’t call Battle Royale a “fad” either, the genre is at least 5 years old.

xpsync
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xpsync

Agreed Sorenthaz, what i really wanted to ask is; who wants to break the bad news to him? There won’t be a “second breakthrough” hit cause that is your goal, which will equate to flop after flop.

It was all right place at the right time and nothing to measure up to. Was like Notch, having fun doing what your doing and viola! I remember notch said that he thought the whole thing was pretty boring after a few hours and was ready to make something else, lol.

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Wilhelm Arcturus

I mean, we don’t know anybody who would just keep trying to replay the Battle Royale card over and over after they’ve peaked at it, do we?

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Anton Mochalin

I think BR genre still has huge potential for further innovation. When we thought PUBG is the peak of the genre Fortnite BR appeared. And when we began to speak of “Fortnite generation” Apex Legends appeared.

PurpleCopper
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PurpleCopper

I think Greene just got VERY lucky and struck gold being in the right place at the right time. The guy outright states that he is a mediocre programmer who practically jury rigs everything from codes to assets. And now other developers are expanding the battle royale genre like Fortnite and Apex Legends, while PUBG… stays the same. I don’t think he’s got anything new up his sleeve.

Mordyjuice
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Mordyjuice

So he’s making a Mobile Loot Box Whale Hunting Scheme then?

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Bruno Brito

He’ll lose his thunder to a better game on the next big thing anyway.