Remember back in April, when Korea-based PUBG Corp. accused China-based Netease of ripping off PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds with its battle royale titles Knives Out (which is making bank) and Rules of Survival, and subsequently lodged a lawsuit against it in the US courts? Then remember when Netease threatened to sue everybody who cloned it and PUBG dropped its other lawsuit against Epic Games?
Netease has responded to PUBG Corp.’s complaint against it with a motion to dismiss, predictably arguing that no company is entitled to ownership of an entire genre like battle royale and that the copyright act protects only original expression; specifically, it claims PUBC Corp. cannot legally copyright things like game lobbies and health bars.
The dev team at PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds pushed out a patch this week that addressed a couple of the more pressing issues for the game right now, such as a fix for a “revive bug” that wasn’t letting players come back to life in team matches. We can see how that might be problematic in a PvP game.
The patch came with one key improvement to the new Sanhok map: “After receiving a lot of feedback from players who love Sanhok, we’re also going to turn on MMR matchmaking for the map on live servers soon. We agree with the feedback we’ve received from many of you that this will make the map a more meaningful and competitive experience.”
The team also slid a special message into the patch notes that acknowledged valid criticisms over game performance and issues. It promised that effort was being put into improving performance, combating cheating, and eliminating problematic bugs.
A new patch is available for PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds on the test server, and it does exactly what the headline says. It makes the Sanhok map prettier, with a number of graphical improvements and little bits of added flair to make it more fun to creep around and shoot your opponents. It also makes the Sanhok map no longer ripe for exploiting, as the current version of the map allows players to tunnel under the terrain in certain ways and then shoot people from perfect cover.
While this feature is much-loved by people who enjoy exploits that no one else can possibly counter, it’s not actually how the game is supposed to work and is thus patched out on the test server. The patch will be brought out to live once the developers are satisfied with its overall stability. Meanwhile, the game is also starting a special event mode in Sanhok, starting today at 10:00 p.m. EDT, pitting 10 squads of five players each against one another.
All hands on deck, people! We are at Maximum Battle Royale this summer and the bubble hasn’t burst – at least not yet. Maybe it only ends when we have a battle royale game in which 50 battle royale games fight each other for supremacy. In any case, let’s catch up on all of the news of this weird and popular PvP sub-genre!
Making sure that the Sanhok event pass is working properly is at the forefront of the PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds team this week. The event pass increased its daily XP limit and lowered some other requirements to progress through it.
Hi-Rez’s Realm Royale has a new alpha pack for sale and patched in a update designed to “improve the feel and gunplay of weapons.” The studio said that it focused on the responsiveness and unique qualities of each weapon to make them feel more satisfying.
“Realm Royale by Hi-Rez Studios hit 3 million players in just 3 weeks of early access. The hit new fantasy class-based battle royale game broke into the top 4 most-played games on Steam during its release week, and has been the #1 most viewed game on Twitch and Mixer. Today, an Alpha pack was introduced, the first purchasable content in the free-to-play 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 World of Warplanes, World of Warships Legends, PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds, Sea of Thieves, Skull and Bones, Old School RuneScape, SMITE, War Thunder, Neverwinter, and Pokemon Go, all waiting for you after the break!
Alas, poor PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds, we’ve entered the second phase of your musician biopic when the fans start leaving. Sure, the game was riding high in January with 3.2 million concurrent players on Steam. But we’re six months away from that now and the game is now down to 1.7 million concurrent players. These are clearly not numbers to scoff at, but they’re also easy to see as a sign that the game hits its peak and then has started turning downward.
What’s caused the drop? Lots of factors are obvious culprits, including the success (and free-to-play nature) of Fortnite and the simple decay of interest over time, but there’s no obvious magic bullet. Feel free to speculate about it whether you play or not. The game clearly isn’t about to die, but if you thought there was no upper limit on its playerbase, it looks like that’s been proven false.
After so very much build-up to the main event, PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds is finally ready to debut its brand-new Sanhok map on Thursday, June 22nd. The battle royale zone has gone through four rounds of testing, but that’s over now. The real fight is about to begin.
Sanhok is a four-square kilometer map that takes place on a Southeast Asian-themed island that’s a fourth of the size of the other two game arenas. Some of the locales on the island include an archaeological dig, a paradise resort, and a training camp.
“Although games tend to end a little more quickly on this tiny island, battles are still massive,” the devs promised. “Every game still features 100 players.”
The patch might be a good time for you to make good on that resolution to pick up the game, especially considering that it’s gone on sale for the first time ever. You can pick up PUBG on Steam for $20 through July 5th.
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.”
During yesterday’s pre-E3 Xbox conference, Bluehole didn’t trot out Brendan Greene himself to talk PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds, but it did confirm what Reddit has apparently known for several days now thanks to overseas blog posts: that the Sanhok map is launching on June 22nd for PC. The Xbox version will follow later in the summer. Notably, the map is smallish with a quicker weapon spawn to focus the fighting within its jungle theme.
To the delight of Reddit, the game’s E3 trailer and Twitter account further teased the long-awaited snow map. Predictably, it’s due out this winter and will reportedly include snow terrain mechanics.
Getting a crate in PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds is meant to be a reward for the player, but it’s also frequently meant something to resell on the marketplace. However, that’s been rather more impossible with the newest crate, which was added to the game on May 13th and still hasn’t been unlocked for the Steam Marketplace. The developers have announced that it will be available to sell on the Marketplace on June 13th, making it nearly a full month between implementation and resale.
If that bugs you, you’ll be unhappy to know that it’s going to be the norm at this point; the announcement states that keeping longer lockout times for the marketplace will help curb abusive behavior in and around the game. Whether this will help actually alleviate issues or just drive up certain rare and desirable item prices is, of course, an exercise in speculation best left for the future.
When Radical Heights launched, I was inspired to put together a whole Perfect Ten about why trend-chasing doesn’t work for online games. Obviously, my chief focus was on games that wind up being developed at a rushed pace to cash in on trends and then run face-first into problems with chasing momentary trends, which… you know, you can just read the article; it’s linked right there. But it also prompted a follow-up question by longtime reader Sally Bowls asking why, with all of these issues, why the same rules don’t apply to MMOs.
The answer? Well, there isn’t one answer. There are three answers, all of which are part of the same set of considerations. For one thing, there’s the difference of development time and depth. For another, there’s the time before grinding. And last but not least, well… they do apply, really. But let’s take this piece by piece to talk about why trend-chasing for MMOs doesn’t quite provoke the same immediate reactions as it does for, say, MOBAs.
As PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds runs its new and highly anticipated Sanhok map through a fourth round of testing, players can at least be consoled with the thought that the patch should be getting very near release by now. In fact, the studio said that the map will be arriving later this month!
When testers dive into this round, which closes on June 4th, they will discover many performance and weapon improvements, not to mention item spawn rebalance, twice — TWICE — the number of throwable apples, and simulated three-dimensional sound.
This latest build also gave the town, ruins, and caves another set dressing pass. This should give them even more signs of life, although nobody will notice any of these since they’ll be sprinting at top speed as the good little twitch gunners that they are.
It all started with a new mode for DayZ. No, it all started with Minecraft. Wait, maybe it started with deathmatch games. There’s a lot of things you can trace as the origin point for the current battle royale trend in games, but a new video from Gamespot attempts to cut past speculation and hazy half-memories to provide a history of the genre in gaming from its first origin points to the modern war over players. And if you thought this was a video that would omit mentioning the obvious pop culture inspirations like the eponymous novel and movie Battle Royale… well, prepare to be disappointed.
The video traces the line through Minecraft game modes through DayZ, the initial launch of H1Z1, and through the various mods and alterations that brought us to games like PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds. Check out the full video below if you’re interested at a relatively brief overview of the genre’s history, although be aware that this is “brief” in the sense that it’s only 20 minutes long. There’s a lot of history to cover.