PlayerUnknown’s Battleground’s update 18 is live on PC servers today after a brief stint on the PTS. As we previously reported, the update adds new weapons, a new truck, and the new custom match creation mode, which allows players to combine their selected game mode with other presets, like weather, spawn types, and maps. And yes, that includes the zombie mode that for some reason everyone wants in spite of the fact that every new zombie game is instantly mocked. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
Meanwhile, PUBG Corp and Bluehole have apologized for upsetting Korean fans with the addition of an offensive Japanese military symbol on a pilot’s mask and the inclusion of an AI bot named Unit 731, presumably after the Japanese army division known for chemical and biological experimentation on Korean, Chinese, and Russian captives during WWII. There’s your history lesson for the day.
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.
There’s a new thinkpiece out on how Fortnite happened and what it all means every week lately, but SuperData’s latest might be a comfort to the rest of the industry. Analyst Bethany Lyons argues that Fortnite’s wild success isn’t coming at the expense of all other games.
“Fortnite Battle Royale has grown without disrupting the bottom line or player base of a surprising number of free-to-play games. For example, the title has increased its console revenue in May at a rate of 12% month-over-month, while other free-to-play console games stayed more or less consistent,” she writes.
So that’s revenue. What about users? Other games are still growing, some even faster than Fortnite, she says, particularly in the free-to-play console market, which is encouraging competitors to focus there. And streaming? Seems hours-watched on Twitch for the big games have stayed fairly even too as Fortnite has taken off.
It’s a big day for PUBG as its latest patch has just hit the test server, and it’s a doozy: It’s the one that finally allows custom matches. Players will be able to combine their selected game mode with other presets, like weather, spawn types, and maps. Apparently “zombie mode” is the one to watch; according to RPS, regular players have been jonesing for this option ever since influencers started streaming it. Now everyone can whip up a humans-vs.-zombies match in PUBG, and we have finally come full circle in the world of survival/battle royale games.
Over on Steam, players are ascii-spamming – is there a better word for filling a comment section with word-art of your demands for the devs? – about the game’s ongoing desync issues. There are new weapons and beat-up ol’ trucks in testing now too; you can preview those down below if that’s your thing.
I’ve still got hype on the brain. We’ve talked about the length of hype cycles and under-hyped MMOs. Now I want to talk about games that have actually suffered from their own hype specifically.
No Man’s Sky and WildStar pop to mind immediately for me as games we cover that were grievously wounded by hype. Both games effectively promised and teased far more features and more interesting features that they actually delivered, causing hype for the game to turn into venom post-launch. And in both cases, the game studios have made considerable effort to turn it around, but the grudges linger.
PUBG strikes me as another game that was heavily hyped last year but quickly succumbed to a prettier, cheaper, more accessible, and more polished game.
And howsabout Destiny 2? A contender, right?
Which online game has suffered the most from its own hype?
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.
After it looked like H1Z1 was being rendered obsolete by last year’s rise of PUBG and Fortnite, having lost 90% of its playerbase by February of this year, the battle royale title is making a surprising comeback on both PC and console. In fact, Daybreak announced this week that H1Z1 has seen over 10 million PlayStation 4 users since the game went into open beta on the platform back in May.
Here’s another big number: 102 million hours, which is how much time PS4 players have put into the game so far. Daybreak is so pleased with the response that it is gifting current and former PS4 players with a free Darkfire pickup truck and Sunrise parachute.
H1Z1 wants to bring its Revive game update to the PS4 this week, which includes the titular mechanic, an airstrike carpet bomb throwable, and aim acceleration options. Some issues have arisen and the team said that it is working on them and hoping to get the patch out soon.
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.”
It looks like the big legal feud between PUBG and Fortnite is already drawing to a close, as Bloomberg reports PUBG Corp. has withdrawn its lawsuit against Epic Games.
PUBG Corp. lodged its lawsuit in January, claiming that the Fortnite company had plagiarized PUBG’s interface and in-game items, which wasn’t the wildest claim around, as Bluehole had previously pointed out Epic’s potential for conflicts of interest thanks to its stewardship of Unreal Engine, on which both games are built. Plus, Fortnite was originally launched last summer as a co-op, PvE-centric building game but quickly added a battle royale mode in an apparent attempt to catch up to PUBG and had swept past PUBG’s saturation in just a few months, setting records left and right.
Neither PUBG Corp. nor Epic has discussed the case or PUBG Corp. reasons for dropping its suit. PUBG Corp.’s lawsuit against Netease apparently soldiers on.
May 2018 was good to Fortnite, again, SuperData’s latest global revenue report shows, but its growth rate may be coming to a middle. “Fortnite hits a new high but growth is slowing down,” the research firm says in today’s report. “We estimate that Fortnite made $318 million across all platforms in May, up 7% from April. The majority of growth came from console, with mobile and PC both coming in flat compared to April.”
On the PC side, Dota 2 came out of nowhere to return to the list at #6, bumping World of Warcraft down a tick and Hearthstone off completely. League of Legends continues to rule the roost.
On the console side, Fortnite is still at the top; both Overwatch and Destiny 2 have returned to the top 10 as games like Far Cry 5 and Battlefield have fallen off.
And on mobile, Pokemon Go has resurged, as it always does in summer in the northern hemisphere, as it’s gathered up more players than ever. Fun side note: Remember Netease’s Knives Out, one of its two PUBG clones on mobile? It’s in 5th place globally on mobile, just behind POGO, so PUBG’s lawsuit isn’t so bonkers after all.
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!
The things Massively OP’s MJ will try… she blames it on Bree! All the boss had to do was point out an amusing skin for a battle royale and MJ was on board to show it off. Hence, we introduce to you Cuisine Royale! MJ fully admits that she was wanted to clobber someone with a waffle iron or frying pan, and now may be her big chance. Tune in live at 2:00 p.m. as OPTV‘s infamous Stream Team brings you a first look at the food fight in…
Who: MJ Guthrie
When: 2:00 p.m. EDT on Friday, June 22nd, 2018