Rain is falling from the ominous clouds above, the smell of wet pavement and gunpowder has filled my nostrils. Before long, I realize I'm not alone here. There's 100 of us, some baring guns, others running around slugging others around the head. We're all the same in some way. Each of us are anticipating what's to come. We all know that the biggest fight for our survival is about to happen. We're already plotting out where we'll airdrop in, what our optimized gear will be, and what our personal weapon preferences are. It's a common trait for a survivor, for someone that knows only one of us will make it out alive.
PlayerUnknown's Battlegrounds is one of the most talked-about video games in history. It's one that tosses 100 players into battle against each other by starting them out in a cargo plane. The scene opens with them approaching the large island, allowing players to choose where to drop, and ultimately forcing them to scrounge for weapons, ammo, armor, and supplies to ensure their chance of survival. #PUBG, as it's known by fans, is one of the fastest selling games of all time, costing a cool $30, and, to be quite honest, isn't even a finished game.
Despite its successful release without any major marketing campaign or PR push, PlayerUnknown's Battlegrounds is always busy across its international and national servers. It sees an always-active community averaging no less than 1,124,051 people playing at the time of writing according to Steamcharts. But what makes the game so successful?
Brendan Green Opens Up About His Concerns And Success
The game's developer, Bluehole, announced they sold 2 million copies in just five weeks through Steam's Early Access, a section of their marketplace dedicated to making in-development titles available to fans.
But even PlayerUnknown himself (his real name is Brendan Green) didn't expect the success they've seen. In interviews, he has openly stated that he felt that opting for an Early Access release was almost like taking a poison pill, one that could have metaphorically killed him. For PlayerUnknown, however, there should be no room for concern anymore. The game has raked in more than $60 million in total sales and could see those numbers exponentially rise with console releases on Xbox One and PlayStation 4.
What Led up to the Polarizing Success of PlayerUnknown's Battlegrounds ?
Unlike titles such as Call of Duty: WWII or Star Wars Battlefront II, PUBG is an entirely different entity due to its lack of publicity. It's a game that sneaked in under the radar overnight,and captivated fans due to its unique gameplay that combines both the shooter genre and survival simulation titles. The video games industry is on the steady rise, having become a multi-billion-dollar industry that sees major titles with marketing budgets and campaigns that could easily rival some of Hollywood's biggest hitters.
Unlike those games, PUBG somehow managed to forego that entire process. It didn't release trailer after trailer on video outlets such as YouTube or Twitch.tv, it didn't even hit major news outlets such as IGN or Game Informer overnight, nor did it leak details about its upcoming releases. Rather than relying on journalists to give it momentum, the wave of popularity actually came from some of the industry's biggest streamers. Most of them can be found on Amazon's own video gaming service such as Twitch, where streamers such as Lirik, a 26-year-old American streamer, has acquired over 1.6 million faithful viewers, using PUBG to even help his steady growth.
The ultimate success for the game, as PlayerUnknown believes, is the fact the game was intentionally made for streamers.
In our current age, there's no doubt that console copies of PC games have seen staggering success. Warframe, developed by independent publisher and developer Digital Extremes, is one of those shining examples. It's a game that is kept alive by its console and PC crowds, averaging hundreds of thousands of players daily, and even having grown big enough to receive its very own convention in Canada.
Even with a six-month road map having been put into place for the game emerging from its Early Access state, fans are already highly anticipating the Xbox One release this fall, with a PlayStation 4 version expected later down the road. It's even been shown that the game's success could very well even see an esports league emerge, allowing both teams and solo players to take to the professional arena.
Luckily for the community, there are millions of us out there already beta testing the game, helping to push it close to its final form. For now, my cargo plane is here, and it's time for me to dive into the action in my attempt to win a Chicken Dinner. Will I see you on the battlegrounds?
If you play PUBG, what drew you in? Sound off in the comments.