Brendan ‘PlayerUnknown’ Greene, the creator of
PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds (PUBG), recently revealed that he wants to support the game for 20 years, saying, “We want to do this for the next 20 years. We want to build out a platform for game modes and possible esports. We’re committed to supporting this game for a long time.” As evidence of this continued support, he also detailed maps which coming out later this year, and the devs are currently hosting betas to test the new “Savage” map, the second round of which begins today.
All that sounds fine, but I have my concerns when a developer announces they want to support one game for a long time. Does a 20-year plan make sense for
Something we’ve been hearing a lot in the last few years is the idea of a game having a “10-year plan.” Bungie announced a 10-year plan for
Destiny back in 2014. Ubisoft has been supporting Tom Clancy’s Rainbow Six Siege for almost two and a half years now, and they plan to continue doing so. Blizzard’s Overwatch has seen some astounding success since it launched in 2016, and it shows no signs of slowing down. There’s nothing wrong with publishers and developers wanting to support their games after launch, but it gets to a point where you’re only making updates for the current fan base and alienating new players. Isn’t the point of a “20-year plan” to try and bring in new players every year?
We live in a world where new games are available on an almost daily basis. Even for a 5-year-old game, what could you possibly do, outside of putting it on sale, to get new players interested in your title when they could begin playing something that just came out? On top of that, if they
did start playing your game long after its initial release, the odds of them playing against people with their skill level would be very low. Given that Battle Royale games are ridiculously popular right now, new players would have a host to choose from, and I don’t know if PUBG has the means to keep up and stay relevant. As more Battle Royale games start coming out and doing things better than PUBG, you will most likely see people jumping ship. Staying relevant for 20 years is going to be a colossal task for PUBG.
Granted, during these long-term plans, you’re bound to pick up younger players. Part of the reason these long-term plans exist is so a younger audience will get to experience the game at some point. However, for someone in my age bracket, if I wasn’t interested at launch, I probably won’t be interested after one year, let alone twenty. I realize that the
PUBG team doesn’t have the resources or the staff of some of these large studios, but they need to do something to stand out. Right now PUBG doesn’t have anything that unique to it, and I want to know if they have a plan to fix that.
Now, this game is no slouch when it comes to sales, having hit over 38 million copies between PC and Xbox One. But with that said, I think that for
PUBG to keep up, it is going to have to go free-to-play. It’s already free on mobile, so why can’t it be for the other platforms? The game is part of the game preview program for Xbox One, and even though it technically isn’t finished, it costs $30 to play it. I don’t see any reason why it should cost that much at this point, and if it stays at $30 for its entire run, there’s no way it’ll keep up with most of the competition.
Planning too far into the future is also a little bit risky for a game that has such a small team. The amount of time that would go into making any significant changes has got to be a monumental task, and therefore they would take a long time to be released. If the updates don’t come out fast enough, people might lose interest and play something else. Friday the 13th, anyone?
When I look at a game like
PUBG, I don’t think “20-year plan.” It makes more sense for games with a story mode, side activities, co-op and really anything that allows the player to have some progression. PUBG doesn’t have any of that, and it’s going to make it difficult for them to keep current players and bring in new ones when you don’t have anything to offer outside of “winner winner chicken dinner.”
What do you think of PUBG Corp’s 20-year plan and long-term plans in general? Let us know in the comments section.