It's safe to say that PlayerUnknown's Battlegrounds, PUBG for short, is pretty damn big. It's sold 10 million copies and surpassed every game on the Steam top sellers and most played charts over even DOTA2 and Counter-Strike: Global Offensive/CS:GO. But creator Brendan Greene, aka PlayerUnknown, has his sights set on a loftier goal: that of the all-conquering League of Legends.
Brendan Greene was interviewed by GamesIndustry.biz where they asked him a number of interesting questions. Most importantly they talked about competition after mentioning PUBG beating GTA5's concurrent player base, which seems to change daily. Finally Greene says that League of Legends is their ultimate ambition.
"We thought H1Z1 would be our main competitor, basically, but then suddenly it's CS:GO, and then CS:GO is behind us and we're looking at Dota 2. It's insane, but it's a credit to the team; through all the updates we just kept on improving the game for everyone. That's what held people.
Our sales curves are just going up. They're not slowing down. I'm still waiting for that plateau, and it's just not happening yet. When you ask about growth on PC, I just look at League of Legends. 100 million active users a month, I think, something stupid like that? If we play our cards right, maybe we can get to that level of users."
The current estimates from LoL creators Riot Games suggest that League of Legends has around 11.5 million active players per month. PUBG by comparison has around 900,000 concurrent players per month. It's heading towards the 1 million mark, but it's got a very, very long way to go before it catches up with LoL. Still, it's not quite 100 million, so if Brendan Greene and the PUBG Bluehole team are aiming for that they might have a shot!
They also talked about various controversies, such as how PlayerUnknown's Battlegrounds recently started offering paid DLC skins despite Brendan Greene saying they wouldn't do that as long as the game was in Early Access. PUBG is still in Early Access remember, folks! Anyway, players were definitely unhappy about the paid-for crate DLC so currently the game has a 'Mixed' rating on Steam. Greene explains himself:
"I said we wouldn't have microtransactions until we left Early Access, but it comes from my naivety. To be fair, we're still not adding any kind of skin system with microtransactions fully until we leave Early Access, but we do need to test it, and we need to test percentages. And we're going to be open about it going forward, because we really think that having a strong economy is good for the game. We have the data science team to really work to find out what percentage stuff needs to be to attain a certain value. We want to be open about this because it's a good system and it's proven to work. We got hit hard with that, for sure."
He had some good news at least. Despite Ark: Survival Evolved getting a lot of criticism for raising their price significantly, PlayerUnknown's Battlegrounds will not be raising its price higher than $30, at least for now. "We don't have a plan to increase at the moment. That could change, but from my understanding, and from what we've talked about internally, we want to keep the same price. We're happy. $30 is a good price for what you're getting."
Potentially the most popular game in the world for $30? Bargain.