PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds creator Brenden Green took the battle royale genre and made it soar, spawning successful titles such as Apex Legends, Fortnite, and Call of Duty: Blackout. To say that PUBG was a cash cow would be a massive understatement, though the man himself has distanced himself from the brand over the past several months. In March 2019, Greene opened up about leaving PUBG at its core to work on other projects, including PUBG: Special Projects, but now he’s clarifying his earlier statement by saying he’s done with that genre – at least for now.
When speaking with GameIndustry.biz during GDC this year, Greene talked a bit about the “insane ride” that has been the PUBG train. Before Fortnite dethroned the online game, PUBG was a powerhouse that couldn’t be touched. It reigned supreme in both concurrent players and viewers on Twitch, putting the pressure on for the devs to get it out of Early Access and onto consoles.
“That’s something we’re going to explore,” said Greene about PUBG’s future and where he wants to go next. “The last man standing concept is great, but I’ve done that. I don’t really intend to make PUBG 2. I’ve done battle royale, it’s time to try something else. There are ideas about how we connect to people and how we provide the different experiences I have.”
Now that he’s building up a new team for the PUBG: Special Projects initiative, he can explore something “new” without abandoning the gold mine that is still very much PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds. “The past five years of my life has been all about battle royale,” reads Greene’s open letter seen on Twitter last month. “From the early days working on a mod to getting the chance to create my vision for a battle royale title, PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds.
“It’s been an incredible journey and our game has reached heights I never thought possible. Seeing the game grow into what it is today has been a dream come true and I can’t thank our fans and the incredible team at PUBG Corporation enough.”
Now that he’s ready to move on fully, it’s on to new adventures, “While I’ll remain as a consulting creative director on PUBG, development will be led by Taeseok Jang and the fantastic team I have had the honor of working with over the past three years. They have some great things planned for this year, and I can’t wait to share more with you soon!”
Basing the new operation in Amsterdamn, Greene’s focus will squarely be on this new division now that the game is fully released on all platforms. As far as what the new division will have to offer, he added “We are tasked with exploring, experimenting, and creating new technologies, tools, pipelines, and gameplay; but for me, it is more than that. Together with a team of game developers and researchers, we will explore new possibilities of interaction and connection within the game space.”
It will be interesting to see how PUBG Battle Royale fares from here on out with the increasting amount of competition, and more on the horizon. Despite the growing amount of games coming into the BR scene, PUBG still fares well considerably and its accessibility means it has a staying power needed to continue strong in this particular market.