If Brendan Greene actually did run naked across E3's showfloor, I reckon PlayerUnknown's Battlegrounds would only sell more copies than it already has. In just four months, the battle royale shooter has accrued over six million sales—and has surpassed the likes of Fallout 4 and GTA 5 so far as peak player records are concerned—which is pretty good going for a game still living in Early Access.
By the time the next E3 rolls around, PUBG should be well into full release, and while creator Brendan Greene first suggested he and his team required just six months to grow the game pre-launch, he recently admitted "Q4" was a more realistic target window. This pushes the game by just a few more months, however Greene puts his initial optimism down to his own naivety.
"Oh yeah, I'm very confident," Greene tells me when asked if launch before the end of the year is feasible. "I made promises when we started development in a range of things. That came from naivety on my part—I don't have a lot of experience of the industry, and making games is quite hard at times. Plans change, things have to be tested, things need to be added to make sure that when we do get to full release at the end of the year that everything works well."
Greene notes that despite his earlier six month suggestion, his latest estimation doesn't extend the game's launch timeframe by an inordinate amount. Tying themselves to a specific month risks leaving certain features behind, says Greene, and he's most interested in delivering the features he and his team have said they would in a more responsible manner.
Throughout, he praises the hardworking nature of the Bluehole staff, how lucky a position he's now in, and how the game is better than him as an individual.
"I'm lucky to be where I am. As much as I might moan about [eg constant travelling], I'm so lucky to be doing this. It's been an amazing four months," Greene explains. "I think a lot of people don't realise it's been that short and a lot of the complaints that we receive, we sometimes try to remind people we've been out four months and that this is a work in progress.
"We've tried to be open about our development and really show people how games are made. We've got about nearly 100 people on the team now in Korea and maybe another ten in Madison. But the people who work on content are a very small part of the team. It's a credit to our boss, he's focusing on expanding and getting a team together so that we can create this service for the next five to ten years or thereafter.
"I can never say how lucky I am enough to have found this team. I could run naked through E3 and make the biggest PR disaster of all time and the game would still be finished. That's the beautiful thing: the game will be complete, the game will be finished, the game will be fine no matter what I do. I'm so lucky to have that, I can't express how thankful I am of the team."
Greene adds that everyone is entitled to their opinion and that while everyone can't always agree within the online spectrum, his focus remains locked on getting PlayerUnknown's Battlegrounds finished. "And no matter what drama is surrounding the game," he says "we're still focused on making the game."
All going to plan, PUBG will launch in full by the end of 2017.