Last year we wrote that despite its runaway success, "technical and creative challenges" make Playerunknown's Battlegrounds difficult to watch as an esport. That's something that PUBG Corp is aiming to overcome, as creator Brendan Greene told Eurogamer that it is now "heavily investing into setting up an esports infrastructure" that he hopes will literally bring the game to the big leagues.
"We're building an esports team globally now, between the US and Europe and Asia, and really trying to develop out the tools we need to support esport organizations and players in order to give a good foundation," Greene said. "So, that's where I want to see [PUBG] in three years, I want to see it as a considered esport with events taking place in big stadiums and sort of year long leagues, that's what my dream for battle royale has been, that's where I want to see us go, and looking at what we're doing this year I really see that as a great chance."
That, he explained, and not any concerns about the sudden uptick of competing games, is what led the studio to "go a little radio silent" following its release at the end of 2017, which in turn led to suggestions that it was being "reactionary" in its efforts to keep pace with the upstarts.
"It was funny, when we released the emotes people were saying. 'Oh you're copying Fortnite'—well, no. We recorded these emotes in Prague last year, before Fortnite [Battle Royale] was even announced," he said. "We had an intention to put a means of non-verbal communication into the game because we really believe that there are some people with mics, some people without mics, so having a way for them to communicate with their squad members is essential, and it's essential for tactical gameplay."
He also acknowledged that bugs, despite being part of what makes the PUBG experience unique, need to be stamped out before the game can be taken seriously on the esports stage. "Really we want this to be a great esport, and it can't have bugs for an esport," he said.
"Now, that said there are not that many game-breaking bugs, you know like you see with the tournaments, there's very few people dying from bugs. And I can tell you internally there was a competition in Korea a few weeks ago that led to a change in our competitive settings because of a certain issue that happened, but the team were very quick to go, 'Okay we can fix this, let's fix it'."
In case you missed it, PUBG Corp kicked off a second round of Savage map testing today, and those of you who picked up keys during our own PC Gamer giveaway will have access straightaway. Everyone else has until 5 am PT on April 17 to sign up for one playbattlegrounds.com.