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Playerunknown's Battlegrounds studio wants to add cross-play between PC and Xbox One

Playerunknown's Battlegrounds is kind of a big thing around these parts, and it will likely become an even bigger thing when it comes to the Xbox One later this year. And at some point after that, executive producer Chang Han Kim told VG247, developer Bluehole hopes to let people on both platforms play together. But first, there are a few wrinkles to iron out. 

"Cross network play between the PC and the console is definitely something we want to do down the road, and we don’t anticipate we’ll have any technical issues with that," Kim said.   

"But… when you consider the competitive side of the game, I do feel that there’s a balance issue between controllers and keyboard and mouse. That’s what’s making it difficult for us to do right away. If we’re going to allow players to use controllers we need to have the aim assist added in and things like that. We’re not going to be supporting it right away, but it’s something we’d like to look into later." 

The more the merrier, but I'm not sure what adding cross-platform play to PUBG would accomplish aside from creating headaches for its developers. Even with aim assist, controllers are at a distinct disadvantage when put up against mouse and keyboard, so the odds of an Xbox One player ever winning a round are really not good—and on the off-chance that it does happen, all credit (or blame, more likely) would go to the aim assist, which is clearly—so the angry forum post would no doubt go—out of whack and overpowered. No matter which way it goes, somebody ends up mad. 

That said, it's not entirely unprecedented. The Coalition first tested, and then permanently added, cross-play to Gears of War 4 earlier this year. The online intermingling is limited to "Social Quickplay," while Core and Competitive play remain segregated to keep them "as closely matched and competitive as possible." But it's not unreasonable to think that PUBG could take the same approach as it is with its new Zombies mode to accomplish basically the same thing: Give players the option to select either cross-play or single-platform action, and then let them eat the consequences.

I've reached out to PUBG for more information about its cross-play plans, and will update if and when I receive a reply.

Andy Chalk

Andy has been gaming on PCs from the very beginning, starting as a youngster with text adventures and primitive action games on a cassette-based TRS80. From there he graduated to the glory days of Sierra Online adventures and Microprose sims, ran a local BBS, learned how to build PCs, and developed a longstanding love of RPGs, immersive sims, and shooters. He began writing videogame news in 2007 for The Escapist and somehow managed to avoid getting fired until 2014, when he joined the storied ranks of PC Gamer. He covers all aspects of the industry, from new game announcements and patch notes to legal disputes, Twitch beefs, esports, and Henry Cavill. Lots of Henry Cavill.