PUBG isn’t “Esports ready,” according to creator Brendan ‘PlayerUnknown’ Greene.
PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds, or PUBG, is still in early access but that hasn’t stopped Esports organisations from signing players to their teams for its competitive scene. The meta between the regular games and the competitive matches can play out very differently. And with an audience watching you have to try to make what’s happening on the screen interesting and watchable. So how do you balance players actively getting kills with the other players having legitimate strategies of hiding somewhere to survive? Stevivor asked Greene how developer PUBG Corp. is approaching the slower-paced strategies but still keeping that interesting for people to watch.
“We look at it with this idea that there is 100 people fighting. So there are going to be a lot of deaths,” Greene said. “And over the course of a 30 minute round you’re going to have time to play all of those deaths back. It’s more about telling the story of each individual character and it’s not necessarily about all the action, its about the story which that person is taking. The route that they have found in this particular round, or the weapons which they have found.”
“We think that is a better way to approach this than your standard kind of Esport where its all about the action. We can still show you the action and do cleaver replays to make sure all the deaths are captured. Because it’s a tough game to spectate, and from a professional point of view – with 100 players, Esports organisations just look at us and go, ‘Oh what the fuck, why? Can’t you make it with 10 players?’ But it’s a tough thing, no one has done a Battle Royale Esport before and it’s going to take time. We’re trying to build up systems that will support that kind of level of spectating.”
One of the area’s still being improved on in the tournament scene is the way points are being distributed for kills and placement. And while it is going to take some time to find the right spot, PlayerUnknown doesn’t think the game is “Esports ready”.
“It needs work. We need to figure out a good balance and were working players,” Greene said. “We’re doing Intel Extreme Masters Oakland in November and we have this idea which we went to the players with. We asked them what they thought was fair for a Battle Royale round. They said 8 rounds, played over 2 days. We were like, ‘Okay…’ So were working with them to find the right point balance, and doing enough simulations and seeing how things rank. This is why we are doing the events.
“We’re not trying to push Esports, were trying to reward the players who have supported us by giving them events to play in. There are pro teams now, even though we asked everyone to ‘Calm the fuck down. Esports ready? We are not ready yet,’ But we want to be, and its going to take us probably until sometime next year where we feel like we’ll be able to push into Esports, but even then its only if that is something the community wants it.”
PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds is available in early access on Windows PC. It launches on Xbox One on 12 December.