Battle royale fans have requested a more hardcore experience
In a world run by battle royales, the realism niche is lacking. PUBG shocked the world back in 2017 and took over the young genre entirely. The PUBG Corp title shared similarities with the BRs of the time — DayZ, Arma and H1Z1 — but did everything better. The game saw immense success and for a while, held a monopoly over battle royales.
Since then, we’ve seen plenty of adaptations of the genre. Fortnite, Apex Legends and Hyper Scape to name a few. Sure, they are all battle royales, but they're futuristic with cartoony graphics, absurd movement and quirky weapons. Comparing Fortnite and PUBG is like comparing apples and oranges. Fans of hardcore realism feel stuck with an outdated PUBG. Is it finally time for a PUBG 2.0?
The Problem with PUBG
To most observers, the need for a PUBG 2.0 is obvious. The game is archaic in terms of today’s standards. PUBG is poorly optimized, crummy performance-wise and has a lousy anti-cheat system. Under the hood, lag spikes, rubberbanding, frame rate issues, render issues and other glitches plague PUBG. On the surface, the graphics are outdated and the gameplay feels slow and clunky. Play any other new-gen BR and the differences will be evident. Imagine a PUBG-like game fused with the smooth, crisp gameplay of Apex Legends.
These aren’t new problems either. Performance updates and bug fixes take ages to be addressed. Some issues go unfixed for months and even years at a time.
Despite all of this, a dedicated player base remains. There is countless testimony online from PUBG’s most loyal fans citing thousands of hours spent in the military-sim BR. These same fans are outspoken about PUBG’s issues, but can’t find it in themselves to quit. Reddit user u/TNGSystems states that PUBG is the “best bad game [I’ve] ever played.”
Why Not Fix the Current Game?
Fixing the current game would take a substantial amount of work. So much work that Brendan Greene, aka PlayerUnknown, said himself that "it would be easier to rebuild PUBG, as to fix it.”
PUBG’s issues run deep. Look no further than PUBG Corp’s lawsuit with Epic Games. Back in 2018, PUBG Corp sued Epic Games, claiming that Fortnite was a copy of PUBG. PUBG Corp realized early that the case was likely a losing cause. PUBG Corp dropped the lawsuit about a week later. Regardless, this incident certainly led to tension and bad blood between the two companies.
All of this seems like an ill-thought-out idea for PUBG Corp. PUBG itself runs on Epic Games’ Unreal Engine. It’s speculated that PUBG Corp lost Epic’s support following the lawsuit. This would explain the lack of optimization on a game engine known for its high standards.
With PUBG in a state of disarray, it appears the only option is to move on toward a PUBG 2. Atop the slew of apparently unfixable problems with the game, the player base is slowly declining. PUBG has a bad rep in the game community for the reasons mentioned above. With new, free-to-play BRs releasing regularly, the hype for PUBG is all but gone.
PUBG 2 would allow PUBG Corp to start with a clean slate. Instead of sinking money and resources into what some would call a “dying game”, PUBG Corp can repent for their sins. Announce a PUBG 2, free from bugs, cheats and performance issues. Hire a top-tier development team, capable of managing a game the size and scale of PUBG. Bring the game into 2020 graphically, and you have a recipe for success. A complete overhaul in terms of gameplay and mechanics is unnecessary. Time and time again, PUBG fans have expressed that simple and obvious improvements to the above are all the game needs.
This all makes sense from a business perspective as well. Fixing the current game nets no return on investment. With a new game, PUBG Corp can charge a full price tag. The hype for battle royales is at an all-time high. PUBG Corp should capitalize on this with a PUBG 2.
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A PUBG Competitor?
Right now, there is nothing to compete with PUBG in the BR genre. If you want a military-sim, realistic-like battle royale, you are left with PUBG. Right now, PUBG fans feel stuck, there is no other game to fill their needs. Many are fed up and would easily switch to a new game if they could.
The genre is flooded with variations of the futuristic, high-octane BR. Apex Legends, Fortnite and Hyper Scape all have enhanced movement, wacky weapons and lack realism. If these games can all exist in harmony, why can’t a PUBG clone? Another studio could easily take over the hardcore BR niche if PUBG Corp isn’t willing to release a new and improved game.
Some in the community have expressed the desire for a new BR even more hardcore than PUBG. Think Escape from Tarkov in battle royale form. There’s space in this genre for an original BR that isn’t an exact copy of PUBG. Closing in on three years since PUBG’s inception now would be the perfect time for a different studio to look at claiming a piece of the hardcore BR niche.
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The PUBG community and fans of the military-sim niche can go back and forth over the nuances. However, all can agree that the need for a PUBG 2.0 is there. Whether that comes from PUBG Corp themselves or a different game studio is irrelevant. This community has gone without a PUBG competitor for far too long and the result is stagnation in the niche. The demand for a new and improved PUBG-like game is there. We will see who decides to take advantage of it.
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Images via PUBG Corp