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As 1.0 Approaches, Battlegrounds Is Having Some Growing Pains

Illustration for article titled As 1.0 Approaches, iBattlegrounds /iIs Having Some Growing Pains
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PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds is, without a doubt, the breakout hit of the year. It’s sold more than 15 million copies and is the most popular game on Steam by a country mile (full of people trying to kill each other). All this, and it’s still in Early Access. You’d think it has a bright future ahead of it, but a growing number of players aren’t so sure.

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No competitive Early Access game has ever gotten this popular this quickly, nor have any had to scale up their operations so rapidly to account for a player influx of this scale. This has caused some serious growing pains for PUBG, and even folks who butter their bread with PlayerUnknown’s ButterKnife can’t help but rub their temples in barely restrained fury at the current state of the game. Here’s popular streamer Dr Disrespect going off on the game after an especially rocky session.

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“It’s just a fuckfest of desync and lag,” he said. “We’re getting real close to never playing this game again, deleting it, and laughing at this developer group if they ever try to bring out new content.”

Dr Disrespect, who used to work at Activision, added that if a game he was working on there ever performed so poorly during a playtest, they’d have pulled the plug on the test and poured every available resource into smoothing out the experience.

It’s not just public figures like The Doc, though. While players still love the game’s core premise of 100 people at the end of the earth fighting a war over the final chicken dinner after the planet’s remaining resources were processed into energy drinks [citation needed], some are fed up with elements of its execution. This stems primarily from an influx of hackers, as well as ongoing issues with server connectivity and general glitchiness, all as the game zeroes in on an official version 1.0 “release” that’s still slated for later this year.

In the past 30 days, Steam reviews of the game have been only 37 percent positive, or “mostly negative” by Steam’s metrics. Granted, a portion of these come from a review bomb over advertisements that happened at the beginning of the month, but recent weeks have also seen a flood of reviews complaining about hackers, lag, performance issues, physics problems, unreliable gunplay, and other bugs. Nearly 5,000 negative reviews have been posted today alone.

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Illustration for article titled As 1.0 Approaches, iBattlegrounds /iIs Having Some Growing Pains
Illustration for article titled As 1.0 Approaches, iBattlegrounds /iIs Having Some Growing Pains
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Illustration for article titled As 1.0 Approaches, iBattlegrounds /iIs Having Some Growing Pains

Developer Bluehole seems to be plugging away on better anti-cheat measures, though it’s tough to say when those will bear fruit.

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Visiting the game’s most popular discussion boards, you get a sense of exasperated fatigue, with many on Reddit and the game’s Steam forums fearing that PUBG is destined to go the way of DayZ, both with regards to glitches and a lack of meaningful updates to the game.

“I enjoy the game, but the times I have died because of poor optimization, bad netcode, bugs and other fixable stuff is just infuriating,” said a player named _I_Have_Opinions_ on the PUBG subreddit. “Another big problem is how Bluehole keeps promising stuff and seems to be pushing for 1.0 this year (which the game is not ready for). For how long has vaulting [over obstacles] been ‘just a patch’ away?”

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For now, Bluehole is stuck in the middle, surrounded on all sides by factions they’ll never be able to fully please. Players can’t even agree on what exactly they want when version 1.0 is officially released: Some are looking for a single map that’s super-polished, but others are champing hard at the bit for More Content, even if it’s less perfect. In that respect, PUBG is an accurate reflection of real life: we can’t all be winners.

You’re reading Steamed, Kotaku’s page dedicated to all things in and around Valve’s wildly popular PC gaming service. Games, culture, community creations, criticism, guides, videos—everything. If you’ve found anything cool/awful on Steam, send us a message to let us know.

Kotaku senior reporter. Beats: Twitch, streaming, PC gaming. Writing a book about streamers tentatively titled "STREAMERS" to be published by Atria/Simon & Schuster in the future.

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DISCUSSION

BeardedBastard
Bearded Bastard

1-no dr, you arent even close to uninstalling your cash cow, dont fib.

2- the steam complaints are hilarious. “no word on fixes or updates” when the dev has done more in one year to their game than any other ea title, and is also set to launch a version 1.0 in record time. the developer has been vocal about every single schedule change they have made.

lack of graphics optimization. the game looks beautiful, but it just cant be run beautifully as chances are your computer just cant do it. i really feel bad for anyone having issues though, all my computers run pubg at 60+ consistent frames. one of which is a laptop with a 950m. i hope this can be corrected, as i have a higher end unit that, while it achieves 100+ frames, should be able to do so on settings other than very low on nearly everything.

3-again, 6 months and its only gotten worse..... have they been playing the same game? i played alpha, i played all beta weekends, i played launch of ea. 6 months ago, the game was never worse. first 2-5 minutes of the game being unplayable, final 5 minutes being equally shoddy as the action became forced to close quarters. inputs not being recognized for up to a minute. i understand the game still has delay, and latency issues. but, i feel bad for anyone who thinks the game has legitimately gotten worse in the last 6 months, and if i could, i wouuld dare them to play that version of the game again and try to tell me it was more enjoyable.

i get the game has issues. im more than happy to be on a hiatus and spending time in fortnite and destiny 2, and soon ww2, and bf2, but im more than looking forward to the test servers through november, as those servers are going to be running their WIP 1.0 version. and im more than aware that the game is still in what is essentially a beta revision. unfortunately, it seems like people forget that, and are trying to project their expectations for fully funded, post release triple a titles. none of which applies to pubg. (note; fully funded, and exorbitantly donated to, are two different things)

the only real claim here is about hackers, but every now and then a wave comes through and the game is less apparent to it, then they rise with n ew hacks, and its a cycle. anyone who bases a games merit because of jackoff hackers needs a reality check, as its a problem every game on pc suffers. they have BE working for them, the ones who keep games like battlefield and rainbow 6 relatively free from plague.