PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds, the glitchy but charismatic survival shooter that has averaged over one million players in early access, is finally seeing a full release. It’s been a long, wild ride for the genre-defining hit, and with Battlegrounds updating to 1.0 at 2 am ET tomorrow, that ride’s not even close to over.
The last-man-standing game has seen a whirlwind of success since its early access release in March. Its creator, Brendan “PlayerUnknown” Greene, was an Arma 2 modder who, inspired by the movie Battle Royale, made a proto-Battlegrounds called DayZ: Battle Royale. He later worked on the popular H1Z1: King of the Hill and then released the standalone game we know today, Battlegrounds. The game attracted a devoted audience fast with its amazingly meme-able play, which thrived on Twitch (and on Kotaku’s Highlight Reel). In two months, Battlegrounds sold two million copies. Its servers are still wobbly. It’s still full of glitches. Its devotees don’t care—they just love the adrenaline rush that comes with watching 100 people gradually dwindle to one last winner, who gets to see the coveted screen declaring “Winner, Winner, Chicken Dinner.”
Battlegrounds is a multifaceted game, to say the least. Every playstyle goes. Its capacity for improvisation and on-your-heels creativity—like the squad who infiltrated a pack of 20 enemies in their underwear—has made internet celebrities, like Dr. Disrespect, over and over. It’s also attracting a blossoming, and very flawed, esports scene.
Earlier this month, Battlegrounds ported to Xbox. There were lots of issues, namely framerate drops, which are currently getting patched.
With Battlegrounds 1.0, we’ll finally be seeing the game’s much-anticipated desert map Miramar and its replay feature, which has already inspired players’ ridiculous Battlegrounds action movies. Look forward to our coverage of Battlegrounds 1.0 throughout the week.
[Correction: 11:45 a.m.]—A previous version of this article reported that Battlegrounds leaves early access at 2 p.m. today, when in fact, it’s 2 a.m. tomorrow. We regret the error. We have also changed the story’s headline, previously “PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds Finally Comes Out For Real Today” to reflect that.