Playerunknown’s Battlegrounds server problems are because it’s too popular for its own good

Server problems have been a recurrent issue for Playerunknown’s Battlegrounds [official site] on its journey through early access, but recently it’s been particularly bumpy. I’ve struggled to connect at all some days and some players have suffered server crashes. The issue, the developers say, is that the game has grown far quicker than they had anticipated so player numbers are higher than the game was built to cope with. Expecting 1 million players at any one time, they’ve instead hit peak concurrent player counts over 1.6 million. Servers have become overloaded. Oh, the pains of popularity! Fixes are in the works, the devs say, and they’re trying to better anticipate future demand.

“First of all, we would like to sincerely apologize to everyone for the recent server issues which resulted in long waits and any inconveniences,” the Plunkbat gang said in today’s announcement. They continued:

“Our development team has been continuously upgrading the service architecture to address the increasing concurrent player numbers and tackle any emerging issues. Despite our daily efforts, there were some unexpected issues during peak times and we were unable to resolve some of the issues as fast as we would have wanted to.

“We anticipated about 1 million concurrent users in the beginning of our Early Access period and that is when our lobby server was initially designed. Since the end of June, our concurrent player base saw a rapid increase so we started designing a new server architecture. However, the number of users increased faster than our development speed which resulted in more connection and server issues recently.

“It has become increasingly difficult to manage servers during peak times. To alleviate the above, our development team will prepare our servers far more in advance so that they can handle a much larger number of concurrent players. This is something that we plan to continuously improve on.”

They also explain that the recent crashes on the Asian server were caused by a related problem. Their cloud service ran out of capacity, see, so they drafted servers from a different provider, one which they hadn’t adequately tested and which ended up overloading.

Plunkbat is still in early access, I remind myself. Poor performance and a few notable unfinished features aside, it’s largely complete enough to have become the main game I play. These server problems absolutely have sucked but they’re the sort of teething problem that an early access period should feel out and be allowed time to correct. While Plunkbat has found stonking sales success, money isn’t an instant cure-all for technical issues. As much as I’d be delighted if these problems vanished overnight, I’m being patient. If I can wait this long for bicycles and vaulting, a few days of muttering as the latest server woes shake out is nothing.

19 Comments

  1. Premium User Badge

    Drib says:

    I like server issues, then when I am terrible at this game, I can just be like “No no, it was lag, the servers are laggy, it’s not due to me being bad at games!”

    • Enko says:

      Playing with in-game highlights on, with every death and kill being recorded in its own little clip – I learned just how bad I am at this game.

      Yep that guy was wearing a level 3 vest, and I hit him in the body.

      Nope, I never landed a single round on that sniper, but he did.

      Yep that was potato aim.

      And so on.

  2. Crusoe says:

    Server issues
    Awful client optimization
    Decreased frequency of content
    Delayed implementation of the vaulting system

    And yet they still insist full release will be out in 2017. If even 3 out of 4 of those issues are resolved by summer 2018 I’ll be amazed. It seems clearer and clearer that Bluehole are way, way out of their depth.

    • Premium User Badge

      Drib says:

      Well it’s not like it’s reasonable to assume they expected the sales they got.

    • MrBehemoth says:

      Add terrible PR to that list.

    • HeavyStorm says:

      Nowadays tagging a game as released is just a very artificial decision. Pubg has sold more than most games will ever, and certainly grossed even more, and it’s “early access”.

      Nonetheless, I share your concern. Making the decision to deem it complete by years end, which thus many issues, may lead us to never getting an actual finished game with the expected optimizations and appropriate bug rinsing.

    • Enko says:

      Not as out of their depth as Bohemia though right?

  3. cloudnein says:

    What, they haven’t heard of cloud computing? Server scalability was a problem encountered, and solved, a hundred times (remember the growing pains Mojang had with Minecraft?)

    I mean, how else will we get to the Matrix?!?

    • HeavyStorm says:

      Depending on the size of those servers and the provider, they probably extrapolated the capacity of the data center itself (that’s less likely if they were using Azure or AWS, but those can be pretty expensive).

      It can also be just a arbitrary parameter in their auto scale script, or some code that can’t scale well (for instance, there is a single gateway to the servers, otherwise we could be invisible to our friends).

    • t0mb0 says:

      I doubt they are in a position in the development cycle to enable autoscaling. A lot of consideration has to go in before you do it to avoid bill shock. Otherwise they could get ddos’d and go bankrupt.

      Most likely it’s manual at this point.

  4. FlatlineXxX says:

    Blue hole has acknowledged that “PUBG” is the better, smoother, more prevalent abbreviation for the Game. Their subsidiary company is named PUBG Corp. Can this “plunkbat” nonsense Stop?!

    Call it by what the actual developers, and the huge, staggering majority of actual players call it…

    • Premium User Badge

      Earl-Grey says:

      Oh look, the humorless sods remembered to point out something something blah blah “my dull grey humorless shooty game should only have a dull grey humorless name” wah wah.

      Plunkbat, the name of the game is PLUNKBAT.

    • Alice O'Connor says:

      But it’s a known fact that all rebrandings are always terrible: this proves that PUBG is a lousy name.

    • PanFaceSpoonFeet says:

      I like Plunkbat.
      “Now for a game of Plunkbat”.
      “Have you got Plunkbat yet?”.
      “Is that Plunkbat you’re playing or are you just pleased to see me?”
      “Now for another game of Plunkbat”
      ..see?
      Or as I personally like to call it: PlayUnkBatGees

      • Massenstein says:

        “PlayUnkBatGees”… Hmm, rolls off the tongue nicely! This could replace pubg as the moderately popular slang name for Plunkbat.

    • wackazoa says:

      I just call it Battlegrounds. But Im a boring sort of person…..