Launching a multiplayer Battle Royale 'em up into early access is one thing but actually finishing it is quite another, one the genre's leaders have struggled with. PlayerUnknown's Battlegrounds [official site] has done well with the initial launch, rocketing to the top of the Steam charts last week and comfortably becoming one of Steam's most-played games -- even if our Brendan didn't dig it. And from here? The developers have laid out their plans for patches, which include daily and weekly fixes and monthly content updates. And yes, they are working on improving performance.
The eponymous PlayerUnknown, creator Brendan Greene, laid out the plan:
During Early Access, we plan to release updates in 3 phases.
- Daily updates, to improve server performance
- Weekly updates, to push bug fixes & client performance and stability fixes
- Monthly updates, to add new content and push balance passes for game-play
Greene also laid out a tentative roadmap for improving performance. It will take time and multiple patches, he says, but some improvements might be felt in an update expected next Friday, April 7th.
Patching has already started, with an update yesterday adding servers in Oceania and South America, fixing a number of client and server crashes, and squishing some other bugs.
The official word, as per its Steam page, is still that "We don't expect Early Access to last longer than six months." Battle Royale devs always start out optimistic but... we'll see.
Brendan's problem with Battlegrounds, to be clear, is that it's mostly another implementation of the same Hunger Royale ideas seen in several other games, when he'd have preferred something fresher. It's same-y partially because Greene helped get this whole Battle Royale thing rolling with Arma mods then worked on one of the biggest commercial standalones, H1Z1: King of the Kill, and clearly he wants to do it right under his own name. Evidently plenty of players do want Battle Games done in a slightly different (and better) way, and for that Battlegrounds does seem to be a good candidate. And, of course, small differences are big to fans of a genre.