Player Unknown’s Battlegrounds is out of Steam’s Early Access program and has hit 1.0 with a historic bang. Not only was it the best-selling new property of 2017, but PUBG is setting new concurrent player records every day on the ultra-popular PC gaming platform. After six months in beta, its official release has plenty of polish, new weapons, a brilliant map set in Mexico and, in a stealthy feature release no one really saw coming — the introduction of a fully 3D replay system. It’s the latter that will change the way PUBG is played forever.
Like a true battle royale sporting event, now survivors can view a one-kilometer area around them at all times with fully customizable camera placement and editing features. PUBG always delivered on player-created narratives that are built into the game’s unforgiving action, but now we get to look back at the near misses that produce a whole new level of drama most are too busy killing and surviving to notice.
I’ve witnessed heavily-armed players that look right when another person, focused on survival, are turning a corner to the left. If only they looked a second earlier, they would’ve seen a boot sneak behind a wall, and the whole game would’ve changed. I’ve seen 16 people land in a remote city, and through an action sequence that seems like John Woo movie reimagined by Robert Altman, had every player impact the battle with their own singular story.
Looking back with the new replay system, you see the truly complex and yet utterly random battles play out. In speaking with Peter Kim, CEO, and co-founder of Minkonet, the company behind the tech, we see there’s even more room to grow.
As someone who has basically been playing PUBG nonstop since its release, I very much appreciate this replay system. Were you guys fans beforehand or was this just a perfect fit for the tech that you’ve been developing?
We’ve been PUBG fans from the very beginning basically. Our technology was probably about at least three, three-and-a-half years in the making actually. As far as our technology is concerned, when it first came out we got a bit of first dibs on PUBG, you know being in Korea and having them be in Korea. The more we heard about the game, the more we talked with the developers. We found that this would probably be one of the best I references for technology. It’s got a little element of a slow-paced, open world, it’s got some of the fast shooting elements of an FPS, so when you blend the two and then you add the randomness of the game you just have a perfect setting for our technology. So yeah, to answer your question it was the perfect fit.
Were you guys involved in any way in the early stages of the beta release, or has it only happened in the last few months as the exposure has exploded?