PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds – known to fans as PUBG – has seen another absolutely incredible week… everything just keeps getting better for PC Steam title this game ahead of its Xbox One release date.
In the same week PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds has already secured its place as one of the most successful games on PC thanks to some impressive sales figures, it also managed to break another Steam record.
This week, PUBG managed to break the all-time record for concurrent players on the PC platform.
The game’s highest concurrent player count – that’s the number of players around the world playing the game at the same time – managed to peak at 2,016,498 this week.
That’s good going: that’s over DOTA 2’s last record – the game’s nearest competitor – which only managed 1,291,328 concurrents earlier this year.
According to SteamDB’s unofficial figures, PUBG sales stand at about 15.6 million copies. So don’t expect that concurrent number record to stay that low for long.
That’s impressive – especially when you consider the game is still technically in its Early Access phase.
Whilst many fans are clamouring for a firm release date from Microsoft, the vast majority are just happy to know that the game is still on track to release this year.
Luckily, Microsoft has re-confirmed that the game is definitely due to come out on the console before the end of the year.
Microsoft’s Aaron Greenberg stated on Twitter:
“Amazing to see the success and momentum around @PUBATTLEGROUNDS we are working hard and excited to be publishing this game on @Xbox One this holiday!”
Many players are hoping that the game will release in time for the launch of the Xbox One X on November 7, but the wording of Greenberg’s tweet (‘holiday’) suggests we’ll be looking at a mid-to-late December launch.
Whilst obviously great news for Xbox One players, PC gamers might be more interested in some new details about the games soon to be released desert map.
PC Gamer magazine has been fortunate to get hands-on with the new map, not in a competitive sense, but just to explore and see everything the new map has to offer.
“What I find is a sprawling battle arena crowded with desert trees, cacti, and a surprising number of buildings,” writes Christopher Livingston, staff writer for the magazine.
“It’s immediately noticeable how much more variation there is to the terrain than in Erangel, PUBG’s current map.
“There are hills, rises, and ditches in the landscape, which should create lots of opportunities for cover from sniper fire, or alternatively, convenient places to stage an ambush.
“The varied terrain will make a difference not just for those running around in PUBG but also those driving, I’m told by art director Taeseok Jang, who I chat with over Skype during my visit.
“Vehicle handling will act and feel much differently depending on whether players are on smooth, paved surfaces or offroading on rough terrain.”
There’s still no telling when the map will launch, as PC Gamer notes that large portions are still very much “a work in progress”.
However, it’s clear from the magazine’s time with this new map that they’re happy with the direction it’s heading, telling readers, “What is available, however, feels like a natural fit for PUBG’s looting, shooting, and driving.”
You can see more exclusive screenshots and read more about the new map, the vaulting system, and interviews with creative director Brendan Greene, art director Taeseok Jang, CEO of PUBG Corp C.H. Kim, and others, in the new PC Gamer magazine (issue 311), on sale November 7
While the new map is still seemingly some way off, a physical Xbox release could be getting much closer, since PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds has this week been classified by the Australian rating board.
PUBG was given an MA15+ rating in by the Australian rating authority, which – according to VG247 – is the second strongest classification a game can receive from the board.
The classification page also suggests the game will release with a different name on the Microsoft console.
The rating page lists PUBG as “PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds: The Ultimate Life & Death Fight”.
It’s a long title and could make it even harder for players to pronounce the already awkwardly-contracted name.
Widely referred to as PUBG, and sometimes called ‘plunkbat’ colloquially, the game may end up as PUBGTULADF.
And that’s just unpleasant to hear and say, frankly.