Photo Credit: Kienan Lafferty

Is PUBG in a Slow Death Spiral?

Ah yes, the age-old question (well technically, months-old question). PlayerUnknown’s Battleground is, without a doubt, one of the most successful multiplayer games right now. 2017 was definitely its year that made the term “Battle Royale” come into the existence of competitive gaming as well as becoming a sub-genre for video games. But ever since the emergence of Fortnite and the ever-growing anger of loyal fans against Bluehole’s unfixed bugs in the game as well as a dedicated banning system against hackers, especially in China, PUBG has really had some players migrate to its archrival battle royale game. With the constant popularity of Fortnite, is PUBG really dying at this point?

As of the moment, PUBG is still going strong, with over more than 1 million players every day, still being the most played game on Steam, right after DotA 2 and Counter-Strike: Global Offensive. Yet, these numbers are still incomparable to what it earned last year, especially in the months of July to September. It had over 3 million players worldwide on a daily basis, making it the most played game on Steam. It really did get a large chunk of loss ever since the existence of Fortnite—which, as of February 2018, the game has been having 3.4 million players everyday even to this month.

You have former PUBG players to thank for that loss. But now ever since PUBG has been overshadowed, a lot of gamers, especially the ones who really don’t like Battle Royale games will say that PUBG has finally seen its hour of death. Do not underestimate it, though. The game is still very popular on Steam and will not stop…for now.

Yes, PUBG also used to have the same numbers as that of Fortnite on Twitch—100,000++ viewers. But now, it has always been trailing behind League of Legends, which scales from 40,000 up to 200,000. The constant numbers you will find in PUBG these days are always ranging from 20,000 to 60,000. There are still a lot of known players in PUBG such as Dr Disrespect, Summit1G, Shroud and Grimmmz.

But it’s really obvious that a fraction of players is fed up with Bluehole’s shortcomings. The game, even up till now, is still buggy at times, Chinese players invading NA and EU servers, screaming and spamming “CHINA NUMBA WAN” every single time, presence of hackers in the game, with lots of reports of wallhacking, bunnyhopping, speedrunning and aimbots which have not been really dealt with.

Players have also claimed Bluehole as really not lending their ears when it comes to feedback and tech support. With these kinds of reactions, it is no surprise why people have migrated to PUBG’s biggest competitor, Fortnite.

Fortnite, on the other hand, is somehow the complete opposite of PUBG—everything from the pacing of the game to the dev team themselves. One of the biggest reasons for Fortnite’s success is due to the fact that they have made a similar game to PUBG but with none of the latter’s issues; the minimal presence of hackers, fast action and, most of all, it’s free to play. Anyone with access to the internet and has a high-enough gaming platform can play Fortnite, whether it’s on PC, console or mobile. Combine that with a cross-platform system, and you have more players turning their heads to your game.

PUBG has been releasing sweet new updates recently, but still none of the issues being addressed and answered by long-time complainers. Sure, you got weapon skins, faster game modes and a smaller map, but that still does not fix any of the old issues. You may sugarcoat a piece of turd, it’s still a turd in the end.

How many times have you heard people say “I prefer Fortnite than PUBG” even though they have more game hours in the latter? When was the last time you heard someone complain about a certain issue of PUBG? Heck, even Dr. DisRespect has shown uninterest in the game even though he is known for being good at the battle royale game, saying that “PUBG is already dying.”

So what about your standpoint? How about you who are reading this, do you think the game is actually dying, PUBG in particular? Or maybe it’s the battle royale genre as a whole? Even I keep on thinking about those questions.

Personally, I think battle royale is fun. Honestly, I prefer PUBG more than Fortnite for different reasons, though I do quite enjoy Fortnite too. I don’t know, maybe it’s the difference of their player demographics—Fortnite has a much younger audience, which kind of overwhelms me to the point where I get flashbacks of angry pre-teens in Call of Duty and Halo. Plus it also caters to Minecraft fans too due to the building mechanics.

But again, is PUBG dying? At the moment, no. It’s still up and running with a highly active community. However, it WILL die once the battle royale trend is going to ruin itself—maybe through oversaturation or if Bluehole will never deliver the fixes that are much needed in their game.