By now, anyone who plays video games or reads up on entertainment has heard of the massively popular game PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds, or PUBG for short. It’s hard not to be aware of this amazing battle royale game. Since it released on Steam in Early Access in March, up until this time of August, it has generated 8 million sales, has become the most watched game on the Twitch streaming service (beating out League of Legends), and has been played for approximately 25,000 plus years, according to a source on Rolling Stone. Pretty impressive for a game that hasn’t even been out for 6 months, and isn’t even fully released.
This has helped the company Bluehole Studios to easily become a multi-million dollar juggernaut in the gaming industry. Within the coming months, at the rate PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds is going, the company will easily become a billion dollar company. That will hold true especially when the game releases on Xbox One, and hopefully Playstation 4. So how did such a game gain such massive popularity in such a short time? Here are a few ways it did just that:
They Fine-Tuned The Genre’s Existing Formula
PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds creator Brendan Greene had already contributed to another widely popular survival/battle royale game called H1Z1. The gameplay is similar, you start out with nothing, roam around the map to collect weapons and items while killing other players in order to become the last man standing. Though very fun in it’s own right, there’s frequently long drawn out matches where players will camp in one area (like inside a building), refraining from confronting others, and instead using defensive tactics in order to see who flinches first. By using a mechanic in PUBG that makes the play area of the map smaller, it forces players to get out of their comfort zone to fight other players. This means matches don’t take as long as H1Z1, and players can have fun facing off against others more frequently. A win-win for everybody.
They Frequently Expand The Game
Players these days love to play games that receive continuous support and updates to extend the life of the game. The good people at Bluehole have excelled in this department. Their updates have included fixes to numerous game breaking bugs and glitches, upgrades to their servers, new weapons and items, new skins, and new modes. They recently added first-person view focused servers for those who prefer that over third person, and they’re adding a new desert map for a little more variety. Needless to say, with so many people hooked, they will continue to support the game for years to come.
They Stay Engaged With Their Audience
You can have a quality product, but it won’t sell that well if you’re not engaging with your fans. Bluehole especially has managed to address player feedback and issues in a quick fashion. Many bugs and glitches have been patched, and they’re working non-stop to balance the game because they’re listening to their audience. It’s hard not to especially when the game is frequently streamed on Twitch, and with several YouTube videos of the game uploaded from popular influencers. On top of that, Bluehole is pretty active on their social media platforms, including Twitter, in which they thank fans for their support, announce upcoming updates, and respond to messages from players.
The massive success of PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds mainly falls upon the fact that it took the “Battle Royale” concept and expanded upon it, making it more accessible for veterans of the genre and newcomers. So the moral of the story is, it often takes creating a even better product than your last in order to finally see the success you desire. So first, make sure you provide a product that addresses a need of your audience, and then find out how to expand upon that line. Then once you acquire the success like PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds has had, make sure to provide continuous support and maintain engagement with your customers.