PlayerUnknown Wants ‘More Modding Support’ In Battlegrounds

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PlayerUnknown's Battlegrounds
PlayerUnknown's Battlegrounds Bluehole / PUBG Corporation

Now that fans know what to expect from PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds when the game exits Early Access next month, the lingering question is what support we’ll see after PUBG ’s PC release date. Nothing is set in stone yet. But Battlegrounds Creative Director Brendan Greene has some exciting ideas he’d like to explore once PUBG ’s launch build is in the community’s hands.

We recently had a chance to speak with Greene, who offered some insight on the custom match types being created and explored by some lucky PUBG players. He also mentioned a few other features he’d like to see in Battlegrounds after the desert map and dynamic vaulting system hit the game next month. We already know rocket launchers aren’t on the docket and we recently revealed Greene’s desire to add a cinematic camera mode. But PUBG Corp. has plenty of other ambitious ideas for future PUBG patches, too.

“We want to have [surface] penetration and proper ballistics, with air drag and stuff added in,” Greene said. "The kind of stuff that we’ll have to balance over the coming years to make it really, super competitive. Because apart from the esport end of things, which are ready when they’re ready -- we are certainly not esports ready now, as people keep saying. We’re just trying things out at the moment. Seeing what works. We have our Custom Game feature, which is kind of ‘modding light,’ and we’ll expand upon that and add new features to that to let people create their own game modes and their own content using our game as a platform.”

Custom Games are a big hit with content creators. Anyone given the power to spin-up custom games can alter everything from item spawn rates to the countdown timer or the rate at which the play zone shrinks. Some streamers use the feature to let their viewers hunt them, either as zombies or in standard matches, while others tweak the game for maximum laughs. But there’s no timetable for opening the feature up to all PUBG players. It’s not for lack of desire though. Greene says it’s a money problem.

“We want to give people the ability to experiment with their own imaginations and see what they can come up with as a game mode. See what they can come up with using our assets and our map as their platform,” he told Player.One. “We’d love to [give access] to everyone. But spinning up servers for everyone that plays is hugely expensive. So we have to look into how best to get this out to as many people as we can but still not lose money from it.”

“Hugely expensive” didn’t seem like an understatement at the time, but it’s laughably mild a few weeks later. More than 18 million people have joined the Battlegrounds community since the game debuted in March. And that includes the 3.3 million who bought copies in the three weeks since we spoke with the eponymous PlayerUnknown. That doesn’t mean Bluehole and PUBG Corp. aren’t still interested. It’s just going to take time, planning and a lot of man-hours.

“I would like more modding support, but it’s a lot of work for us,” Greene acknowledged. “There’s a huge refactoring of code that would need to go in to make it mod-friendly. I’m not saying that we’re not going to have mods for PUBG. But it’s down the line. Right now, we want to polish off what we have and we see an opportunity here to make a good esport out of this. And that takes work. And that means we can’t really split our time opening up the game for modding while trying to make an esport out of it. Because there’s server security issues and all kinds of stuff we have to think about.”

“Right now, we just want to polish PUBG as a competitive battle royale. And try to make that into the best version we can. And get everything we said into it,” Greene said. “We want to look at modding, of course. That’s where I came from and I’ve always said I want to find the next PlayerUnknown. But how we approach that is still something we have to think about a lot.”

PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds is available in Early Access. The launch build is expected to hit Steam in late December and a Xbox One port is currently slated for Dec. 12.

Be sure to check back with Player.One and follow Scott on Twitter for more PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds news in 2017 and as long as PUBG Corp. supports PUBG in the years ahead.

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