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‘PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds’ delayed until the end of the year

In a year marked by the release of some enormous and long-anticipated games such as The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the WildHorizon Zero Dawn, and Mass Effect: Andromeda, one of the most persistently popular titles came seemingly out of nowhere: PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds. This modern military shooter structured as a massive Battle Royale entered Steam Early Access in March and has remained one of the most popular titles on the platform since. Fans eager for the full release at the end of the summer will have to be patient for a bit longer, however, as a recent Steam community post from the lead developer announced that the full release has been pushed back to the fourth quarter of 2017.

“Over the past few months I have done a lot of interviews,”(such as ours from E3) PlayerUnknown explained, “and in many of them, I said we hoped to be out of Early Access six months after we first launched. I’ve come to realize that restricting the window to a specific month could hinder us from delivering a fully featured game and/or lead to disappointment within the community if the launch deadline is not met.”

Given that it’s already one of the most popular games on Steam in terms of sales and concurrent players in its current, Early Access state, we don’t anticipate this delay putting much of a dent in its momentum.

Accordingly, PlayerUnknown opted to push the game back several months to the more general goal of the last quarter of 2017. Not committing to a specific month ensures that the developers will not feel undue pressure to hit a particular date, so they can instead focus on polishing the game up to a level with which they are happy. Players can continue to expect the same level of support and steady improvement that the game has thus far received, however: “We will continue to push weekly and monthly updates until full launch as we want to ensure that the game we release is the best version possible.”

Since PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds launch, this has included features like new weapons and gear, jumping and vaulting, and a zombie horde mode. PlayerUnknown has spoken to numerous outlets about plans to expand Battlegrounds beyond just Battle Royale, serving as a platform for other gameplay modes and mods, just as Arma 2 gave the developer a starting point, eventually leading to this game’s creation.

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Will Fulton
Former Digital Trends Contributor
Will Fulton is a New York-based writer and theater-maker. In 2011 he co-founded mythic theater company AntiMatter Collective…
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