Bluehole Studio plans to eliminate mouse and keyboard support in PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds on Xbox One. The change, which can be seen as an attempt to level the playing field, was announced by PUBG‘s community coordinator on Twitter (via IGN).
Replying to a frustrated console player, Dan “RoboDanjal” said, “Although usage of these devices is statistically very low, fair gameplay is core to our experience, and we will be communicating our plan to curb the use of these devices soon.”
The dev team reportedly looked into the use of third-party devices in PUBG for months before coming to a decision on the matter. It’s unclear when the change will go into effect, but RoboDanjal relayed the identical message on the PUBG forum back in February.
Upon PUBG‘s arrival on Xbox One in December, users quickly discovered that the game could be controlled on Xbox One with a third-party keyboard. Since aiming with a mouse is generally viewed as the most precise shooting method, this understandably puts controller players at a disadvantage. Not to mention it’s easier to manage your inventory in PUBG with a keyboard.
Although Microsoft has promised to bring official keyboard support to Xbox One for years, it hasn’t happened. Still, the Xbox One, which has inched closer to a Windows PC operating system over the years, can easily recognize a keyboard. And with a little ingenuity, it’s possible to play many games with a PC setup. This has, of course, created some balance issues in multiplayer games.
Xbox vice president Mike Ybarra addressed the issue in February. He said that instead of disabling keyboard support, Microsoft would leave the decision up to developers to implement APIs that detect and disable third-party keyboards.
PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds isn’t the only game to be hit with the keyboard controversy. Last year, Blizzard responded to complaints about keyboard players in Overwatch by taking an official stance against console players using them.
There’s still some debate about how much of an edge keyboard players actually have, though. When Microsoft added Gears of War 4 Xbox One/PC cross-play, there wasn’t a noticeable difference in game stats between keyboard and controller users.
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