PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds exploded into a worldwide phenomenon in 2017, with millions of players queuing up to murder strangers in all-out battle royale matches. The game has sold more than 30 million copies, but all is not well for the multiplayer shooter.
Bloomberg reporter Yuji Nakamura revealed that though PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds managed to cross the monumental sales milestone, player counts have begun to drop. They peaked at a little over 3 million daily players in January and have now fallen to just over 2.5 million.
The proliferation of cheaters is partly to blame for this, but updates made to the game recently haven’t gone over as well as the developers and publisher Bluehole had hoped. The game’s second map, Miramar, launched on PC earlier this year and has been criticized for its empty areas. Some players disliked it to the point of deleting it from their game files. This results in the game automatically kicking you from any match in which Miramar is the map.
The Xbox One version of PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds recently passed 4 million players. The game hasn’t been updated with the same content as the PC version, and Miramar is still awaiting release on the console. A “Battle Points” reward was made available to anyone who purchased the game and made a character before February, giving them access to free loot crates containing extra gear they can wear at the beginning of a match.
In China, iOS and Android players can currently play the test versions of two games based on Battlegrounds called PUBG: Exhilarating Battlefield and PUBG: Army Attack. The former offers a similar experience to the PC and console versions, while the latter is an arcade-style game with snappier gunplay. Both look quite impressive running on an iPhone X, with framerates that rival their bigger siblings and a high level of visual detail. Publisher Tencent currently has no plans to release the games outside of China, but it has done so with other such games in the past.