‘PUBG’ Shows Glimpse of New Island Map on One-Year Anniversary

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Celebrating its one-year anniversary, “PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds” has offered a peek at its more compact 4x4km map, while commercial partners have announced a number of tie-in collaborations. One year of parachuting onto a deserted island, scrambling for weaponry and supplies, and then scheming, sneaking, and shooting in order become the last person standing out of 100 hopefuls.

In that year, “PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds” — itself an iteration on the popular Battle Royale format already popularized by its creative designer, Brendan Greene — spent 52 consecutive weeks on top of Steam’s chart of bestselling PC games, broke records for concurrent players, and remained its most-played game from August 2017 onwards.

An Xbox One edition followed in December, with a free iOS and Android version deployed to China in February — a response to an army of unofficial clones — and then, in English, around the world in March. Its original 8x8km island of Erangel was joined by a desert map, Miramar, in December, and a third arena is being lined up for the game’s PC test servers.

That more compact 4x4km arrangement is “coming soon to the new [PUBG] Experimental Test Servers,” Brendan Greene announced through his PlayerUnknown Twitter account, along with a six-second montage of the environment

The work-in-progress preview had been shown during Greene’s March 23 talk at the Game Developers Conference, charting his progression from a developer of community modifications to the creative director at South Korean “PUBG” studio Bluehole Inc.

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Speaking to the “PUBG” community as part of a One Year Anniversary Thank You Video (youtu.be/VGCjdrMPE9E), in which the new level was also glimpsed, Greene said his team was working on “getting the 4×4 map into your hands much earlier, so we can get your feedback and really improve the map early in development, so when we finally release it it’s the best it can be.”

Those sentiments are in line with an early March news announcement made through the official PlayBattlegrounds website, in which a “much more intense and fast-paced” experience was being targeted by the new map’s design staff.

At that point an April date was suggested for its Experimental Test Server debut. Also in time for the anniversary weekend were a number of new branding tie-ins for the game whose congratulatory phrase is “Winner winner, chicken dinner.”

Fast food chain KFC revealed a new chicken bucket live chat emote for video streaming service Twitch TV; users can access the emote by searching for the phrase WinnerWinner. Peripherals manufacturer SteelSeries was also involved in co-branding opportunities with a range of mousepads, monitors, headphones, backpacks and even chicken drumstick plushies unveiled.

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