PUBG DEVELOPER ADMITS PROBLEMS WITH GAME AND VOWS TO FIX IT, AS FORTNITE POPULARITY CONTINUES TO GROW

The developers of Playerunknown’s Battlegrounds have “fallen short”, they have admitted.

The frank admission of the game’s problems comes as the battle royale genre comes to be dominated by rival game Fortnite. That game has quickly become the most popular in the world, while PUBG has been plagued by player complaints about performance and communication.

Now the team behind the game have recognised those problems and promised to fix them.

“Although we’ve made some meaningful improvements to PUBG, we’ve fallen short in other ways,” the team wrote in what it said was the first of many ‘developer letters’ from the team to fans. “Players have rightfully called us out for failing to address complaints about performance, and recently we haven’t done the best job of communicating about the changes we’re making to the game.”

Those changes will primarily revolve around cheating and performance issues, the team said.

It will also change the way those fixes are sent out to players. At the moment, updates arrive with each major version of the game – but from now, fixes and upgrades will be passed to users as soon as they are ready.

The performance changes being promised are vast, but they mostly involve simplifying and speeding up the way the game processes changes. For instance, at the moment when vehicles are driving around they cause a huge amount of alterations to the game’s world, all of which have to be processed by the computers of players, which then slow down.

It will also continue to make changes to keep ridding the game of cheats – a problem so prevalent that it has led to arrests and legal cases. It said that it had banned hundreds of thousands of accounts for cheating and that new changes meant that cheaters were usually banned within hours of starting.

While sharing the new fixes, developers also detailed new updates and features coming to the game. Chief among them is the introduction of the east-Asian themed Sanhok map – which they said will arrive on PC at the end of June.

Most of the new changes detailed by PUBG developers are meant for the PC. Updates have been slower to arrive on other platforms such as the Xbox, which just received a new desert map called Miramar that had been on the PC for some time.

This week in video games, June 11, 2018: PUBG publisher sues Fortnite maker for copyright violation

Five games were given Apple design awards last week, including one made in Toronto. Plus, the forthcoming Atari console will be joined by an Intellivision console, proving that retro is in. But first, the publisher of PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds has filed a suit against Epic Games, the publisher of Fortnite.

Meanwhile, the annual Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3) is going on this week, so look for all the highlights in next week’s roundup.

PUBG suing Epic Games for copyright violation

The publisher of PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds (PUBG) is suing the publisher of Fortnite in South Korea.

PUBG alleges that Epic Games is infringing on copyright by using PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds to promote Fortnite Battle Royale. The PUBG game was developed using Unreal Engine 4, which is licensed from Epic.

Both games have become popular because of the “battle royale” multiplayer mode, which has up to 100 players fighting it out until only one is left. The game space becomes treacherous as it shrinks over time, killing any player outside the zone and forcing encounters between the remaining players.

The genre takes its name from the Japanese film Battle Royale, released in 2000.

PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds was first released in a beta version in March of 2017 and was in full release last December.

Fortnite was first released as a sandbox survival game in the fall, but Epic developed Fortnite Battle Royale and released it separately as a free-to-play title in September.

Alto’s Odyssey nabs Apple Design Award

Endless runner Alto’s Odyssey, developed by Toronto indie studio Snowman, is one of ten iOS apps that were recognized with Apple design awards at last week’s Worldwide Developers Conference.

The game, a sequel to 2015’s Alto’s Adventure, has players controlling the movements of a sandboarder through dreamlike environments.

In a release, Snowman cofounder Ryan Cash said: “We’re absolutely floored receiving an Apple Design Award for Alto’s Odyssey. It’s an extreme honour to receive this global recognition among a talented group of incredible developers.”

Five of the 10 apps getting awards were games. The others were FlorenceFrostInside, and Oddmar.

Atari, Intellivision game consoles are making a comeback

You’re forgiven if it feels a bit like 1980, with all the talk of Atari and Intellivision consoles.

Really, it’s just companies seeing an opportunity to capitalize on some nostalgia. Just look at what Nintendo has done with the NES and SNES systems.

The Atari VCS, pictured above, is now an Indiegogo project, with a collector’s edition priced at US$299 and the standard Onyx edition set at $199. It will play more than 100 classic Atari games, new games, and will stream media.

Meanwhile, musician and composer Tommy Tallarico, who created the Video Games Live touring show, has been named the president of Intellivision Entertainment, which has been formed to develop and sell the game console. The original system was the first 16-bit game console. The company says details of the new hardware will be revealed in October.

PUBG vs Fortnite: Battle of the best

PUBG made immensely popular the battle royale genre, where 100 players fight in a game of survival. — AZMAN GHANI/The Star

PUBG took the gaming world by storm and following closely is Fortnite, ready to claim the throne of the best battle royale game.

IF you are not familiar with the terms “chicken dinner” or “battle royale”, and ­cannot picture how they relate to one ­another, perhaps it is time to learn about PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds (PUBG).

Released in March last year, PUBG ­(pronounced Pub G) is an online multiplayer game developed and published by PUBG Corp, a subsidiary of Bluehole Studio Inc.

The game has sold over 40 million copies on PC (RM74.99 on Steam though it’s rumoured to go free soon) and Xbox One ­console, and is available for free on Android and iOS devices.

PUBG made immensely popular the battle royale genre, where 100 players fight in a game of survival, and the last player or team left standing wins the match and will be greeted with “winner, winner, chicken ­dinner”. Players can enter the battle solo, in pairs or a team of four, and the aim is, of course, to get the “chicken dinner”.

Mohd Ezzat Aiman Marzuki, who played Overwatch professionally with Malaysian team Fire Dragoon, now focuses on PUBG and is part of pro-team Minum Kopi Jap. — ART CHEN/The Star

Mohd Ezzat has clocked over 1,000 hours on PUBG. — ART CHEN/The Star

“It is a run and shoot game similar to Call Of Duty,” says Mohd Ezzat Aiman Marzuki, 22, who has already clocked over 1,000 hours since he started playing it last year.

Ezzat, who played Overwatch professionally with Malaysian team Fire Dragoon, now focuses on PUBG and is part of pro-team Minum Kopi Jap. The team recently competed at the PUBG Singapore Community tournament, and has qualified for the finals which will be held in Singapore sometime this year.

“PUBG has that interesting, random aspect where anyone can be a champion. You need a lot of planning and improvisation if you want to make it till the end,” says Ezzat.

New kid on the block

Hot on the heels of PUBG is Fortnite, a ­sandbox survival game published by Epic Games in July last year. It pitted players and friends against ­zombies, but it was Fortnite Battle Royale, the second ­standalone title introduced in September, that caught the attention of the gaming world. And this is where it gets interesting.

Fortnite Battle Royale is similar to PUBG, so much so that PUBG Corp is suing Epic Games for copyright infringement.

The videogame is free-to-play on PlayStation 4, Xbox One, PC and iOS, and Android and Nintendo Switch versions are in the pipeline.

Games and market research company SuperData Research states that Fortnite Battle Royale chalked up US$296mil (RM1.1bil) in total revenue in April 2018.

It is quickly surpassing PUBG, which SuperData claims generated over US$700mil (RM2.7bil) last year.

Interview Fortnite player. ...-- 4 June 2018 M.Azhar Arif

Lay has been playing Fortnite since last December, religiously clocking in three to four hours daily. — M. AZHAR ARIF/The Star

Lay Jian Shen, 19, has been playing Fortnite since last December, religiously clocking in three to four hours daily. “I did try PUBG but I prefer Fortnite’s gameplay. There is just ­something about building your own ‘covers’ that makes it more interesting,” he says.

Unlike PUBG, in Fortnite players have the ability to build walls, stairs, rooftops and other structures to aid them in battle. Most players take great pains to build their fort though a few have made it through a game without building anything at all.

The gameplay

Players get “dropped” onto the map. Those who play PUBG can choose either the island Erangel or desert Miramar map, while Fortnite players can only pick one for now.

The madness then begins. Players will have to search for weapons and even vehicles to stay alive long enough to kill their enemies.

 

It is Fortnite’s colourful and bright environment that attracts Low Hor Yan, 23, who has been into games since she was five. — LOW HOR YAN

Azlan makes about RM5,000 from sponsored posts. — MOHD SAHAR MISNI/The Star

“It’s like you’re in a real war zone. You have to look for things that you can use to keep yourself alive, while at the same time, find ways to beat your opponents,” says full-time gamer Azlan Shah Anuar, 29. “The realism is what differentiates PUBG from Fortnite, and that’s the selling factor for me.”

The environment appears to be relatively realistic in PUBG, especially compared to the cartoonish Fortnite.

However, it is Fortnite’s colourful and bright environment that attracts Low Hor Yan, 23, who has been into games since she was five.

“I play Dota 2 and also PUBG, but right now I am very much addicted to Fortnite,” says Low who plays the game daily for at least six hours every night.

It is Fortnite’s colourful and bright environment that attracts Low Hor Yan, 23, who has been into games since she was five. — LOW HOR YAN

Low prefers Fortnite’s colourful and bright environments. — LOW HOR YAN

“It is fast paced and attracts a younger audience, I feel,” she says, adding that the no-blood feature in the game is a plus ­factor for her.

Blood is visible when a character gets hurt in PUBG, although players have the option to turn it green.

PUBG and Fortnite games last between 20 to 40 minutes, and players are required to stay within a “circle” that not only moves but gets smaller over time. This pushes players to leave their hiding spots and face their opponents.

The last player or team within the circle at the end of the game is the winner.

Console, PC or mobile?

Instead of playing on PCs, Vincent Yang, 26, and his friends prefer to play PUBG on their smartphones.

“It is just easier to play PUBG on the phone because then you can do it any where and any time,” says Yang. He often plays in a squad with three other friends.

However, the game drains the battery fast and a power bank is a necessary investment.

 

Vincent Yang often plays PUBG Mobile as a squad with his friends, and they even meet up on weekends to spend hours on the game. — AZMAN GHANI/The Star

Yang often plays PUBG Mobile as a squad with his friends, and they even meet up on weekends to spend hours on the game. — AZMAN GHANI/The Star

The mobile version is similar to the game on PC and console, though there are slight differences in terms of visuals and controls.

PUBG Mobile is compatible with devices on Android 5.1.1 or later with a minimum of 2GB RAM, as well as devices running iOS 9 or later. It also supports voice chat among players.

Fortnite players, however, need iOS 11 but unlike PUBG it supports cross-play so players on different platforms can battle each other.

As the graphics in PUBG is more ­demanding than Fortnite, Azlan advises that the PC should have a good graphics card like the GeForce GTX 1050 Ti, 16GB RAM and a quad-core processor for optimum play.

Paid to play

PUBG and Fortnite are currently two of the most livestreamed games on platforms like Twitch, Facebook and YouTube. Taking this opportunity to monetise her passion for the game is Aubrey Yong, 25, who is known as “Thatbreydude” to her viewers.

Slowly building her fan base, which she says is made up of viewers from Europe, North America and India, Yong has been streaming PUBG and Fortnite full-time since late last year. She streams three times a week, for about four hours or so each time.

Aubrey Yong has been streaming PUBG and Fortnite full-time since late last year. —GLENN GUAN/The Star

Yong says it’s vital to engage viewers when streaming. — GLENN GUAN/The Star

“You need to engage with your viewers, and have a thick skin. There will be people who comment on everything, from the way you play to the way you look. It’s important to not let their words get to you,” she says.

Yong adds that she makes about US$800 (RM3,180) a month in “donation/tips” from her viewers.

“There is a page where viewers can send money my way, and it will be credited to my PayPal account. I do not ask for it, but they send the money anyway,” she shares.

Azlan streams as Alan Lembu and makes about RM5,000 from sponsored posts.

“The payment is not always in cash though. Sometimes they give me their ­products, and I would be asked to display their logo on my page for a period of time,” says Azlan.

His friend Mohamed Farhan Johari, 29, quit his job as a flight attendant to become a full-time gamer/streamer.

Mohamed Farhan Johari, 29, quit his job as a flight attendant to become a full-time gamer/streamer. — MOHD SAHAR MISNI/The Star

Mohamed Farhan quit his job to become a full-time gamer. — MOHD SAHAR MISNI/The Star

He goes by the name “Era Of The Geeks” on Twitch and Facebook, and sometimes livestreams up to 10 hours a day, making about RM3,500 a month.

“It is not necessary to have a nine to five regular job nowadays. I have always been into gaming, and I figured that there is a market for entertaining livestreamers.

“The best part is you don’t have to be good at playing the game, but it sure does pay well if you are,” says Farhan.

The battle begins

Esports Malaysia secretary general Rinie Ramli says that all games are recognised as e-sports as long as they promote healthy competition. He says PUBG and Fortnite Battle Royale are big in Malaysia and many cybercafes have been upgrading their PCs to meet the rising demand.

According to Malaysian e-sports ­com- munity E-Sukan founder Firdaus Hashim, PUBG is currently the more ­popular of the two games in Malaysia. This he says is ­evident in the number of high profile PUBG tournaments held locally with the support of PUBG Corp compared to those organised for Fortnite.

“We have more PUBG pro-teams competing for Malaysian qualifiers and are hoping to represent the country at international tournaments,” says Firdaus.

One such event is the PUBG SEA Championship Malaysia-Singapore Grand Finals held in Petaling Jaya last weekend, where the winning team would compete at the ASEAN leg. The winner would go on to represent South-East Asia at the PUBG Global Invitational 2018 in July in Berlin, Germany that offers a US$2mil (RM7.9mil) prize pool.

However, Firdaus shares that the local Fortnite scene could change after Epic Games announced last month that it plans to allocate US$100mil (RM397mil) in prize pool money for Fortnite competitions ­starting this year.

“Hopefully, that will encourage more ­people to take up Fortnite and compete ­professionally,” says Firdaus.

Know Your Way through the Maps of PUBG for Ultimate Experience

In a game like PUBG, a map is very important. Of course, player unknown battlegrounds esp gives you an advantage over other players. However, you still need to know your way around maps. Not just the opposition, you will gain an upper hand over your teammates as well.

Importance of maps in PUBG

When you know where to go to get the best loot possible, you can lock and load as fast as possible. That way, you don’t have to waste much time before engaging in combat. If you ask the best players of this game, you will know that they know a map through and through. It is very much a requirement if you wish to be a dominant player of PUBG.

Currently, this game offers two main maps to play on, namely Miramar and Erangel. Both these maps differ in terms of spawn locations, combat zones and vehicle regions. Knowing where vehicles spawn allows you to loot effectively. You can avoid all red zones and stay alive as long as possible.

The game is all about staying alive as long as possible. However, you need to kill as well. Using pubg hacks like player unknown battlegrounds esp also help in avoiding death as well as killing opponents. It helps you to track other players, equipment, vehicle and weapons. No matter which map you are playing on, these hacks can be extremely useful.

Erangel

There are different areas on this map that are quite popular. You can locate the spawn locations by using various interactive map features. Three of the major locations in this map are:

  • Sosnovka Island: The island isn’t that unique in itself. However, the military base in the island is something you should be targeting. When you reach there, you can find some great weapons.
  • Georgopol: It is amongst the most popular spots in the game. The reason is that it offers some of the best loots that can be found anywhere.
  • Underground Bunker: Home to some of the finest guns and equipment, this location offers a lot to the players. You can squirm through the different tunnels in the underground bunker. The player unknown battleground esp wallhack option becomes particularly viable for this location.

Miramar

The second map is Miramar; in which you will be in a prison before actually dropping. Splitting the map into different areas is hard, although some of the major locations include:

  • Pecado: Located Northwest of Los Leones, Pecado is a region packed with superb loot and interesting places. The region’s boxing portion has level three gears available in abundance.
  • Campo Militar: This military base is situated exactly in the Northwest corner of the map. You can find all the gear you would need for the map at this location.
  • San Martin: This region of the map offers some great loot, while also providing excellent scope for cover. Swivelling through the area allows players to find water tanks or shelves containing loot. It certainly is a drop spot that can be your favourite.