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PlayerUnknown's Battlegrounds - From H1Z1 Mod to Stand-Alone Game

William Murphy Posted:
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BlueHole has partnered with PlayerUnknown to take the H1Z1 player mod, Battle Royale, to make it into a stand alone game. Now called PlayerUnknown's Battlegrounds, the game will expand on the idea in new ways. We chatted with PlayerUnknown to learn more about the partnership with BlueHole and what it means to Battlegrounds.

MMORPG: What was the inspiration in making BATTLEGROUNDS? Why this sort of game when there seem to be new ones all the time?

PLAYERUNKNOWN: It has always been my plan to create a standalone version of my mod. While having my game-mode included in H1Z1 really helped create a new genre of games, it was still, at the end of the day, their game.

And yes, while there seem to be many other titles in production that are implementing a Battle Royale-type system, none of them is  what I had first envisioned a standalone version would be, hence why I am making BATTLEGROUNDS.

MMORPG: How will BATTLEGROUNDS be different from the others like King of the Kill, ARK: Survival of the Fittest, etc.?

PLAYERUNKNOWN: At its core, our game will follow the system I created in Arma 3 Battle Royale. We intend to have a larger weapon selection, an attachment system, and other elements familiar to Arma Battle Royale players. We are also working on leaderboards with an ELO-based ranking system, in-game replays of all rounds and other features that will help provide a great framework for competitive play.

MMORPG: How does strategy play into the game, not just killing ability?

PLAYERUNKNOWN: We will have an in-depth loot system, which will allow players to level up their character throughout the game. This includes varying levels of armor, head protection, and as I mentioned previously, an attachment system that will allow players to greatly improve the weapon they are using.

MMORPG: What steps are you taking to ward off cheating?

PLAYERUNKNOWN: The team at Bluehole has a lot of experience dealing with cheaters in previous projects and while I know it is hard to stop 100% of cheats in-game, I feel we have a good plan of attack in this regard. From experience, I find it is best not to reveal much about these measures so you will probably not hear much about our protection system, but we have one in place.

MMORPG: Let's say you win, what kind of rewards or player progression will there be besides bragging rights?

PLAYERUNKNOWN: We are still discussing how this will work, so I don’t want to say anything at this stage as nothing is concrete right now.

PlayerUnknown's Battlegrounds - From H1Z1 mod to standalone game

MMORPG: There's 64 players per match. Do you see more being possible?

PLAYERUNKNOWN: This is related to the question of strategy in my opinion. Having a larger number of players will increase the luck factor at the start of a round. While our game may have less of an intense start compared with other games in the genre, I feel to create a truly strategic game we must limit the player numbers to begin with.

MMORPG: How about maps? Are there many, variations?

PLAYERUNKNOWN: We currently have a single 8km-by-8km map for players to compete on. We are creating a realistic world — maps like this can take 6-9 month to complete, so it is just not possible for us to have more than one for launch.

MMORPG: When can players expect to see a beta?

PLAYERUNKNOWN: We are hoping to enter beta testing towards the end of this year.


William Murphy

Bill is the former Managing Editor of MMORPG.com, RTSGuru.com, and lover of all things gaming. He's been playing and writing about MMOs and geekery since 2002, and you can harass him and his views on Twitter @thebillmurphy.