It is not yet time to give up on Playerunknown’s Battlegrounds, but the upcoming release of Call of Duty Black Ops 4 – with its much-anticipated battle royale mode entitled, Blackout– has already shown that it might be jockeying for position within the genre to rival that of PUBG and possibly even Fortnite.
According to a chart from Steam analytics tracking site, SteamDB, yesterday marked the first time in just over a year that Playerunknown’s Battlegrounds failed to hit one million concurrent players. This is hardly a coincidence, as yesterday also happened to be the date when the Black Ops 4: Blackout beta became available to play for PlayStation 4 owners who pro-ordered the game.
On September 8th, Playerunknown’s Battlegrounds became the first game on Steam to maintain a concurrent player count of at least one million players every day for an entire year; only two days prior to missing yesterday’s mark. PUBG’s numbers have steadily declined since it peaked at roughly 3.2 million concurrent players in January, but the embattled title has managed to maintain its million-player population despite the hiccups it experienced in 2018.
PUBG Corp and Bluehole Studio are certainly trying to right the ship and get the game back to the pull it once had. The team has developed a training map to be released sometime this month, as well as a new snow map planned for release at some point. Yet, while the “Fix PUBG” campaign continues on in an effort to get back on the good graces of players, it continues to lose out to its current rival, Fortnite. Adding a new battle royale game to the mix will likely only hinder PUBG’s chances of regaining a solid hold on the market share of the genre.
Granted, it is too early to tell whether Black Ops 4’s Blackout mode will stick, but with a franchise as popular as Call of Duty, there is fair reason to believe that the game and its new mode will do just fine. At this point, Playerunknown’s Battlegrounds should maintain its focus on its existing audience while it continues to improve the game. Keeping the current fanbase and community happy may ultimately be the game’s saving grace..