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Your first look at Playerunknown’s Battlegrounds’ new desert map

No word yet on a release date

Charlie Hall is Polygon’s tabletop editor. In 10-plus years as a journalist & photographer, he has covered simulation, strategy, and spacefaring games, as well as public policy.

We’ve known that Playerunknown’s Battlegrounds has been planning new maps for a few months now. Previously we’d only seen them as conceptual sketches, but the game’s creator took to Twitter yesterday to share screenshots for the first time.

When we spoke with Brendan “Playeruknown” Greene at E3 a few weeks ago he told us all about the new office BlueHole had opened in Madison, Wisconsin. That team is being built around terrain artist Shawn Wiederhoeft.

“He used to work on Call of Duty: Ghosts and We Happy Few as an environmental artist,” Greene said. “He did the military base [on Battlegrounds’ original map]. So we wanted to get more artists to get up and working [on the new maps] and working in South Korea can be a challenge for some of them. So we’re setting up an office in Madison, Wisconsin so we can employ artists from Montreal and places like that and get them to move down.”

The desert map will be much smaller than Battlegrounds’ original, Eastern European setting. It will be only four square kilometers and represents a mixed, urban environment in Peru. An early sketch was shared with Game Informer in May and shows a grid of city streets in the south and east with a section of ruined favelas to the north and west.

An early sketch of the desert-themed map coming soon to Playerunknown’s Battlegrounds

A this map is also in the works, this one set in the Adriatic with what Greene tells us are “Mediterranean coasts on the bottom with sort of a northern, forested edge and in the center a ruined cosmodrome.”

No word yet on when the new maps will be rolled out.

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