PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds developer PUBG Corp. has delayed several major upcoming features, including the launch of the game’s new map, as the company focuses on rampant cheating. In a post today on the Battlegrounds Steam page, the developer said that anti-cheat efforts have also set back communication with fans about plans for 2018 and beyond.
“Early this year, development of some of the major features and systems was delayed as our focus shifted towards tightening our anti-cheat effort,” PUBG Corp. said. “Also, due to other reasons, we have not been able to show you the team’s development roadmap for 2018.”
Cheating has been on the rise in Battlegrounds since the back half of 2017, as the game gained a large international audience through partnerships in mainland China. BattleEye, a third-party client which handles some of the anti-cheat work for PUBG Corp., claimed that it had banned more than 2.5 million players through the end of January. If the rate of increase in bans remains the same, the total number could easily exceed four million players in total by the end of February. That’s more than 13 percent of the game’s current player base on PC.
PUBG Corp. hopes to reveal details next month about its 2018 roadmap, both in terms of Battlegrounds’ ongoing development and the game’s third map.
The new map was announced last year, and is expected to feature a landscape pulled from the area around the Adriatic Sea. So far, little is known about it, other than a new team of designers hired on in Madison, Wisconsin is working on it. That team includes terrain artist Shawn Wiederhoeft, who has worked in the past on Call of Duty: Ghosts and We Happy Few. That team also worked on Battlegrounds’ most recent expansion, a map called Miramar, which is post-apocalyptic and arid.
The Steam post, which also serves as the latest set of patch notes, also indicated that players would now be segregated by the speed and quality of their internet connection.
“Users with lower pings will be prioritized during matchmaking,” PUBG Corp. said, meaning that players with the fastest internet connections will be allowed to join new games faster.
Other changes include the following:
- Some fences on Miramar were replaced with unbreakable versions “in order to optimize the client.”
- Players will no longer be able to enter first-person or otherwise see inside the plane during the initial drop “to improve the early game client and server performance.” To compensate, players will have a counter in the lower left corner of the screen indicating how many players are left on the plane.
- Reporting players who have cheated through the replay system will not include a one minute-long file centered on the map location where the report was made. Redundant reports of the same player will no longer be accepted.
The update includes various bug fixes as well.