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PUBG maker apologizes for months of problems, partly blames DDoS attacks

‘Experimental DDoS solutions’ made connectivity and performance worse

A PUBG player stands on a hilltop aiming a scoped rifle downward with the sun in the background Image: PUBG Corp.
Owen S. Good is a longtime veteran of video games writing, well known for his coverage of sports and racing games.

The makers of PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds apologized today for a monthslong spate of performance and connectivity problems on the PC version of the game, in part blaming severe denial-of-service attacks in November and this month for some of the issues.

“We know the last few months have had some ongoing issues impacting gameplay and [we] wanted to take a moment to address everything,” PUBG Corp. said. “We know the below issues have been extremely frustrating to deal with and we’re sorry they’ve persisted for so long.”

PUBG Corp. acknowledged that the game’s recent poor frame rate, crashing, and stuttering or freezing issues are not related to any DDoS attack, however. The studio said developers are trying to identify and resolve the causes of the performance loss, but are having difficulty reproducing them, especially as many problems are hardware-specific.

Developers repeated an appeal for anyone experiencing crashes, frame rate loss, or other performance decreases to contact PUBG Corp.’s support team and share as much information as possible, especially their current hardware specifications “and any other information you believe is relevant.

“This is a top priority for us right now, and we thank those of you who are affected for your patience,” PUBG Corp. wrote.

Social media, PUBG’s subreddit, and official forums have been beset by numerous posts and complaints of a degraded or even ruined game for the past few months.

Regarding the DDoS attacks, the developers say PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds’ servers “have been increasingly targeted for these attacks. Last November, the intensity of the attacks increased to a level we hadn’t experienced before, which increased again in February.”

PUBG Corp. did not identify any known or suspected culprits. Unfortunately for players, efforts to increase the game’s DDoS protections have also hampered connectivity and network performance. “While testing various DDoS defense solutions from external infrastructure providers, server locations were often located far away from standard locations, which resulted in increased ping and other network issues for some players,” developers said.

The “experimental DDoS defense solutions” have also caused packet loss for many players, PUBG Corp. said. “We know that we could have been much more open in communicating these reasons with you, but [we] did not want to contaminate tests and results by letting the attackers know we were doing this testing,” the studio said.

The company said it has been gathering information about the attacks with the intent of taking legal action against their perpetrators. Meantime, an internal solution “has reduced the impact of DDoS attacks by nearly 85 percent,” though the attacks “will remain an ongoing issue.”

Cheating, another topic of general concern to the community, was mentioned in PUBG Corp.’s note but only in broad terms. “Combating cheaters is one of our highest priorities and we’re utilizing multiple internal teams and external resources to find new solutions for this problem,” developers wrote. They will have more about anti-cheating efforts in a 2020 roadmap post promised for early March.

“We understand there are many other high-priority issues impacting gameplay,” PUBG Corp. said. “Rest assured, we’ll continue to work on the unresolved issues and will do our best to be more open with details on these subjects moving forward.”

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