Some Battle Royale-style games have already been announced for PlayStation 4 and Xbox One, but it may be the late entry, PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds, that makes the leap to consoles first. Developer Bluehole, Inc confirmed in an interview Thursday that work on a console port has already begun with the Xbox Game Preview program the likely starting target.
“We have a team working already on looking to port it to at least the Xbox [One],” PlayerUnknown’s Battleground Creative Director Brendan Greene told Business Insider.“We’re looking at both consoles of course, but we have no time frame for both.”
For those unfamiliar, PlayerUnknown’s Battleground is a last man standing (aka Battle Royale) shooter set on an 8×8 km map. Up to 100 players are dropped onto the deserted island, where they fight to stay alive by scrounging for weapons, gear, and supplies. It’s quickly become a hit on Steam via an Early Access release that has already seen more than 2 million copies sold in little more than a month, as reported by IGN.
Part of the reason is because of Greene (aka PlayerUnknown) himself. He created the DayZ: Battle Royale mod and then helped with the development of H1Z1: King of the Kill. He then joined South Korean developer, Bluehole, Inc, to create an all-new Battle Royale experience using Unreal Engine 4. Greene’s experience and reputation combined with Bluehole, and the game engine has allowed Battlegrounds to explode onto the PC gaming scene.
Additionally, it is the use of Unreal Engine 4 that will likely have Battlegrounds ready to make the leap to the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One.
“Ports to consoles isn’t that hard,” Greene said, before adding that Unreal Engine 4 is “a great engine to use for multiplatform.”
“We have a great producer and he can manage a lot of stuff,” Greene said. “We have the resources to focus on getting the PC version done, but also look at how quickly we can bring it to other platforms.”
Greene and the team at Bluehole planned for Battlegrounds to be on Steam Early Access for only six months. This puts an official release sometime in the month of September barring any delays.
The Xbox One will likely be the first console PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds makes an appearance on thanks to Microsoft’s Xbox Game Preview program. This has allowed titles like ARK: Survival Evolved, Elite: Dangerous, and others to hit the console by a Steam Early Access-like method. Bugs and other issues are to be expected, but it has still proven to be incredibly popular.
Sony notably does not have a similar program available for the PlayStation 4. However, it did allow ARK: Survival Evolved to be released to the console last December, and it does not look like Studio Wildcard will have the game out of Early Access around September this year. The requirement appears to be the game must be functional and include Trophies for it to be eligible for release on the PS4.
Interestingly, PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds is far from the first Battle Royale game to be announced for the PS4 and Xbox One. H1Z1 was the first prior to Daybreak Games splitting the game into the open-world survival game, Just Survive, and the last man standing game, King of the Kill.
Additionally, Studio Wildcard attempted to spin-off the ARK: Survival Evolved mod Survival of the Fittest last year with a PS4 release planned release. This proved to be difficult for the small developer to do, and it ultimately put the Battle Royale game on hiatus while it focused on completing Survival Evolved.
Ultimately, it may be Bluehole’s focus on just the Battle Royale vision for PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds that allows it to beat already established competition to consoles first.
[Featured Image by Bluehole, Inc.]