Microsoft’s push for cross-play between the Xbox One, PC, and other consoles has picked up another supporter in PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds. Bluehole executive producer Chang Han Kim expressed his desire to see that come to fruition after the game exits Early Access.
PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds (PUBG) is currently enjoying a huge run of success on Steam Early Access. The game has sold 4 million copies in just three months and is targeting a full release later this year. While an exact launch window has not been announced, that is when the game will also be released to the Early Access-like Xbox One Game Preview Program as announced at E3 2017.
The push for cross-play by Microsoft has set the stage for games like Minecraft and Rocket League to support the feature, and PUBG is lining up.
“Cross network play between the PC and the console is definitely something we want to do down the road, and we don’t anticipate we’ll have any technical issues with that,” the executive producer told VG247 when asked in an interview.
While there are no technical issues, there are other considerations to take into account with cross-play in a first-person shooter between PC and consoles. This will lead to PC and Xbox One gamers playing PUBG with each other later rather than sooner.
“When you consider the competitive side of the game, I do feel that there’s a balance issue between controllers and keyboard and mouse,” Kim explained. “That’s what’s making it difficult for us to do right away. If we’re going to allow players to use controllers we need to have the aim assist added in and things like that. We’re not going to be supporting it right away, but it’s something we’d like to look into later.”
Assuming Bluepoint gets the balancing issues taken care of, this is good news for Xbox One and PC owners of PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds. It will allow for a larger player base in matches, which is important considering they can feature up to 100 players.
PUBG will eventually come to the PlayStation 4. Kim confirmed they have “plans and thoughts about other platforms,” but it will likely be a while. The Xbox One’s Game Preview Program has turned into a useful method to get games like Battlegrounds, ARK: Survival Evolved, Elite Dangerous, and others on to the platform first.
The other question is cross-play on Sony’s console. The PS4 has a much larger console base, and Sony has demonstrated a willingness to support cross-play with the PC but not the Xbox One and Nintendo Switch.
Sony’s most recent comments regarding its refusal to support cross-play with other consoles comes from PlayStation Marketing Head Jim Ryan, who explained it is to protect children. However, Sony executives threw cold water on the idea previously. How the company’s stance will effect PUBG will be something to keep an eye on.
[Featured Image by Bluehole]