As you might expect, hacking in PUBG is a hot topic in the community, but Brendan ‘PlayerUnknown’ Greene says the number of hackers in the game is actually “very low.”
Speaking with us at the PUBG Global Invitational, Greene says “internally I see the numbers and the situation is not as bad as you may think. The amount of hackers in the game is very low. You might have bad luck experiencing hackers on a daily level, but the level is quite low. We’re rolling out new systems and client tech that should lock that number down even further. We want to provide a clean space for everyone to play in, especially if it’s to succeed as an esport.”
Both the casual and professional scenes have complained of their encounters with hackers, and with videos surfacing of popular streamer Shroud flying into the distance with a hacker he’d encountered not just once, but three times, PUBG Corp is under a lot of pressure to crack down on the shadier side of the community.
Some of the playerbase has blamed the hacking problem on the lack of region locks, but that’s unlikely to change soon. Greene is notoriously against the idea, not only because of the availability of VPN technology, but also because he doesn’t want to prevent friends from different regions playing with one another.
The fight to become the best battle royale is heating up, and although PUBG has suffered falling playing counts, Greene isn’t the slightest bit worried.
“I think we stand pretty well against our competitors,” Greene says, as a Fortnite-shaped elephant enters the room. “I loved the rise of battle royale as a genre. I never thought it would be a genre when I first created it five years ago, so it blows my mind that Battlefield and Call of Duty – both games I played many years ago – are creating a battle royale mode. I just hope that everyone entering the market tries to put their own spin on it.”
And, while the rest of the gaming industry considers whether or not to incorporate the mode into their game, Greene’s team are busy ironing out the issues in PUBG which have divided the community. Alongside hacking, PUBG has struggled with instability, with reports of crashes and bugs filling the game’s Steam forum and subreddit. We’re now on the 18th patch since the game was fully released last year, and Greene says they’ve seen a “marked reduction in crashing.”
Of course, that’s not the only thing plaguing the battleground. Dodgy car physics, lovingly dubbed the space race by the director himself, is a bug that the dev team can’t seem to shake.
“It is very, very hard to fix,” Greene says. “We have some very smart people working on this. Although I can’t promise a conclusion to the space race just yet, we’ll see some improvement in the future. Unfortunately, if we do that though, we won’t see any more bugged videos on YouTube!”