Update, March 26: PUBG Corp are set to test region locks in PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds.
It seems PUBG Corp are considering region locks for their battle royale after all, according to a new developer update. In an effort to provide a “stable network experience for our players,” the developers of PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds are following their ping-based matchmaking update with a much-requested region lock.
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“One of the solutions we are considering is operating servers so that only those players who reside in that region can connect and play. These servers will be made invisible to players residing in other regions. But, at the same time, if a player in an exclusive server region forms a team with a player from another region, they can connect to and play on any of the servers available to either of them.
“Through this new approach we are aiming to provide a better gameplay experience as it will improve network issues and help with linguistic barriers. We are going to run a limited test of this approach as more detailed research and analysis should come before global application.”
The exact timetable for the change is not yet clear, but it seems the developers are serious about trying out region locks - even if they don’t refer to them in quite so many words. Players have been asking for segregated regions for ages, though PlayerUnknown himself has been quite critical of the idea, saying as recently as last week that it “just doesn't work.”
This update also sees the addition of another new cosmetic crate, this time featuring unique weapon skins.
Original story, March 22: Brendan Greene has responded to player requests to region lock Chinese players in PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds. In an interview with USGamer, Greene said that the ‘solution’ simply isn’t possible.
Greene said that “everyone that [suggests] region locking [is forgetting about] VPN,” and that as a result, the practice “just doesn’t work.” He also said that the ping-based matchmaking recently implemented by the development team “really has improved the gameplay experience for a lot of players.”
Pretty much any announcement made by Bluehole or PUBG Corp on Steam is responded to with the term “Region Lock China,” after players demanded solutions to the prevalence of cheaters in the game. Anti-cheat service BattlEye claim that the “vast majority” of the accounts they ban come from the country.
Both Greene and PUBG Corp’s CEO Chang Han Kim deny rumours that the company is considering region-locking China. Greene says that improvements are still in the works, and that the goal is to keep improving the game “over this year and the next year and the next ten years.”