PUBG Dev Letter Admits It's 'Fallen Short' With The Battle Royale Game

Image: PUBG Corporation

I think we're all surprised at how quickly Fortnite has overtaken PUBG in the affections of battle royale fans. Part of this comes from the quality and polish of Epic's offering, but in other ways, PUBG only has itself to blame. In a new post on the game's community hub, the developer admits it has "fallen short" of player expectations, as well as "fail[ed] to address complaints".

The rather hefty post from the studio's Mephie Kim mentions that while the company has "made some meaningful improvements", including anti-cheat measures and weapon balance, there's still room to do better:

Players have rightfully called us out for failing to address complaints about performance, and recently we haven’t done the best job of communicating about the changes we’re making to the game. Today we want to change that by talking in-depth about the things we’re prioritizing. We’ll also tease some of upcoming content we plan to add to the game.

Kim goes on to say that performance and optimisations are "top priorities" right now, mainly to reduce the demand the game places on GPUs, boost loading speeds and minimise stuttering and frame drops.

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In terms of stuff to do, Sanhok is the game's "biggest content drop in the near future". Exclusive content in the form of vehicles and a weapon are planned, which will include a "big fan request": the three-wheeled "Tukshai".

Image: PUBG Corporation

A few other bits and pieces are covered, such as world-building tweaks to aid verisimilitude, but the details of performance improvements take up the bulk of the post.

Dev Letter: Recent Feedback and Our Development Priorities [Steam]


    I think we're all surprised at how quickly Fortnite has overtaken PUBG in the affections of battle royale fans.

    I think all PC players might be surprised, but for the rest of the world, a game that is on one small platform with a high barrier of entry vs. a game that is one every platform known to man isn't so much a surprise as it is an inevitability.

    Like you said, it helps that Fortnite is the better game, but I think as people who might frequent game websites like this, it's easy for us to make the mistake of assuming that PUBG was a bigger deal than it ever was.

      You're right, they just founded the genre, after all. PUBG was never exploited commercially in the same way that Fortnite was, and that is why it collapsed the way it did. Fortnite made the big money in a way PUBG never did, and was able to reinvest it in further development, even if it came at the detriment of the other games they were developing at the time. Also the fact that PUBG was PC-exclusive made it a fertile ground for hacking and cheating, whereas the cross-platform nature of Fortnite meant that hacking was a less noticeable occurrence for a substantial portion of the in-game population, which led to extensive migration to the platform that had a less-spoiled reputation, even if as a PC-player you were equally likely to encounter the issues.

      All that aside, Fortnite is clearly the better game at present too, which has helped it as well.


      PC master race baby :P

        Founded? no way the done that at all. It was just the right time to release the game because everyone was sick of constantly playing repetitive games like black ops with no innovations.
        We are talking about Bluehole who thinks they made the genre and own it, yet these games have been around for awhile and even then there were movies one from 2000 called battle royale, then Hunger games was created and everyone said other movies stole the ideas etc etc it is a never ending circle.

        Bluehole have fallen through with everything they have somewhat promised. The game has run like crap since release but for that one time to disabled cosmetics from spawning in then it run a lot smoother. They don't listen to the player base for anything and as you can see they just wanted to push loot boxes until the game dies. As the push for E-Sports, this game is to poorly done to even have a proper chance at contenting with other E-Sports games. Bad management and focusing on the wrong problems in development is what lead PUBG down a bad road so people switched games.

        Fortnite is free and is able to be played on most devices so they expanded super fast with its player base. Battle Royale games are not complicated games compared to others which means development time is generally less for them.

        That statistic also includes “social” games on PC - ie what PUBG isn’t. My girlfriend will play Candy Crush on her laptop (for some reason) but has never played any of the “pc gaming master race” games. It’s difficult to quantify gamers.

          My Girlfriend is the opposite. She got me onto PUBG Mobile. We both play a few games before bed.

          Now I just need her to get on to Fortnite to play together.

        Echoing what @Soldant said, 39% of "gamers" are playing social games (ie. the Candy Crushes of the world). Further down the actual report used in the article you shared ( We can see on page 14 that computer gaming made 0.17 Billion in 2014, compared to the 5.3 Billion consoles made. That's a huge gulf, and shockingly, completely dwarfed by the 15.4 Billion dollar haul from "Other delivery formats", which includes things like mobile and social media games.

        Furthermore, casual games made up a massive 24.8% of total games sold on PC, which is the second highest after Strategy, at 37.7%. Casual games on console on the other hand only made up 1.3%

        It's important to note these things because if you take too broad of a view, you could say the teenage fan of One Direction is the same as the 35 year old Megadeth fan. They are both music fans, but they couldn't be more different in almost every other metric.

        To be clear, none of this is said with malice. This isn't a "console is better than pc" thing. This is just the facts. PC is a small market that's broken up even more by a huge casual audience. PUBG could never compete with Fortnite even if it was as good, purely because it's pitching to a much smaller audience.

        PUBG collapsed because they did nothing with a good thing and let it rot while cheaters took over. There was a point where you were pretty much guaranteed to see a cheater in every oceanic game you played.

        Meanwhile in Fortnite I have never encountered suspicious play.

        I've played both for hundreds of hours each.

      Only PC players with their head under a rock would be surprised that Fortnite took the genre and ran with it.

      Epic are killing it right now, the PUBG devs have dropped the ball repeatedly.

      Have to laugh at all the comments this topic always dredges us.

      Fortnite is free to play. I have it on PS4, Xbox and PC. Because it's free.

      People are bonkers if they think PUBG is going anywhere. It's still the top selling game on Steam. It has been for such a long time now. And it costs real money.

      Let's revisit this topic in a year. Until then, I'll play both (even if I tend to prefer PUBG).

        It may be free but its surpassed PUBG in terms of monthly revenue generated.

          Boasting about the money these games make is not the point. Especially a free-to-play game which uses gross, manipulative monetisation practices.

          Want this item? It's cool isn't it? Only available for another 8 hours, then you might not see it for months. Better buy it quick. Only costs 1200 V-bucks. What's that? You want V-bucks? Sure thing, Smallest amount we sell is 1000. Cheaper if you buy 2500 though...

          PUBG isn't perfect here either. But Fortnite has a bigger audience (because it's free) and is clearly more focused on MTX than PUBG.

            Its all very interesting, this in game spending.
            Ive noticed there doesn't appear to be much of a ruckus about the purchasable items in fortnite, and my best guess is thats because the game is free but also the items have zero impact on gameplay.

            I personally, find it a pretty fair setup.
            They gotta make money to be able to support and improve the game. I'd say most be people would be far more willing to spend a relatively small amount of money, say $10-50, on in game purchases if the base game was free.
            I haven't bought a thing on fortnite, but im not bothered how spectacular i look shotgunning a blokes face off!

            It certainly makes a bucket load more sense than an expensive AAA type game that you pay $100 for and then are asked to throw another $20-100, and sometimes more, for more of the game and not just cosmetic items.

              Yeah... That's Fortnites saving grace. It's (proper) free to play. I still think the way they price things is dodgy... but they certainly aren't the worst out there.

              Especially when comparing it to something like BF V which thinks it can charge full price and still rake in all those sweet MTX dollars.

                Very true!

                I did check out the skins on fortnite cause my kids were hammering on about them and i was a little surprised at the prices of some things! ????

    Kotaku, I don't mean to be rude. But is your editor on holiday? Every article I've read for the last week or longer has had spelling and grammar mistakes.


        Not as an excuse or anything, but our sub-editor Amanda caught glandular fever recently and I've been sick for the last five days as well. It's been a rough week!

          But this issue has been going on longer than a week.

          Sucks to hear both yourself and Amanda have been down for the count, hope you both get better soon.

            We will strive to do better - and we'll always fix anything that's called out.

              If it's any consolation, you're doing a lot better than lifehacker when it comes to editing.

    Fortnite is free, available on nearly all platforms and is clearly targeted at children - of course its going to become more popular.

    That doesn't make it a better game however.

    Am I missing something? The comments are saying PUBG failed because it’s on PC whereas Fortnite is on PC, console and mobile. PUBG is on Xbox One (but not PS4 yet) and mobile. It’s free on the latter platform, too, like Fortnite. I’ve been playing PUBG on the iPad for two months and it’s been a lot of fun.

      When people cite the difference between platforms as a cause for popularity, it's more about who got there first. PUBG only made it to consoles after Fortnite had well and truly claimed and dominated the territory. And it still has the cost barrier.

      Social capital matters for this kind of phenomenon, and getting there first to make yourself the default (see: Steam, Facebook, Twitter, Gmail) secures that for you. You have to be bloody good to chip away at established user bases (see: anything Blizzard does), and PUBG... isn't.

        Moving PUBG to console still puzzles me.

        They had a massive fan base on PC, which they effectively stopped servicing because they released on Xbox. Had they just concentrated on making the PC offering all it could be they'd have have been better off.

        And yes, I'm sure Microsoft rolling up to their door with a huge truck full of money influenced the decision.

    BLUEHOLE have probably left it to late, there is so much to fix that by the time they do other br titles will be out and likely with more polish than their turd...they completely miss manged the whole thing from the beginning and had ample time to correct things so no simpathy here.

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