It’s only going to be a matter of time before big-name companies start aping the open-world battle royale gameplay of PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds. After all, it’s had a total of over 4 million players since its release in March. That’s the kind of success that any software company would want to duplicate.
Ubisoft CEO Yves Guillemot, for one, is very interested in Battlegrounds‘ success. Guillemot doesn’t see Battlegrounds as competition to Ubisoft’s most relevant competitive shooter, Rainbow Six Siege, since they are different kinds of games. But he does think the Battlegrounds model presents some interesting opportunities for Ubisoft properties, according to a recent statement in an Ubisoft earnings call.
“Rainbow Six continues to grow, and the time spent on the game is increasing, so we didn’t see any competition from [Battlegrounds],” he said. “But we look at what those guys are doing, and it’s a type of gameplay that is very interesting and that maybe is something you’ll see in some of the DLCs we do on some of our games in the future.”
Nothing specific was mentioned, but Ubisoft has a full library of open-world properties that could easily implement Battlegrounds-like competitive multiplayer. One of the most obvious titles on that list, Ghost Recon Wildlands, was supposed to have a PvP multiplayer mode, but so far that mode hasn’t been added to the game. Still, Wildlands‘ version of Bolivia would make a perfect home for intense Battlegrounds-like shootouts.
Additionally, titles like Watch Dogs 2, The Division, and even the upcoming Far Cry 5 have the worlds to support battle royale multiplayer modes, though of course some gameplay mechanics would have to be adjusted a bit.
Still, it’s a fascinating idea that Ubisoft would attempt to compete with or replicate the success of the latest big thing in PC gaming not by releasing an entirely new game, but by taking some of the design ideas and incorporating them into a game they’ve already released. It’s smart, in some sense, because the turnaround time would be much faster, allowing them to avoid releasing a game designed to cash in on a fad well after the hype has died down, but it’s still unexpected to see this kind of lateral thinking from such a big publisher.
While we’re waiting for the YvesGuillemot’s Fightfloors expansion to hit Wildlands, you can play PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds on PC right now and on Xbox One in late 2017.