Just over thirty-three minutes into their grand E3 press conference, Microsoft proudly trotted out Bluehole’s Brendan Greene. The creative director of the battle royale game, Playerunknown’s Battleground was on-hand to show off a trailer ahead of the project’s Xbox One console exclusive launch. Despite Microsoft’s efforts to make a big deal of the number of console launch exclusives on display, the presentation was pretty underwhelming.
The announcement came on the heels of a quick pitch about the new Xbox streaming service, Mixer. Xbox Head, Phil Spencer explained that a new genre of games was emerging. Games “designed for both the player and the community.” This is where Playerunknown’s Battleground came into things.
“Of all the games in this genre, here is one that the world is having as much fun watching as they are playing,” Spencer declared before introducing Greene to the conference. Unfortunately, just having the game’s creative director on-hand wasn’t enough to really promote the project to new fans. Greene was a consummate professional, but didn’t reveal anything about his game beyond it’s bare mechanics. Noticeably absent was any mention of how Mixer’s community focus would factor into gameplay.
Putting Player Feedback Into The Mix
The development team has relied heavily on feedback from their community to make the game what it is today. But none of that comes through in the lackluster trailer. Instead it looked like a pretty generic shooter, that didn’t demonstrate the game’s battle royale aspects all that well. Playerunknown’s Battleground has over 3M PC players to date, but the presentation didn’t give new fans much to get excited about with the upcoming Xbox One launch. Hell, they didn’t even tease the players-as-zombies game mode they are planning, in response to fan demands.
Playerunknown’s Battleground will release on Xbox One later this year. It’s part of Xbox’s “Preview Program,” their version of early access. An update to accommodate Xbox One X enhancements will also ship with the game’s final version. Considering how few big titles Microsoft brought to the show, you’d have thought they would jump at the chance to capitalize more on snagging a title which has done so well on PC.