PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds (PUBG) has no doubt become one of the most popular online games in the world right now. However, have you ever asked yourself why the game has such a strange name? It sounds like they just make up a random title.

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PUBG has become a very popular battle royale game

Turns out, the game is named after its creator.

How it started

PlayerUnknown is the nickname of Brendan Greene. He started out as a modder, then later got into game developing, and he was the creator of PUBG. Of course, Greene is not a genius that can build a massively popular game all on his own, he had the help of Bluehole, a game studio based in Korea. However, the story behind the game’s creation is a pretty intriguing one.

It dates back all the way to 2013. Back then, the military game Arma 2 from Bohemia Interactive was a hit, and it had a very popular mod by the name of DayZ. This mod combines Arma 2 gameplay with zombie survival. Greene, then 37 years old, loved the realism of this mod, so he started making his own mod for DayZ. In order to do that, he actually learned to code. Greene’s mod drew inspiration from Battle Royale, a Japanese book by author Koushun Takami. In this book, instead of surviving against zombies, the characters have to fight each other to become the last one standing, just like The Hunger Games.

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Brendan Greene, the creator of PUBG

The mod attracted quite a lot of attention, and it went on to become the precursor of PUBG as we know it today.

Moving forward

Eventually, DayZ’s developer decided to turn it into a standalone game by its developer, and so Greene turned to making mods for Arma 3, and continued to polish the idea of his original DayZ mod. Around this time, he also put a lot of attention to developing the tactical aspects.

Thanks to Greene’s works, battle royale started to become a popular genre in the mainstream gaming community. Eventually, Sony recruited Greene to design a battle royale mode for their survival game H1Z1. This mode later became a standalone game by the name of H1Z1: King of the Kill.

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H1Z1: King of the Hill is another battle royale from Brendan "PlayerUnknown" Greene

In 2015, Greene’s contract with Sony ended, and he was approached by Bluehole, a South Korean game studio. Battle royale games were still not very popular in the country then, so Bluehole wanted to be the pioneer, and the company wanted Greene to build its new battle royale game. That game was PUBG. The development stage of the game began in 2016, and it was released in 2017.

PUBG is now one of the most popular battle royale games on the market, but in the early days of the genre, H1Z1 and DayZ were the big names. It is striking that Brendan Greene was involved in all of those games. We could say he is one of the inventors of battle royales.