Since PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds' official release eighteen months ago, competitors such as Fortnite and Apex Legends has been steadily stealing the spotlight – and even surpassed PUBG in popularity. However, those are far from enough to kill PUBG – it has quietly persisted, with developers releasing new contents like patches and rebalances to cater to players’ needs. At last, all those efforts finally showed, as a lot of popular streamers are reported to be back – and along with them, their audience. Looks like the spotlight is on PUBG once more.

The long campaign to fix PUBG's launch issues has ended

Besides the fact that PUBG is the pioneer of the Battle Royale genre, its main draw was the slow and steady pace. As other Battle Royale games devolved into faster and more action-based gameplay, PUBG’s core gameplay remains the same as time passed, with every decision have to be made tactically. That’s why PUBG struggled in the past: without some “flair” elements that make the game stand separated, PUBG is too similar to a military simulator. Even copycats like Ring of Elysium have to add some weird options like snowboards and ziplines to success.

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Bike to Bike action in Sanhok

However, by now, the tables have turned. The fact that PUBG added nothing fantastical and remains true to the core designs has become its major strength. Fortnite clones are released by the dozens, each with some kind of similar hero shooter-y gimmicks. Due to that, the majority of them crash and burn – the player base fed up with Fortnite clones come back to PUBG realism. With various patches and fixes released over the years, players that come back to PUBG was greeted with a smooth, fast, responsive game – the opposite to their previous experiences in the early days of PUBG.

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Various cosmetics that could be found

Let’s going into the specifics – after launch, PUBG has immediately tried to shake things up with a spray of new contents such as new maps and game modes. However, the results were really inconsistent. Fast-paced action maps such as the Southeast Asian island of Sanhok was really popular with all players, with larger maps like Miramar desert suffer. Some players even tried to delete the map from the game files to prevent matchmaking to kick in. Additional features like battle pass and cosmetics keep PUBG on the spotlight for a while, but in turn create more problems themselves. However, all the controversy and confusion have calmed down after 2018 ended – PUBG has changed course to a new direction.

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The sand map of Miramar is not as popular

The most striking change to date was the total reinvent of the game’s original map, the Forest of Erangel. After all this time, the original map remains the most popular, with Miramar and Sanhok being second and third. Due to its outdated designs that predate later movement modifiers like vaulting and ledging, it is high time for the developers to adapt the map to PUBG’s current direction. More outposts are added, along with ridgeline camps and more detailed villages. Furthermore, the texture of various locations has been updated to a higher quality version.

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Destroying enemies' vehicle

The continuous changes in the game also apply to the most glaring weakness of PUBG, its performance. Despite the charms of its earlier versions’ bugged animations and clunky movements, they are something that must be fixed. The developer’s long term project to fix PUBG, so far, has been a huge success. The game’s performance has been improved greatly – with less framerate stuttering and higher stability in longer sessions.

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Adventure in Vikendi, the snow world

You might underestimate those changes, but apparently, they are more than enough for the streamers to come back to PUBG. Superstars like Shroud or jackfrags have come back to PUBG, with more contents getting posted from their YouTube accounts. With that publicity, more player might pick up PUBG again.

While PUBG’s story is not exactly a tragic fall, its redemption arc has been more than just “good”. PUBG might never gain enough power to challenge Fortnite or even the popularity it once has, but it definitely has a future.