When Brendan Greene was at his 37, divorced and only earning $300(Rs 20900) per month, no one could have expected that he would become the creator of one of the most popular battle royale games in the world, PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds. The game was recorded to earn roughly $1 billion in revenue last year and one of the best games in the world.

How Greene got into video games

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Greene - the creator of PUBG

In 2013, Greene was staying in Brazil with his wife, but things didn't work out, and they divorced. He was photographing weddings and designing web to save every penny he can get to fly back his home in Ireland.

In order to achieve the goal, he has to cut off the spending on socializing and eating out which left him only one option to entertain himself, videos game.

He told CNBC Make It that he was sticking to his computer all day, working and playing video games.

He tried out every game from Atari 2007 to Delta Force: Black Hawk Down on PS2 but was never a tryhard. Then he found the world of mods for games. Mods are different versions of the game made by players using the code of the game. Lots of developers advocate users to do this; they even build the tool for it so average players can also present their ideas to the public. Some of the mods have become one of the most popular games in the world like DOTA 2, CS:GO.

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Greene used to stay in his room all day to work and play videos game.

Greene worked as a part-time designer, so he had enough basic understanding of coding to start creating his own mods. His inspiration came from the "survivor"-style mods created by the gaming community in the past and the science fiction Japanese manga "Battle Royale," in which a class of high school students was given tools, lethal weapons and forced to kill each other until there is only one left.

His first mod was named after the movie which gives the public the impression that he was the creator of the genre. He describes this genre as "a last-man-standing death-match," where multiple players are put in a large battleground, finding weapons and fighting others to be the last person.

DayZ: Battle Royale

The patient and dedication set his path to success

In 2014, Greene finally got enough money to head back to Ireland, but then he can't find any job near his hometown, Kildare. He had no other option but to move in to live with his parents and depend on social welfare. He was given 180 euros (Rs 14000) per week, which he used to buy computer servers to host his mods.

His parent was extremely nervous for his future as he was barely making any money out of his free mods, and he was spending all of his time on this hobby.

Although the result wasn't very positive as only a fraction of the community consist of hardcore players interested in his game, he believed he would be able to make his own game one day.

Dayz Battle Royale How It Might Look
The mod didn't attract a lot of attention back in the day.

But his determination paid off when a game developer at Sony Online Entertainment (also known as Daybreak Game Company) saw someone was playing his mods on Twitch (a live streaming video platform).

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Sony Online Entertainment /Daybreak Game Company.

Late 2014, after Greene had been living off government for six months, the Sony developer contacted him and asked him to work for them as a consultant for the H1Z1 game so they can use his concept of battle royale.

Greene describes the opportunity as "very lucky break" to work with Sony/Daybreak. While he denies disclosing how much the company paid him, he says“I was looked after by Daybreak.”

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H1Z1 Battle Royale Game.

Greene remembers when he was talking to the welfare officer and persuade him to "bear with me." Then right after he got the offer from Sony, he immediately told the officer to sign it off, and the officer was pleased.

PUBG becomes a huge blow

PUBG first map - Erangel

In 2016, a  South Korean game company called Bluehole ( Krafton Game Union) suggested working with him to make his own battle royale game which is PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds as we know now.

The game was first released for Windows through Steam's early access beta in March 2017; it was buggy, poorly optimized and a huge success. PUBG took the first place of DOTA 2 held for years on Steamcharts in August 2017.

PUBG took the 1st place on Steamchart

The game constant increase in popularity surprised Greene and the company. PUBG even hit 3 million co-current players at a time, triple the numbers the company estimated and they have to do some modification to the servers so it can host more players.

Greene is now the Director of Special Projects at PUBG Corporation, and PUBG reached $920 million and sold 50 million copies in 2018. For Greene, all this success felt "crazy," especially for a person who has spent a few years living off government support. He is now living in Amsterdam and rides his bike to work every day. As he was traveling to promote his game, he had a chance to go around the world to meet fans, go to conventions, events and enjoy wonderful experiences.

Although he is the creator of a billion-dollar game, his lifestyle doesn't change much despite what everybody was guessing. He is still working a 9 to 5 job and lives "a regular life." He wasn't overwhelmed by fame and money; the success is only served as a warranty for his family and his daughter's well being to him.

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Brendan's daughter.

Since the release, PUBG has popularized its genre and inspire the creation of many other games like Fornite and Apex Legend. Fornite even surpassed PUBG in term of sales and revenue with about $3 billion of revenue in 2018.

Greene can't believe how the game mode he was working on years ago can become a whole genre of games that will be a part of the gaming history.