PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds was recently released on Xbox One, and it still reigns as the most popular game on Steam, having sold a whopping 30-million copies. However, a lot of people are saying PUBG sucks; it’s has had its run of fame and fortune. In fact, player numbers are dropping rapidly due to the extensive cheating problem caused by the game’s Chinese players.
Ironically enough, PUBG’s massive sales and success are mainly due to its popularity in Asia, and in China in particular. Naturally, there are cheaters in every server in every corner of the world, and it follows that if a large number of players stem from a certain region, so will a proportionate amount of cheaters. However, China’s issue is a little special in that cheating software has somehow made its way into the region’s gaming community at large, blowing the cheating problem they pose completely out of proportion.
PUBG hit 30m in sales this week, but it is churning hard. Bluehole still not taking cheaters seriously enough imo pic.twitter.com/Iqjz8BPzVE
— Yuji Nakamura (@ynakamura56) February 14, 2018
While some believed the console release of the hit battle royale would cause players to slip back from the PC version, that doesn’t seem to be the situation.
Korean publisher Bluehole can’t simply region lock China as it’s the most heavily populated country in the world (and gaming community), and roughly 60% of PUBG players will be affected as a consequence — and of course, not all of them are cheating in the first place.
However, memes, discussions, forum boards, and yes, even the Chinese government, are trying their best to root out the problem, and last month, over a million cheaters were banned, with 120 people being arrested in China.
The problem with cheaters is that they stunt the growth and variety of the game. New players will be reluctant to continue when confronted with cheaters, such as unkillable opponents or other confusing hacks. While the game still sells like hotcakes, the new players themselves are disappointed and cornered, which could put an end to PUBG‘s short-lived popularity at this rate.
A possible solution would be to have two separate regions for the game, or, as Bluehole has promised, to enforce ping limits to prevent cross-region matchmaking. This can ensure that other players won’t have to mingle with the Chinese gang-ups and that they can enjoy the game to the fullest. Until Bluehole takes the cheating situation seriously, they won’t be able to keep up with their players’ waning satisfaction with the game, and PUBG will wither away.
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