When you’re rushing, you make mistakes. That’s true of looting buildings, chasing the play zone, or the rate of PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds updates.
One of the key elements of Early Access is the notion of frequent updates. Whether thats bug fixes or patching, tweaks or balance modifications, or new content entirely, there’s a reason a game is unleashed on the public before it’s finished: so it can get better.
And the other key thing is communication. It’s important that the players, who have given you money for something that is unfinished – and at times, downright broken – know what you’re up to, and why. Just ask Raph van Lierop and the Hinterland Games team about their experiences with The Long Dark, arguably one of Early Access’ biggest successes.
Brendan Greene – the titular PlayerUnknown – and the Bluehole team have been handling the frequent communications rather well, and the updates have been very regular; with a small update every week, and a larger one every month or so.
But the last big PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds update – adding first-person only servers, car horns, and patching a nasty client bug – caused a swathe of instability, leaving fans struggling to get connected and battling against lag (as much as they were 90-something other players) for the best part of two days.
So it’s no surprise, then, that Bluehole have today announced – via a post on the game’s Steam Community page – that the frenetic patch rate will be slowing to allow further time for QA.
Today we are changing our patch and update schedule to improve how we work on the game, as well as set realistic expectations for players. Until the official release of the game, we will not have our scheduled weekly or monthly patches rolling out as often as before. We’ve found internally that being rushed to finish certain features, and having shorter QA test time between pushing updates caused more issues than it solved in regards to maintaining a high standard of quality. We want to put our best content out, and ensure that everything we do is making the game more enjoyable with every update.
So far, as expected. That level of patching was probably unsustainable without introducing further issues, particularly with massive PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds updates like the vaulting system coming soon.
Although we may not release a weekly patch, we will utilize the test servers for significantly longer periods of time and deploy patches and hotfixes when necessary. This way, when we have a new feature that we’d like to roll-out it will be more thoroughly polished thanks to extensive community feedback. This will result in our live build being more exciting for everyone and drastically reduce the amount of unforeseen issues. We want to thoroughly and truthfully emphasize that this will have absolutely no bearing on how much content we deliver, or how much we work on the development of the game. We will still inform our community with public patch notes outlining changes we’ve made with each update.
Don’t worry, though: they close by saying that PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds is still on track for the full release on its updated timeline, which by last reckoning is still Q4 2017.
We have a favour to ask
Thumbsticks has a couple of main aims. We want to write interesting articles and cover games that most outlets won't, and we want to give opportunities to new writers and new voices. And right now, with the current state of online publishing? It's tough! We hate to ask, but if you want us to continue writing what others won't, or to keep covering weird indie games, or to be able to give opportunities to new writers – and only if you can afford it – then please consider supporting us on Patreon.
Recommended for you
Latest from Thumbsticks
New Xbox releases: September 27-October 1, 2021
The upcoming lineup of Xbox Series X|S and Xbox One releases features a battle between two footballing giants.
Everything featured in the September 2021 Nintendo Direct
The September 2021 Nintendo Direct was a bit of a mixed bag, really. Here are the high- and low-lights from...
The Nintendo Switch eShop Blockbuster Sale is now live
Nintendo Switch owners can save up to 75% on some excellent games (including some rare first-party discounts) in the new...
Planet Zoo announces North America Animal Pack DLC
We're trying to avoid making jokes about Planet Zoo's beaver. (You have no idea how hard it is right now.)
Ashley Tisdale discusses The Dark Pictures Anthology: House of Ashes
In a new interview, actor Ashley Tisdale speaks about the experience of making The Dark Pictures Anthology: House of Ashes.
Save on great games in the PlayStation Store Big in Japan sale
The latest PlayStation Store sale discounts some excellent PS4 and PS5 games from Japanese developers and publishers.
Surprise! Nintendo announces September 2021 Nintendo Direct
There's a September 2021 Nintendo Direct presentation happening very soon. Nothing like a bit of notice, eh, Nintendo?
Arkane is back with another high-concept shooter. Is Deathloop the studio's next masterpiece, or are we playing the same game...