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If you weren’t at GDC to catch the talk, here’s Brendan Greene’s sneak peek at the new PUBG 4×4 km map, and why it’s so important for the future of the game.

PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds has been losing ground on Fortnite Battle Royale recently. Some of the causes of which – like a kill cam, so you can see exactly how you pegged it, or the appeal of limited-time events – have already been fixed, or are being worked on.

The time investment in a round of PUBG, however, particularly in solo or duos, is something that’s harder to resolve. If you’re up for a fight and drop into Pochinki, or Military, or prison every round, you’ll get pretty used to two-minute turnarounds. Parachute, fight, die, restart. On the one in twenty games where you’re the last one standing, you’ll have all the gear to rule the map, but more often than not, it’ll be a short, sharp gameplay loop.

If you want to play to win, you drop remote. Not so remote that there’s no gear, but remote enough that you won’t be converging with six other slavering lunatics. Then you keep your head down, only engaging when you have to, and make your way in unspectacular fashion. You’ll get more top ten finishes than you don’t, if you play smart.

But if you play that way, you’ll usually have invested twenty minutes into a round before you run into someone else. It’s not exactly quick, and hurts, hard, if you lose.

Fortnite feels more immediate. Maybe it’s the less serious tone, or maybe it’s the fearlessness of younger players, or maybe it’s that building enormous phallic towers lets everybody know where everybody is like some sort of Oedipal foghorn, but it all seems to be over in a flurry. I think I bagged second place in under ten minutes once; no idea how that happened, to be honest with you.

To give players a shorter, sharper shock, there’s a new PUBG 4×4 km map in the works. There’s also a larger map, which is going to feature snowy terrain – we can’t wait for that one – but the smaller map looks like it’s coming sooner.

If Brendan Greene’s GDC talk is anything to go by, it might be very soon – possibly on the test servers as early as next month. He also gave us a sneak peek, and the PUBG 4×4 km map is shaping up rather nicely:


So, the PUBG 4×4 km map: expect more crowding, more early fighting, less reliance on vehicles, and much shorter games. And much, much less running.

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