PUBG Creator Talks About His New Projects

“PlayerUnknown,” otherwise known as Brendan Greene, is the designer behind the wildly popular battle-royale game, PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds. Known shorthand as PUBG, this is the title that influenced Fortnite: Battle Royale and the 1 vs. 100 genre as a whole. However, Greene recently stepped away from PUBG to work on his own “special projects”. Now, in a GDC interview with Gamesindustry.biz, the designer talks about his new projects while also reflecting on the past.

Contrary to what one might believe after the companies’ many lawsuits, Greene is happy about the “growth of the battle royale genre.” The creator believes in his competition, excited that the genre he thought was a “simple idea” actually has some room to innovate. “I’m still waiting for a For Honor battle royale,” Greene jokes. Yet, even with all of this competition, the PUBG creator is confident in his team and the future of the game. If his title is doing so well, why did Greene decide to move on? Well, it’s a simple case of trusting his team with PUBG’s future:

“It wasn’t that I wanted to move onto something different, it was that the team we have… you know, I’m super happy with them. They have the reins of battle royale, they know what PUBG and our battle royale is, they understand what we want from the game and what we want to do to it moving forwards, so I saw it as a good chance for me to announce Special Projects.”

Special Projects is housed in Europe and has one mission: to “make something you want to play.” Greene wants to replicate the mindset he held during the creation of PUBG. There were no genre expectations, simply a chance to make something he’s proud of. Special Projects is a space for that and more. “I have lots of other ideas in my head for games I would like to play,” says Greene. However, most of these ideas are still in the early development process. Before heavy development starts, the designer is working on “team building.”

Connecting People In New Ways

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Regardless, Greene wants to make a multiplayer title. It is his area of expertise, after all. His goal is to “explore online experiences and how to connect people in ways that we haven’t really done before,” while taking advantage of new technology. One could guess this means virtual reality or something streaming related. However, we can be sure this new game won’t be a battle-royale:

“The last man standing concept is great, but I’ve done that. I don’t really intend to make PUBG 2. I’ve done battle royale, it’s time to try something else. There are ideas about how we connect to people and how we provide the different experiences I have.”

In fact, Special Projects’ first release may not involve killing at all. “I’ve done the killing thing,” says Greene. He continues, “I think I’ve provided others with a good way of killing each other. But I want to explore some other things.” These “other things” will likely be on the simpler side. Greene references Minecraft as a good template since the base concept is uncomplicated, but it lends itself to endless complexity. “Feature creep” is the term he uses, where games are stuffed with more mechanics than they need. “Bigger is not necessarily better.”

Fortunately for Greene and team, there’s no deadline or pressure to release something fast. Thanks to the success of PUBG, there’s room to experiment and create something truly great. “Right now it’s just about having time to explore,” says the creator. “There is no deadline here, this is us with a few years to play. I want to have some fun but also see if we can do some good.”

Of course, while he isn’t directly contributing anymore, the “father of the battle royale” will still pay attention to the genre. “I want to see battle royale esports,” says Greene. “I don’t care who does it — I’d love it to be us, I think it will be us — but that’s my dream,” he continues.

Greene still serves as consulting creative director on PUBG.

[Featured Image: Getty/Ismael Quintanilla]