Just a couple of days after guaranteeing that his popular online shooter would be officially released within six months of its Early Access preview, PlayerUnknown's Battlegrounds creator Brendan Greene is backing off of that promise.
Brendan Greene (to RockPaperShotgun):
People tell us we're not going to be out of early access in six months; challenge accepted. I can guarantee you, six or seven months and we're out of early access. It's the team. It's a matter of honour, you know? We will finish this game in six months.
In an update posted to Steam tonight, Greene explained that "I've come to realize that restricting the window to a specific month could hinder us from delivering a fully featured game and/or lead to disappointment within the community if the launch deadline is not met." As a result, he now says that "we are going push the full launch back a bit from the initial six-month timeframe, but want to assure you that we are still planning a full release before the end of Q4 2017."
So whether you enjoy playing the game or simply watching it on streaming, you can set your expectations for a full launch appropriately. Many gamers have been frustrated by long beta periods for similar games like H1Z1 and DayZ, but the developer is clearly trying to break the cycle with this one, which includes a console launch on Xbox One.
When I spoke to producer Chang Han Kim at E3, he mentioned three categories that the team would focus on prior to launch: Stability, extra content like new actions, zombies and maps, and giving creators access to more tools. So far, the game's strategy of appealing to streamers and their audiences has been a good one, now it's just a matter of continuing to add polish before release.