One of the more under the radar stories in gaming is the surge in popularity of H1Z1: KOTK. The Battle Royale game has seen a stunning influx of new players over the past six months. Last August, it was averaging just over 8,000 concurrent players with daily peaks hitting 14,000 players or so. The last 30 days have seen 47,000 players at any given point on average with peak players approaching 100,000. And the game has become a staple on Twitch.

H1Z1 kotk player stats

Stats via SteamCharts.

A new game focused on the Battle Royale genre is almost here. And it’s from the man responsible for creating the genre back when DayZ was a popular Arma 2 mod. Brendan Greene, better known as PlayerUnknown, and developer Bluehole are about to launch PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds via early access.

Earlier this week, PC Gamer posted the official trailer.

Ok, Daybreak Games should be a little worried. I’ve poured hundreds of hours and countless long nights playing H1Z1 with my friends. But that trailer is showing off H1Z1’s biggest weakness. Lack of variety. Specifically, weapons. In H1Z1, you get a bow, a handful of pistols, an AR-15, an AK and a .308 sniper rifle. That’s it. No submachine guns. No light machine guns.

Plus, we see weapon attachments like ACOG scopes and silencers on sniper rifles.

The top YouTube comment is echoing what a lot of people are thinking after watching that trailer. “RIP H1Z1.” I won’t go that far just yet, but PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds is almost assuredly going to be a hit right out of the gate. I hope Bluehole’s servers are ready for the barrage of players coming March 23 when their game enters early access.

What to expect from PlayerUnknown’s Battleground

What you see is mostly what you get. This is Battle Royale. If you played the mod or H1Z1: King of the Kill, you know what you’re getting into. A big map with a bunch of people inside a constantly shrinking play area.

The official trailer plays to its strengths over KOTK. More weapon variety.

There is one potential disadvantage with PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds. We know Solo and Duo matches are in for sure. But, I can’t find any definitive confirmation of five-man matches. Hopefully, Bluehole is just saving it for one of the final beta tests. If not, surely they’ll add it soon after launch.

Here’s a compilation of Twitch streamers playing the closed beta. Keep an eye on Twitch this weekend as streamers will probably be playing the game again. Or, preorder it today and play during the weekend betas.

Have you played PlayerUnknown’s Battleground yet? Let me know what you think.

When I’m not playing Rocket League (best game ever), you can find me writing about all things games, space and more. You can reach me at alex@newsledge.com

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