PUBG was poised to be a breakout success. Anyone who followed the surging popularity of H1Z1 knew that. Even PUBG’s developers prepared for it. But no one could have anticipated the record-breaking concurrent numbers PUBG continues to hit every day.
Then, the dev team dives into the crux of the problem. PUBG was expected to be popular. According to this post, the devs “anticipated about 1 million concurrent users in the beginning of our Early Access period.” Who would have thought that was a conservative estimate. Very conservative.
Today, PUBG hit a new concurrent record of 1,668,715. In just one month, concurrent users have gone from 960,000 to 1.6 million. And there is zero indication the growth is slowing.
“It has become increasingly difficult to manage servers during peak times,” the PUBG developers write. To address disconnects and sever lag, “our development team will prepare our servers far more in advance so that they can handle a much larger number of concurrent players. This is something that we plan to continuously improve on.”
I would be taking advantage of that Microsoft partnership right about now.
Server issues stink, but it’s hard to for me to blame the folks working on PUBG. No one expected concurrent numbers like this. Even one million concurrent players sound like a lot. The devs were already expecting it to eclipse CS:GO’s concurrent record. Or at least, they were prepared for it. Who knew PUBG would not only break CS:GO’s record, but also DOTA 2’s. And keep going even higher.
It’s one thing for Activision to prepare its servers for the inevitable surge of players for Call of Duty or Destiny. But a new IP? I don’t think there’s a publisher out there who would be prepared for a game to take off as quickly as PUBG did. And take off all over the world.
The devs reiterated that work continues on the optimization side. I’m curious to see how Microsoft is helping on this front. I can’t imagine getting PUBG to work on Xbox One with a respectable frame rate is easy. Maybe some of the tricks for making the Xbox version perform better could carry over to PC.
Bottom line, expect issues during peak times to continue as the devs scramble to get enough servers up and running. Imagine if everyone living in Phoenix jumped on PUBG at the same time. That’s what the devs are dealing with.