Last week, the developers behind the very popular Early Access shooter PlayerUnkown’s Battlegrounds revealed a number of new loot crates coming to the game, which contain exclusive player outfits and other cosmetics. These crates will require players to spend real money on keys to unlock them and access the contents, with the money from these key sales going to fund the upcoming PUBG Invitational Tournament and also functioning as a working test of what the game’s full microtransaction system would look like once it reaches its full retail release.
This initial announcement was met with an enormous amount of pushback from much of the game’s playerbase, who very quickly responded with a post about the new crates titled “JUST SAY NO” that now sits at the top of the game’s subreddit. The post argues that the new system is “anti-consumer” and breaks one of the core promises from PlayerUnkown himself, who previously stated that “We’re not doing monetization during early access, it’ll be afterwards“. Players also fear that this is a slippery slope towards a cosmetics market in which everything will cost money, with nothing as a free in-game reward just for playing, citing the below image as proof:
PlayerUnkown, a.k.a. Brendan Greene, responded to the outcry today in a new post on the PlayerUnkown’s Battlegrounds Steam page. In the post, Greene acknowledges some of the outrage that has come since his announcement, apologizing for the “confusion caused” by the unclear messaging of the initial announcement. He does not, however, back down at all on the dev team’s commitment to move forward with the system, reiterating that testing new features while the game is still in Early Access is at the core of PUBG‘s ongoing development, and that this crate-and-key system will ” serve as the foundation of a healthy economy after launch”.
Seeming to echo the pictured sentiment above that cosmetics are optional and aren’t needed to play the game, PlayerUnkown reminds players in the post that anyone who chooses not to participate in the cosmetics marketplace will still have access to a “fully featured game”, implying player customization may be seen as more of an add-on than a core feature in PlayerUnkown’s Battlegrounds.
The statement concludes with the full patch notes for the new update coming to PUBG, which you can read on Steam.