Battle royale is everywhere, from Battlefield V to Call of Duty: Black Ops 4. Even Tetris has been infected, with Tetris 99 offering the same every-player-for-themself design in the Tetris universe. While the genre’s overflowing with a myriad of titles, the man who popularized it in the video game space, Brendan “PlayerUnknown” Greene, is moving on to something new.
Greene recently announced that his “new day-to-day focus will be heading up to a new division of PUBG Corp.: PUBG Special Projects.” Green served as both the director and designer of PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds, and while he’ll “remain as a consulting creative director on PUBG,” he’s leaving the project behind to concentrate on new initiatives for the company. He’s also leaving PUBG Corp.’s headquarters in Seoul, which will continue to work on PUBG, and moving to the newly-established Amsterdam office where he’ll put his attention “on building out an entirely new division to focus on research & game development.”
In a new interview, Greene signaled that he’s also done with the battle royale genre. “The last man standing concept is great, but I’ve done that,” Greene said in a GamesIndustry.biz interview. “I don’t really intend to make PUBG 2. I’ve done battle royale, it’s time to try something else.” Greene also doesn’t have much interest in players killing each other anymore, either. “I think I’ve provided others with a good way of killing each other. But I want to explore some other things.”
So what exactly is Greene doing now? According to GI.Biz, PUBG Corp. CEO Chang Han Kim approached Greene about taking the ideas in his head and “[turning them] into something that may be playable.” Kim’s allowing Greene to form a new team in a new location to create new things. The purpose of Special Projects, it seems, is to experiment. There are no in-depth details “because I don’t have them yet,” Greene said, but he does want to continue “[exploring] online experiences and how to connect people in ways that we haven’t really done before.”
Greene’s considered the father of the battle royale gaming genre. With both H1Z1 and PUBG, Greene’s proved that it’s possible–albeit difficult–to strike gold twice. However, according to Greene, there’s no pressure to strike gold again with Special Projects. “There is no deadline here, this is us with a few years to play,” he said. “Gaming and the industry has become so hard this is a very lucky thing to have. We can genuinely explore and be curious for some time.”
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