“PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds” is technically just “Battlegrounds” now.
That’s because PUBG lead designer Brendan Greene, commonly referred to by his online handle PlayerUnknown, is stepping down from his position. He announced the news on Twitter.
“Today I’m excited to announce that my new day-to-day focus will be heading up a new division of PUBG Corp.: PUBG Special Projects,” Greene said. “While I’ll remain as a consulting director on PUBG, development will be led by Taeseok Jang and the fantastic team I have had the honor of working with over the past three years.”
Greene has been a key figure in the boom of the battle royale genre.
Inspired by the Japanese movie Battle Royale, where a high school class was dropped on an island and forced to fight with random weapons until just one remained, Greene created the ARMA 2 mod DayZ: Battle Royale. This provided the framework for the genre, with Greene going on to consult Sony Online Entertainment for H1Z1.
From there, he partnered with Korean company Bluehole to create a standalone battle royale title which eventually became PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds. The game was a massive success at launch, selling over 50 million units on PC and console. It quickly became the most popular game on Steam, boasting the highest concurrent player totals on the platform for over a year.
The game has declined with the introduction of other free-to-play battle royale competitors including Fortnite and Apex Legends, but PUBG remains a popular title to this day.
With PlayerUnknown now handing over the keys to PUBG, it is unclear what the future holds for him. He is set to take over the PUBG Special Projects team, but no details were given as to what work might be included.
As for the remaining PUBG team, it has a lot on its plate. A revamped version of the Erangel map is in the works, as is a new rewards system for active players.
The FACEIT Global Summit is set to take place in April, which is the first major event of PUBG’s new esports structure.