Brendan Greene, aka PlayerUnknown, has moved on from PUBG to build a new division focused on research and game development.
In a statement, Greene said he was moving from Seoul to Amsterdam to lead a new division of PUBG Corp. called PUBG Special Projects.
While Greene remains a “consulting creative director” on PUBG, development of the battle royale phenomenon is now led by Taeseok Jang and the PUBG team.
“The past five years of my life has been all about battle royale,” Greene said in his statement today. “From the early days working on a mod to getting the chance to create my vision for a battle royale title, PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds.
“It’s been an incredible journey and our game has reached heights I never thought possible. Seeing the game grow into what it is today has been a dream come true and I can’t thank our fans and the incredible team at PUBG Corporation enough.”
Greene’s impact on the video game industry has been immense. After PUBG launched on Steam in December 2017, it quickly shot to the top of the most-played chart, pulling in millions of players every day. PUBG’s popularity spawned a raft of rival battle royale games – arguably without PUBG we wouldn’t have the likes of Call of Duty’s Blackout, Respawn’s Apex Legends or, of course, Epic’s Fortnite.
It’s been a rollercoaster few years for Greene who, off the back of the PUBG explosion, is now one of the most high-profile video game developers in the world. But it’s not all been plain sailing. PUBG has a mixed reputation, with technical issues and even accusations maps are “asset flips” dogging the developers over the years. In a June 2018 interview, an exasperated Greene expressed his frustration at the “asset flip” jibe, saying it “kills me a little inside”.
While PUBG’s Steam popularity has waned somewhat recently, it’s still the second most-popular game on Valve’s platform, and the mobile version is phenomenally popular in Asia. As for Greene’s new venture, he said he’ll continue to focus on online experiences.
“We are tasked with exploring, experimenting, and creating new technologies, tools, pipelines, and gameplay; but for me, it is more than that. Together with a team of game developers and researchers, we will explore new possibilities of interaction and connection within the game space.”
And, clearly, it’s a fresh start for Greene, who’ll be making a new life for himself in Amsterdam.
“I’ve spent the past two years on the road meeting so many of you at conventions and other industry events, which has been a fantastic experience, but I missed having a place to call home and a room to play games.
“So, I can’t wait to start this new journey with a new team in a new city, play some games again, and see what the future holds.”