According to Battlegrounds creator Brendan “PlayerUnknown” Greene, there are several development benefits that come with being a Microsoft partner, for both PC as well as Xbox One.
The deal, announced at gamescom in August, revealed that Microsoft would be the publisher on Xbox One. But while many saw this as little more than marketing speak, Greene revealed how this will actually benefit all players.
“Now that we’re published by Microsoft, they’re sending people to our office in Korea, and in Spain, and they’re going to help port the game,” the game’s creator told GamesIndustry.
So while the main team continues to work on the PC version, Microsoft’s “expertise” means that the Xbox One version will launch in a better state. On PC, working with Microsoft allows Bluehole to tackle issues like cheating in a more direct way, according to Greene.
This partnership also nets the team other benefits, such as being able to share the same water tech Rare uses in Sea of Thieves, seeing as both games are built on Unreal Engine 4. Microsoft is helping the team get the game to feel good on a controller, too, as far as aim assist and controller mappings.
“I think that with Microsoft’s help it’s really going to get it feeling like a good shooter on console,” Greene said. “We want to PC and Xbox to be identical in terms of the experience you have playing the game.”
Although a touchy topic, Greene reiterated that allowing “some form of cross-play” between PC and Xbox One is under discussion, adding that he’s aware of how unfair this would make it for controller players.
“We think it would only be fair if it was keyboard and mouse versus keyboard and mouse, or controller versus controller. But it’s still under heavy discussion,” said the creative director.
The Xbox One version of PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds is due for release later this year, which is around the planned official launch of the PC version out of Steam Early Access.